Taking a Little Thyme: Lemon-Thyme Cake

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The other day Mr. Foodie surprised me after a bad day with a little thyme plant for our wall herb planter. So luckily we had it on hand today after I received the bad news that my former laptop would never again turn on. Yes, our bad luck streak continues (seriously, did we step on a mirror somewhere?). Even more annoying than losing the laptop was the big dent (haha, see last week’s posts) in my productivity. I planned on spending a lot of time checking things off my list. I did not plan on spending hundreds of dollars to replace a stupid laptop. But a little Sunday baking (and laptop shopping) does wonders for the weary soul. Mr. Foodie’s thoughtfulness came in handy, and so we made this lemon-thyme cake bread.

I seriously adore anything that showcases lemons. Is there anything better than a lemon? They work well in savory and sweet dishes. They are incredibly fragrant, excellent as a cleaning agent, delightful in cocktails, and one of the happiest colors on earth. Our next urban gardening project has got to be a lemon tree!

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I am especially excited about lemon in baked goods. Remember those lemon cookies we made? This is the loaf cake version of those with even the same lemon-sugar glaze for the top. The addition of thyme in this not only adds a little color drama, but also a punch of herby flavor that pairs so well with the sweetness of the powdered sugar and tartness of the lemon. Thyme reminds me of oregano, but more subtle and delicate. Because it is not an herb I would usually buy, it being more rare than other herbs in the recipes I use, I did a little research on it. Apparently thyme has medicinal properties. It was also traditionally used to give courage and ward off nightmares. Sounds like the perfect little darling for the week we are having.

Mr. Foodie can attest to the fact that I got a little woe-is-me for a second while clutching my new laptop in my arms on the car ride home, but after following the rabbit hole in my mind of all the worst possible resonances of this absurd week for our future selves, I relaxed. Mr. Foodie made me laugh. And then we took a little time to bake a lemon cake.

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Here is the recipe as it appears on Taste of Home*

(*Note: I recommend baking on the longer end of the range even if you have a hot oven – we usually take out baked goods earlier than called for, but this time we needed to bake longer so the top/middle cooked through all the way. It will remind you of banana bread a little – looks done bc of the browned sides, but still needs time more in the middle)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

  • 1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine milk and thyme. Microwave, uncovered, on high 1-2 minutes or until bubbly; cover and let stand until cooled to room temperature.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with reserved milk mixture. Stir in lemon juice and peel.
  • 3. Pour into a greased 9×5-in. loaf pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  • 4. In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients until smooth; drizzle over bread.Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 187 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 43mg cholesterol, 92mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

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