Thyme Cake

Thyme Cake with Lemon

Thyme Cake – a brilliant twist on a plain loaf cake

This Thyme Cake is a basic lemon loaf cake to which is added the wonderful flavour of fresh thyme. As the name of my blog probably suggests, I love using herbs and spices in my cooking. They are a fantastic way of making your dishes unusual and memorable without having to use any particularly advanced culinary skills. You simply just add them into your dishes.

Fresh herbs are used widely in savoury dishes but I love to experiment with them in sweet dishes, such as cakes, biscuits and desserts. The recipe for this Thyme Cake was inspired by the success of another herb-infused cake, my Rosemary Cake.

I love thyme, it is one of my favourite herbs and I use it widely in savoury dishes such as Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Thyme and Dauphinoise Potatoes. I have also already used it in sweet dishes such as Thyme Biscuits with Pinenuts and in Thyme Ice Cream with Honey and Mascarpone. It seemed a natural progression to try it in a cake.

This Thyme Cake, like my other loaf cake recipes, is very quick and easy. It is a basic lemon loaf cake, topped with drizzle, but the flavour is transformed by the addition of fresh thyme. The taste of lemon and thyme makes me think about Mediterranean holidays and sunshine!

If you like this cake, you may like some of the other loaf cake recipes that I cook regularly. They are so quick and easy to make and you can get really creative with the flavours! On other pages of this blog you can find recipes for Rosemary Cake, Earl Grey and Orange Cake,Lemon DrizzleBlood OrangeLime and CoconutRum and Banana and Ginger and Pear.

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Thyme Cake with Lemon

Thyme Cake

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 loaf cake 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English


This easy loaf cake highlights the wonderful herby fragrance of fresh thyme.


  • 125 g butter
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 lemon
  • Approximately ten sprigs of fresh thyme (each about 5 cm long) plus a few additional sprigs to decorate, if required.
  • 100 g icing sugar



  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease a 450 g loaf tin and line the bottom with baking parchment or use a paper loaf tin liner.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar.  (I usually soften the butter for about 30 seconds in the microwave first as it makes it much easier!)
  4. Gradually add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.  If it looks as if it is going to curdle, add some of the self-raising flour. 
  5. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the rest of the self-raising flour.
  6. Add the milk and the grated zest of your lemon.
  7. Remove the leaves from your sprigs of thyme and chop finely.  Put half of the chopped leaves (about 2 teaspoons) into the cake mixture.  The other half should be reserved for use in the drizzle.
  8. Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared loaf tin.
  9. Put the tin in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  10. While the cake is baking, put the juice from your lemon in a small bowl  and add the reserved half of the chopped thyme leaves.   Heat in the microwave for 1 minute. The idea is to heat the juice so that the thyme releases its fragrance.  (If you don’t have a microwave, you can heat the juice in a saucepan over a low heat on the stove.)    Allow the juice containing the chopped thyme leaves to cool slightly.  Then combine it with 100 g of icing sugar to form a thick syrup.
  11. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately pour the syrup over the top.
  12. Leave the cake in the tin to cool completely before removing.   If you try and take it out while it is still warm it may fall apart as it will be very moist due to the syrup.
  13. You can decorate the cake with a few further sprigs of thyme.

Keywords: thyme, loaf cake, thyme cake, culinary herbs

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