Lemon & thyme loaf cake
Our yoghurt-based loaf cake is a perfectly light bake. This version uses fragrant lemon and thyme, but you can mix it up with orange zest and ground cinnamon or lime zest and desiccated coconut.
Pre-heat the oven to 165c/145c (fan).
Grease and line a 1.5 litre loaf tin with baking parchment. Please 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 ¾ of the way up the tin, you’ll get a good even rise when baked.
Place the oil, yoghurt, eggs, almond essence and few finely chopped thyme leaves into a mixing bowl and mix well until combined. Stir in the flour, bicarbonate of soda 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 and 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 the cake to cool in its tin, on a cooling rack for 45 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the icing by beating the cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth. Stir in the sour cream a little at a time, along with the zest of 1 lemon, mixing 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, then slice and serve.
140ml vegetable oil
300ml plain or lemon flavoured natural yoghurt
3 Large Burford Brown or Old Cotswold Legbar eggs, or 2 Braddock White duck eggs
1 teaspoon almond essence
A few sprigs of fresh thyme or lemon thyme
280g self raising flour, sifted
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
240g caster sugar
2 tablespoons runny honey
Zest of 6 lemons
200g full fat cream cheese
150g icing sugar, sifted
50g sour cream