rosemary whole wheat snack cake

i get it now, hawaii. i get why everyone i've ever met who has been to hawaii goes bonkers at any mention of it and i'm pleased as plum to say that after just three days here, i, too, will roll my eyes to the back of my head and groan uncontrollably at any mention of this gosh darn beautiful state. 

my pops calls his little brown lake house in michigan the relaxation capital of the universe, but he's wrong. it's here, where the sun-filled days begin with snap chatting the ocean and end with nougats and giggles in the hot tub. if the week before my book deadline was a stress level 10, and a deep tissue massage is a one, then i am currently at about a -30. 

i am off to go bask in this nonsense by sitting on the meditation lawn that is right outside my door, but i will leave you here with a cake. 

before i left for my trip, i had been playing around a bunch with white whole wheat flour! my mom used to use it all the time and i was always a little confused, like, is it white flour trying to be a little healthier? or is it wheat flour that's let itself go just slightly? it turns out it's none of the above, it's actually its own type of wheat that's just as healthy as regular whole wheat but milder in flavor, making it easier to sub it for white flour. a sneaky kind of healthy! i'm very into this. it does still have a slight bit of that great nutty flavor, so i've thrown some into this cake that i'm calling a snack cake. because if it's got the healthiness of whole wheat and a name like "snack," you're welcome to have a slice at any time of day, you don't need to wait for a special occasion.

a big part of the inspiration for this cake was king arthur's white whole wheat flour, which can be traced all the way back to the farmer who grew the wheat. sweet! so in the spirit of farm to cake, i paired this wheat with eggies from macaroni and rosemary from our dead rosemary plant. (the great thing about a dead rosemary plant is that it doesn't stop working, it just starts drying the rosemary for you!) a sprinkling of citrus zest pulls the rosemary and nutty wheatiness together for a nice dense afternoon cake, and there you have it. happy baking! 

rosemary whole wheat snack cake

makes one 8" square cake


3/4 c king arthur unbleached white whole wheat flour
1 c king arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tb dried rosemary, very finely ground in a spice grinder
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste or vanilla plus
3/4 c whole milk
1/4 c sour cream

1 c powdered sugar
4-5 tb heavy cream

orange zest, for topping


preheat the oven to 350ºf. grease and line an 8” baking dish and set it aside.

in a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking powder, and ground rosemary. in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. add the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla. reduce the speed to low and add the milk and dry ingredients in 2 or 3 alternating additions and then add the sour cream and mix to combine. pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes. let cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a rack, remove to the rack and cool completely.

to make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons cream until smooth and spreadable, adding additional cream if needed. spread all over the top of the cooled cake and top with a sprinkle of orange zest. slice and enjoy. 

i used the following king arthur flour products in this recipe: white whole wheat flourall-purpose flour, vanilla plus, and 8" baking panthank you so much, king arthur flour, for sponsoring this post! and p.s. if you're looking to add more whole grains to your baking, check out k.a.f.'s handy guide!