Fresh lemon zest, fresh thyme and a sweet lemon glaze give this tangy thyme and lemon loaf cake a fresh, clean springtime flavor.
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Move over banana bread. You’ve been replaced. This thyme and lemon loaf cake is quite possibly my new favorite quick bread. It has such a fresh, clean taste. Not too sweet, but just enough. And it smells lovely. No lie, every time I open the bag to get a slice I have to inhale. Yankee Candle, I’ve got your newest scent right here. No need to thank me, a cut of the profits will do.
How to Remove Thyme Leaves from the stems
If you have a very young thyme plant, the stem that the leaves are on may be very soft. If that’s the case, don’t fool with removing the leaves from the stem. Just chop both the stem and the leaves and throw it all in your batter.
However, as a thyme plant matures, the stem become tough and woody. You don’t want to eat that. But, it does make it easier to remove the leaves. Simply hold a stem between your thumb and forefinger.
Then take the thumb and forefinger from your other hand and run them in the opposite direction that the leaves are growing. The leaves should come right off with ease.
How to zest a lemon
Zesting means to scrape off the very top layer of the lemon peel, where all the oils are stored. You can do this with a microplane or a box grater. Simply rub the microplane against the outside of a whole lemon for a few seconds. Once you begin to see the white pith underneath, stop grating and move to the next spot.
How to Make Thyme and Lemon Loaf Cake
About 30 minutes before you get started, be sure to set out 1/2 cup (one whole stick) of unsalted butter to soften. You’ll have a much easier time creaming together your butter and sugar if it’s soft.
Creaming just means we are going to whip together our softened butter and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar using an electric mixer until it’s creamy. Once you’ve done that, add one whole large egg and beat again until the egg is combined.
In a small, separate mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/2 cup sour cream. I like to mix these together using a whisk to remove any lumps from the sour cream.
In another medium mixing bowl, (and using a clean whisk), whisk together 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Turn the mixer on low, then add half of the flour mixture. Follow with half of the buttermilk mixture and continue to beat until everything is combined. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. You may need to turn the mixer off at some point and scrape the side of the bowl down with a spatula.
Pour the batter into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. You could also line the pan with a strip of parchment paper spray with cooking spray for easy lifting out of the bread pan once the bread is cool.
Bake the lemon loaf cake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove the load cake from oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan and transferring if to a wire rack to continue cooling.
How to Make the Lemon Glaze
The lemon glaze is the easier part of the entire recipe, but it makes the cake! Start by melted 1/3 cup of unsalted butter in a small saucepan.
Once the butter is melted, add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar. It really recommend sifting the powdered sugar first, since it can contain small lumps that are not easy to whisk away once you’ve added it to the butter. Sifting ensure a smooth glaze.
The glaze may look a little greasy at the point. Never fear! Add 2-4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice until it starts to thin out and look more like a glaze.
Pour the lemon glaze over the cake once the cake is cool, but while the glaze is still warm.
Does Lemon Loaf Cake need to be refrigerated?
Lemon loaf cake can sit at room temperature for up to five days. Just be sure to keep it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.
Can Lemon Loaf Cake be Frozen?
Allow the glaze on lemon loaf cake to cool and harden completely. Wrap the lemon loaf in a layer of plastic wrap, then wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil. Thyme and Lemon Loaf Cake can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
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Thyme and Lemon Loaf Cake
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
- Add egg and continue to mix until combined.
- In a smaller, separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and sour cream.
- In another bowl, whisk together flour, thyme, lemon peel, baking soda and salt.
- With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture. Follow with half of the buttermilk mixture and continue to beat until combined. Repeat with remaining ingredients, scraping the side of the bowl as needed.
- Pour batter into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.