More lemony than lemon – but with a subtle herbaceous twist – lemon myrtle is the ultimate indigenous ingredient to savour this summer.
Try Dale Tilbrook's recipe for lemon myrtle cake, a delicious and easy-to-make afternoon treat that is perfect to bake with budding chefs at home.
Dale’s Lemon Myrtle Cake
125gm butter, chopped
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups self-raising flour
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon fine ground dried lemon myrtle
1. Infuse lemon myrtle into the milk. Bring milk to a gentle simmer and add the lemon myrtle. Simmer for about 5 minutes then allow to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a deep, 20cm round cake pan. Line base with baking paper.
3. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl using an electric mixer until pale and creamy.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping down sides of bowl. Lightly fold flour into creamed mixture alternately with lemon myrtle-infused milk, beginning and ending with flour.
5. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 mins, or until cooked. Allow to cool before icing.
To make vanilla icing:
Sift 1½ cups of icing sugar into a bowl. Soften 25gm butter and use a wooden spoon to beat 1 teaspoon of dried ground lemon myrtle into it. Mix icing sugar, butter and 1 tablespoon milk or water together and beat with wooden spoon until smooth. Add a little more liquid if needed. If it gets too runny, add more icing sugar. Spread over cooled cake with an offset palette knife or butter knife. Dip the knife into hot water to smooth it out. Enjoy!
If this has inspired you to learn more about native ingredients, click here to book a Bush Tucker Talk & Tasting with Dale.
Cover image by Tea Creative/Soo Chung