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Holiday Gift Idea and an Olive Oil Lemon Cake with Basil and Pomegranate

A little twist to the traditional lemon cake. Spruce up your holiday table and serve this Olive Oil Lemon Cake with Basil and Pomegranate. Sponsored by AeroGarden ULTRA.

Olive Oil Lemon Cake with Basil and Pomegranate by FamilySpice.com

When it comes to gift-giving, I tend to be a procrastinator. I know some people have all of their holiday gift shopping done way before November rolls in. I am definitely NOT one of those people. When my kids were little and they didn’t pay too close attention to the latest and greatest toys out there, it was easy.

But now, even for family and friends, I’m finding myself dreading the holiday shopping.

I always tell my husband, when it comes to gifts, it’s about the thought behind the gift, not the gift itself. My husband is the type who stops at the grocery store on his way home from work on my birthday and shops for my card and gift there.

Yes, not much thought involved. Flowers and champagne get a little old after a dozen years. Gift shopping is definitely not in his genetic makeup. I think I have a solution for both of us.

I was recently offered the chance to test out an AeroGarden ULTRA, which is a great tool for growing herbs during the long winter months. Turns out this was a great gift for me, as I am also challenged in the green-thumb department. I need all the help I can get when it comes to gardening, as I am easily distracted.

AeroGarden ULTRA Basil for Lemon Cake with Basil and Pomegranate

My kids were totally fascinated with the AeroGarden, as well. It didn’t take long to set up on our kitchen counter. The garden didn’t require much watering, besides the original filling up of the water well. Everyday the kids would stop by the AeroGarden and check the status of our seedlings.

“They sprouted! They sprouted!”

We are growing 7 different varieties of basil, and it only took a couple of days for the basil seedlings to sprout. A few days later there were recognizable leaves. A few more days after that and the little domes were removed. We were growing basil in winter!

Olive Oil Lemon Cake with Basil and Pomegranate by FamilySpice.com

“Mommy, it’s time to feed the plants!” No guesswork here. The AeroGarden told me that two weeks had passed and it was time to drop in the food. It was super easy and the kids were able to measure it out and pour it in themselves.

After three weeks, you could pick off and use some of the basil leaves, but it was into the fourth week when I really started using my basil.

Olive Oil Lemon Cake with Basil by FamilySpice.com

And I made a cake. A beautiful Olive Oil Lemon Basil Cake with Pomegranate. You know me, it HAS to have pomegranate. Of course, I have made this cake in many different variations. The above cake was for a pre-homecoming dinner party for high schoolers and their parents.

I frosted it with a basic buttercream frosting with a touch of lemon juice and lots of lemon zest. Such a delicious and sophisticated cake for the whole family to enjoy!

Lemon Basil Cake

Author:

Laura Bashar

Fresh Basil is the secret ingredient that makes this cake very special. Topped with fresh pomegranate and chopped pistachios, it makes a very festive treat. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, plain Greek
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 1 lemon, zest grated
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 TBS finely chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped basil, fresh

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Apply non-stick spray to one 9-inch round cake pan or a 9-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together:
    • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/8 tsp salt
  3. In a large bowl, mix together until combined:
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup yogurt, plain Greek
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 3 eggs, large
    • 1 lemon , zest grated
    • 1/3 cup fresh basil, fresh , finely chopped
  4. In batches, mix flour mixture into yogurt mixture and stir until combined.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan.
  6. Place the cake in the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Place the cake on a cooling rack, and let it cool for 20 minutes prior to serving.
  8. For the glaze, whisk together until smooth:
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
  9. Drizzle glaze over the cake prior to serving.
  10. Garnish cake with:
    • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
    • 1 TBS finely chopped pistachios
    • 1/2 tsp finely chopped basil, fresh

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: Perfect for your afternoon tea or served with fresh seasonal fruit.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 8

Cook Time:

So if you have a gardener in your life, or even a gardener-wanna-be, like me, who could use a little help, AeroGrow will be running its ‘12 Days of Deals’ for the holidays with discounts and special bundles for the season. Plus, get up to 20% on everything storewide when using promo code ‘Holiday20’ in the shopping cart at checkout. It’s a unique gift that shows you put some thought in the gift buying process. You can learn more here!

And me? I will continue to help my husband find ME the perfect gift for holidays. He’s just bummed that he didn’t give me the AeroGarden himself.

Sorry, dear. It’s not going to be THAT easy for you!

Disclosure: As part of the Kitchen PLAY Community, I was paid a stipend to develop a dessert recipe using the basil I grew with my AeroGarden. All of the opinions I expressed here are my own. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it!