Lemon Basil Cake

Lemon Basil Cake

Good morning! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  The weather outside was beautiful! Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same about the inside of my house.  It was like an oven! Hot, hot and very hot.

Regardless of the temperature, I was still in a baking mood.  I generally prefer baking from scratch but there are those days when you just don’t want to be bothered with a ton of measuring.  Think about all those dishes and clean-ups!

I took a box of vanilla cake mix (you know it’s a good one when you can see all the specks of vanilla beans in the cake) and added basil and lemon zest so it wouldn’t be so boring.  Served this with some homemade vanilla cinnamon whipped cream, some raspberries and blueberries —it was delicious! I know it may sound strange adding basil but it really worked in this recipe.  Now aren’t you intrigued to give this one a try? Go for it! You won’t regret it.

Lemon Basil Cake

Print this recipe


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 1 cup of cold milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) box of vanilla cake mix (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped

Lemon Basil Cake


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

Using a stand or electric mixer (or mix by hand) mix together eggs, canola oil and milk.  Add vanilla cake mix.  Continue to mix until batter is smooth.  Stir in lemon zest and basil.  Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 40-43 minutes or until toothpick/tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let the cake cool completely before cutting into the pan.  When serving, top with whipped cream, blueberries and raspberries.

Source: Cooking with Trader Joe’s

Lemon Basil Cake


74 thoughts on “Lemon Basil Cake

  1. I’m a sucker for whipped cream, especially homemade. The cinnamon and vanilla in this whipped cream really complimented the flavors in the cake. The basil is there but it’s not overpowering. I’m having it for breakfast right now, what a great way to start.

  2. I love the addition of lemon and basil – so fresh for summer! I hear you on the humid, nasty weather. It hasn’t stopped raining here – I’m ready for a little sunshine : )

  3. I give you credit for baking on a hot day! I’ve been avoiding the oven lately just because humidity here. I wouldn’t have thought to add basil but it sounds intriguing!

  4. I really am intrigued by the idea of adding basil to the cake. I love basil so I imagine it’s wonderful…I can’t stop cooking and baking either despite the hot temp! : )

  5. This looks great Anne! Love that you added basil as well as lemon to the cake:) Hehe I can’t seem to stop baking either despite the hot and sticky weather we’ve been getting here too. Have a great week and try to keep cool:)

  6. Lemon and basil – what great flavours to add interest to a cake mix! I tried basil in a chocolate cake once, but it was too rich and heavy. Never thought to try it in a vanilla cake… but I will do now!

  7. Very creative of you, Anne. I bet this cake was delicious and perfect for serving with fresh berries. Like the previous commenter said, “Basil in cake!” 🙂

  8. Never would have thought to add basil to a cake – so brilliant! I love using cake mixes when my kitchen is a thousand degrees and/or I don’t feel like doing dishes 🙂

  9. I agree with you, a boxed cake mix is the best short cut especially that you add so much wonderful flavors into this cake. 🙂 I’m like you, even though the temperature is high, I still like to bake. Just don’t like to wash the bowl and dishes afterwards. hahaha….

  10. You are so brave Anne that you were baking despite of the heat!
    The result looks fantastic, I love the combination of Basil and lemon.
    The raspberries and blueberries add a wonderful touch of color, very classy!

  11. Love the idea of basil in cake! Especially paired with lemon! It’s SO summery – I want to dig right in. I bake in the heat too! I can’t help myself.

  12. Ooh, yum I love the idea of lemon and basil but wouldn’t have thought to put the two together. How creative! You’ve given me an idea for a ice-cream combo there – thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Pingback: Lemon, Basil and Vodka Sorbet | Under the Blue Gum tree

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