Lemon Basil Almond Drizzle Cake

I love cakes that are flavoured with herbs, such as rosemary and fennel. The light aniseed flavour of basil gives a new dimension to a lemon cake. My other half loves lemon tarts and cakes, but I usually find them too sharp, so I’ve created this — an olive oil, almond sponge, made lighter with tapioca and given a herby aroma with the fresh basil. 

Serves 12

  • 75ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing 
  • 280g ground almonds 
  • 95g tapioca 
  • ½tsp baking powder 
  • 1⁄4tsp sea salt 
  • 20g fresh basil, torn, plus extra to decorate (optional) 
  • 150g jaggery or maple syrup 
  • 60ml lemon juice 
  • 1tsp vanilla extract 
  • 3 medium eggs 
  • finely grated zest of 1 large lemon


  • 3tbsp lemon juice 
  • 85g raw honey 
  • pinch of sea salt 
  • zest of 1 large lemon (plus extra to decorate, optional) 


1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (fan 160˚C/gas mark 4), and grease a 23cm (9in) round springform tin with olive oil. 
2. Mix together the ground almonds, tapioca, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together all the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Then add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until well combined. 
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth with a wet spatula and bake for 30 minutes or more, until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out almost clean. 
4. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking the ingredients together in a glass jug. Pour the glaze over the cake. Allow to stand for another 30 minutes. 
5. Carefully run a thin knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it, then transfer onto a plate to serve. 
TIP I managed to get enough juice and zest for this recipe from two large lemons, but I’d recommend having a third lemon on hand just in case, especially if you are decorating with extra zest.

East by West: Simple Recipes for Ultimate Mind-Body Balance by Jasmine Hemsley is out now, published by Bluebird (£25).

Read our interview with Jasmine here.

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