Sacla’ Pesto Cake

While this Pesto does contain flour, it uses Free From Basil Pesto. Using Classic Basil Pesto will give the cake a salty note because of the Parmesan.

Free from


  • 100g basil
  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 2 lemons, finely grated zest
  • 185g natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g Sacla' Free From Basil Pesto (Classic Basil Pesto will make the cake too salty - use Free From Basil pesto where possible)
  • 210g plain flour
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 225g cream cheese
  • 50g butter, unsalted
  • 300g icing sugar


  1. You will also need a 20cm non-stick loose-bottomed round cake tin, greased and base lined with parchment paper and a very fine paintbrush.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
  3. Remove stems from the basil and whiz the leaves and olive oil together in a food processor until well puréed.
  4. In a mixing bowl stir the sugar and lemon zest together.
  5. Add the yoghurt, lemon juice, basil-oil mixture, eggs, vanilla and the Sacla’ Pesto.
  6. Mix well with a wooden spoon until combined.
  7. Sift over the flour, baking powder and salt and mix again.
  8. Spoon into the cake tin where it will come to halfway up the sides and smooth the surface.
  9. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until risen and when a fine skewer comes out clean when poked in the middle.
  10. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin, discard the parchment paper and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. Trim the top of cake with a serrated knife if it needs levelling and turn upside down onto the rack so the base becomes the top.
  12. For the icing beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
  13. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
  14. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 mins.
  15. Spoon or pipe the cream cheese frosting on top of a cold cake(s).
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