Goldenrod Cake

goldenrod cake
Credit: Because professional photographs are not on my current list of offerings!

Another entry in the “Eat Your Weedies” category! In honor of the late summer season, I’m posting a recipe from MustLoveHerbs. Mrs. Herbs (as she refers to herself) is based in Appalachian Kentucky. I follow her beautiful Instagram account where she shares recipes that are handed down through generations as well as her own creations from her bountiful garden. While I normally don’t include recipes as rich as this one, I’m including it to demonstrate the, um, rich history of using Earth’s abundance – even from what is currently thought of as “weeds.”

The scientific name for the goldenrod plant is Solidago, which means “to make whole.” The tall yellow spires of goldenrod – often accused of causing allergies that are actually due to ragweed – abound in late summer. It is a strong plant ally for conditions including bladder infections, seasonal allergies, muscle aches, arthritis, and cold and flu care. You can also eat its flowers (wonderful in crepes) and leaves and use it as a healing tea, poultice, tincture, powder, or oil infusion. Over 100 species of goldenrod grow all over the world and there are native species in all 50 states and Canada.

While I’m typically a chocolate cake lover, I’m celebrating my solar return this year with goldenrod cake (sans icing because that is just too much for me!). I usually need to visit the coast or the foothills to find fresh goldenrod near me (untainted with pesticides). However, my relatives in Michigan are blessed with fields of goldenrod in the surrounding farmland and I’ve been lucky to be gifted dried goldenrod. If you’d like to try but don’t have a local supply or supplier, two of my favorite herbal companies are Mountain Rose Herbs and Starwest Botanicals


  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh (or ¼ dried) goldenrod blossoms
  • 1 1/2 stick butter at room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs


  • 4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature 
  • 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup) at room temp
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt 
  • 1 & 1/2 – 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar (depending on desired consistency) 

Method – for Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. 
  • Grease your cake pan. I use butter and parchment paper to line. 
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt. 
  • In your stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time. After all eggs are added turn the mixer off and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl making sure there isn’t any unmixed butter and sugar.  
  • With the mixer on low add the flour mixture slowly. Next fold in the goldenrod blossoms.  Mix until evenly distributed. 
  • Pour the batter into your greased pan and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a minimum of 30 minutes. After 30 minutes flip the cake out carefully onto a wire rack and allow to cool for another 30 minutes. While the cake cools you may prepare the icing. 

Method – for Icing:

  • In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt. Use an electric mixer on medium speed mixing thoroughly until smooth and creamy. Add in the confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at at time mixing in between until desired consistency/sweetness is achieved! There are no wrong answers here! 
  • Spread the icing evenly over the top of the cake. Enjoy!