The sudden influx of warm spring weather recently inspired me to do a little springtime baking. There are some foods that just scream 'spring!' like bright tangy lemon and fresh herbs. And this cake has them both! It's the perfect baked good for celebrating springtime and lemon and thyme is such a wonderful combination: fresh and fragrant and a little earthiness to balance out the citrusy sweetness.
It couldn't be easier to make this deceptively impressive looking cake. The shape of a Bundt cake always lends itself to a little wow factor, but with a little of this homemade glaze drizzled over the top and a ripple of lemon curd through the middle of the cake adds a little something extra. It's picture perfect enough to gift to a hostess or to serve to company at a brunch or a spring cookout.
The secret ingredient here is sour cream, which keeps the cake super moist. The thyme flavor in this cake is a little unexpected, but the subtle herb flavor is delicious. And the little green flecks in the cake are so pretty!
I made this cake for dessert one night and asked Alex to take the leftovers to work the next day to share with his coworkers (since leftover cakes at home mean I will eat them). He loved this cake so much that he decided not to share and ate it for breakfast at home all week instead. If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is!
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar, divided
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup light sour cream
- 1-1/2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup lemon curd, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a 10-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray. Dust with 2 Tbs. granulated sugar and ensure outside is evenly coated.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda, stirring well with a whisk.
Place butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add remaining 1 cup granulated sugar, zest, juice, and vanilla extract, beating until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each one. Add flour mixture and 1 cup sour cream alternately to sugar mixture, beating at low speed, until ingredients are fully incorporated. Fold in thyme leaves.
Spoon half of the batter evenly into prepared pan. On top of that batter, spoon out the lemon curd and distribute evenly. Top with the remaining batter and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack, gently turn over, and remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
For the glaze, whisk together all three ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle evenly over the completely cooled cake. Garnish with additional lemon zest or thyme leaves, if desired. Allow glaze to set at room temperature.
Editor's Note: Recipe inspired by Cooking Light recipe by Marcia Smart.