Lemon Verbena Syrup Cake

Lemon Verbena Syrup CakeWhen skies are grey and you need some cheer – make cake. This tangy sweet delicious number will warm the cockles of your heart.

This recipe is from The Cooks Herb Garden by Mary Browne, Helen Leach and Nancy Titchbourne. Three New Zealand sisters who put together useful, gorgeous books. See also The Cooks Salad Garden.


8 young lemon verbena leaves
2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup yoghurt

Preheat the oven to 175℃.
Grease and line a small cake tin (18/ 20cm) with baking paper.
Lay verbena leaves in a circle undersides facing up, on the paper.
Beat eggs, sugar and lemon zest until light and high.
Sift flour and baking powder and beat into the eggs.
Beat in the yoghurt.
Spoon into the tin carefully so as not to muck up your leaf art.
Bake for 40 – 50mins until the cake bounces back when pressed and is rich golden brown on top.
Leave in the pan for 5 mins, then turn out onto a plate with a lip. Peel off the paper and pour the warm syrup over.


Make the syrup while the cake cooks

2 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons of honey
zest of 1 lemon
3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
1 Tablespoon brandy or orange juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon verbena leaves

Combine all ingredients except the verbena, in a pot. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and add chopped verbena.