Lemon and thyme loaf cake

This yoghurt-based loaf cake is a perfect light bake

Lemon and thyme loaf cake
30 mins preparation, 45 mins cooking time
Serves 8

This version is lemon and thyme, but you can mix it up with orange zest and ground cinnamon or lime zest and desiccated coconut. Lovely with a sour cream lemon icing but it works equally well as a drizzle cake or just a sponge. If you’re making this in the height of summer, you don’t want to be spending too long in a hot kitchen.

Afternoon Tea , Vegetarian , Medium , Cake , Summer , Baking


140ml vegetable oil (you can use olive oil if you want the flavour)
300ml plain or lemon flavoured natural yoghurt
3 large Burford Brown or Old Cotswold Leg bar eggs or 2 Braddock Whites
1 teaspoon almond essence
A few sprigs of fresh thyme or lemon thyme
280g self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
240g caster sugar
2 tablespoons runny honey
50g sour cream
150g icing sugar, sifted
200g full fat cream cheese
Zest of 6 lemons



Pre-heat the oven to 165c/ 325f / gas mark 3


Grease and line a 1.5 litre (2 lb.) loaf tin with baking parchment. NOTE (loaf tins differ in surface area, this recipe is for a high sided, traditional angled tin. As long as the raw mixture comes up 3⁄4 of the way up the tin you’ll get a good even rise when baked.)


Place the oil, yoghurt, eggs, essence and few finely chopped thyme leaves into a mixing bowl and mix well until combined. Stir in the flour, bicarb and sugar until well combined then add the honey and the zest of 4 lemons.


Spoon the mixture into the tin and place in the oven, bake for 45 minutes or until risen and golden. Insert a skewer into the centre, if it comes out clean the cake is ready, if not return the cake to the oven for a further 5 minutes.


Once cooked, allow to cool in the tin on a cooling rack for 45 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely.


Meanwhile make the icing. Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth, stir in the sour cream a little at a time and zest of 1 lemon until smooth and spreadable. Transfer to a small bowl and place in the fridge until needed.


When ready to assemble, place the cake on a board. Top with the chilled frosting, scatter over a few thyme leaves and the remaining lemon zest. Slice and serve.

Other recipes you might like