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Easy lemon cake recipe with thyme

Lemon and Thyme Cake

This fresh lemon cake spiked with thyme makes a perfect bake for Elevenses or for Afternoon Tea
Course Baked Goods, Cake
Keyword easy lemon cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10
Author Chris Mosler @thinlyspread


  • 200 g self raising flour , sifted
  • 200 g softened butter
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsps chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 free range eggs (I used duck eggs here which have been a revelation in my baking, so light, so fluffy and such a rich colour!)
  • 120 ml milk
  • Zest and Juice of 2 lemons
  • 100 g granulated sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
  • Beat the butter and caster sugar together using a hand whisk or free standing mixer until light and fluffy (the buttery goodness, not you!)
  • Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition (they are much less likely to curdle if they are at room temperature when you start – if they do ‘go’ add a spoonful of your flour and beat again).
  • Gently fold in the sifted flour, stir in the milk, the grated zest from your lemons and the thyme.
  • Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin, gently level the surface and bake for 40 – 50 minutes until golden brown. Test if it’s cooked by pushing a skewer into the centre, if it comes out clean you’re done!
  • While the cake is baking, prepare your lemon syrup. Pour the squeezed lemon juice into a small pan with the granulated sugar. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat immediately and simmer for 10 minutes or so or until the liquid has reduced by about half.
  • Leaving the cake in the tin prick it all over with the skewer and pour the syrup as evenly as you can over the surface.
  • Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Serve decorated with a sprig of thyme and a nice cup of Earl Grey tea with a slice of lemon