Hey there! I’m so happy to share this lemon thyme pound cake with you. This simple cake is so much better than anything store-bought. Quick and easy, this lemon loaf is a perfect weekend treat or light dessert.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
This is a great way to use the lemon thyme you have growing in the garden. You could also make lemon thyme lemonade for a delicious summer beverage.
The cake is topped with a zingy lemon glaze for extra citrus flavor.
Why you need to make this lemon thyme pound cake recipe
This simple little cake is so easy and makes an excellent tea time treat. Everyone should have a lemon loaf cake in their arsenal and this one is extra special with the additional of lemon thyme.
It could also be called a lemon thyme tea bread, as this is a sweet treat that would be perfect with a cup of tea for an afternoon pick me up.
The ingredients for this lemon thyme loaf cake are common pantry staples, to keep shopping at a minimum.
- Buttermilk – The liquid in our cake, buttermilk gives great tanginess.
- Salt – Everything needs salt, including baked goods.
- Baking powder and baking soda – These help our pound cake rise.
- Butter – Unsalted, or “sweet cream” butter. Make sure it is unsalted so you can control the salt.
- Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract, avoid the imitation stuff.
- Cake flour – Cake flour has less protein than all-purpose flour and makes a less dense, or lighter, cake. To substitute a cup of all-purpose flour for a cup of cake flour, remove two tablespoons of AP flour and replace it with two tablespoons of cornstarch.
- All purpose flour – The regular flour you have in the pantry.
- Sugar – Regular granulated sugar.
- Eggs – Eggs provide stability in baking.
- Lemon thyme – If you don’t have access to lemon thyme, substitute with regular thyme and add a little extra lemon zest.
- Lemons – Of course we need lemons to make this lemon thyme pound cake
How to make it
First, mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.
Then beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer. Add the eggs and beat until it is light and fluffy, like the photo below.
Next, incorporate half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk. Finish by folding in the remaining flour and the lemon thyme. Bake the lemon thyme quick bread for 45 – 55 minutes, then cool completely.
It will take at least 90 minutes for it to cool completely. Once the cake has cooled; mix powdered sugar and lemon juice to make a simple lemon glaze. Pour the glaze over the top and let it dry for about 20 – 30 minutes before slicing.
If you don’t want to glaze your cake, you don’t have to wait that long. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
Tools and equipment
This pound cake requires baking basics. Check the list below to make sure you have everything you need before you get started.
You’ll need a loaf pan for this recipe. I used this 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan and I love it.
I would recommend a kitchen scale for accuracy in recipes, this is especially true in baking. The link is the same one that I own and love.
Lemon thyme pound cake Q & A
Here are a few answers to common questions when making lemon buttermilk cake.
Yes! The cake itself freezes beautifully. I would not freeze the glaze. So, if you want to freeze the cake, do it without the glaze, as it will get weepy when thawed.
Wrapped tightly, it should stay fresh for at least 2 – 3 days. You can refrigerate it to keep it for up to 5 days. It will start to dry out after that.
The regular variety of thyme that you’d find in the grocery store has an earthy, herbal smell and taste, while lemon thyme has all that plus a citrusy, floral aroma and taste.
You can swap out the lemon thyme for regular thyme that you would find in the grocery store. I would add a bit more lemon zest to bump up the citrus flavor.
If you have Meyer lemons, they would make a lovely substitution here.
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For the cake
- 1 cup cake flour (100 gr)
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour (90 gr)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp // 4 oz. / 1 stick
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. lemon zest
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp. lemon thyme, finely chopped (*see note)
For the glaze
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar (also called powdered sugar or icing sugar)
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180° C / Gas mark 4.
- Butter and flour an 8 x 5 loaf pan. You can also use baking spray with flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter until light and pale, about 4 - 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar and continue to beat on medium speed for an additional 3 - 4 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating the first egg fully before adding the second. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Reduce speed to low and add vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Add half of the flour mixture, then mix until it is almost fully incorporated, then add buttermilk and continue to mix. Finally, add remaining flour and lemon thyme, then shut off the mixer.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold the remaining flour and herbs into the batter, then pour into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, until a tester comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and turn cake out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Drizzle with lemon glaze once cake is completely cool - Mix confectioner's sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl with a whisk until smooth.
When chopping thyme, avoid any woody stems. Only use the tender, green stems. Or, you can do as I do and use the leaves only. It's terribly tedious, but it's an option 😉
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Serving Size:1 inch slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 335mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 1gSugar: 40gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂
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