Saturday 13 May 2017

Blackberry, Lime and Thyme Cake

So you might think these flavours sound a bit odd together, especially if you've never heard of thyme in a dessert before but it's getting more and more popular to use the herb in all manner of sweet things, hitting the botanical cake trend - nail on the head. It really does work and to those who might think it's a bit 'out-there' I urge you to give it a chance as the flavour is just a subtle hum in the background and not in the slightest bit overpowering. 

I made a sugar syrup using the lime juice and with the slow heat I popped the thyme in there to leave it to infuse and take on the delicate aromatics. After the syrup had reduced down slightly I strained it to remove the thyme, so you just get the flavour without the annoying leaves stuck in the cake. 

It is rather fitting weather for a cake like this, when it starts to feel a bit more like summer and you can enjoy a piece of this sat outside whilst soaking up the sunshine. 

Blackberry,  Lime  and  Thyme  Cake

Recipe adapted from one of my fave bloggers - Twigg Studios


For the sponge:
220g (2 sticks) butter
220g (1 cup) caster sugar
4 eggs
220g (1 cup) self raising flour
zest of 2 limes
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the syrup:
juice of two limes
3 sprigs of thyme
110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

For the frosting:
300ml double cream
5 tbsp. icing sugar
4 to 5 tbsp. of syrup

For the filling:
Roughly 4 tbsp of blackberry jam

To decorate:
1 small punnet blackberries
Extra thyme sprigs


Grease and line four small tins, (about 5 inches in diameter) or use two (8 inches). Preheat the oven to 160°C/ 350°F/ gas 4.

In a stand mixer add the butter and sugar and mix for about 4 minutes until pale and creamy then add one egg and mix for 2 minutes, then add another and mix for two minutes, and do the same with the next two. 

Next add the lime zest and vanilla and mix. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the flour by hand with a spatula being careful not to over mix. Pour evenly between tins and bake for approx. 25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Turn out the cakes from the tin, remove the baking parchment and leave to cool completely. 

To make the syrup whilst the cake is cooking, in a pan add the juice, thyme and sugar and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved then leave to reduce for a few minutes, once it becomes syrupy remove from the heat, pour the syrup into a bowl with sieve to strain the thyme sprigs. Leave 4-5 tbsp in a separate bowl to cool completely for the frosting, and brush over the remainder warm syrup onto the sponges. Leave it to soak in whilst still cooling. 

To make the frosting, in a mixer add the cream and icing sugar and mix until it is just starting to get thick then add the syrup and continue mixing until stiff.

To assemble the cake slice the tops off if too domed, spread jam onto one sponge then add some frosting and place on the next layer, continue this with the other layers (if doing more than 2). Spread the remaining frosting around the edges, not covering the sides completely to give it the 'naked' look and decorate with thyme by sticking sprigs on the sides and round the edge. Carefully arrange the blackberries into a pile in the middle of the cake. 

Store the cake in the fridge unless not eating straight away. 


  1. Yummy. Your recipe is easy and mouthwatering. Any other berries we can use to twist the flavor or add in this recipe? Pictures are so tempting. Thanks.

    1. You could switch it for raspberry or blueberry. And change the jam, think that would work well, thanks :)

  2. IG:@Lokelani_moe26 May 2022 at 08:25

    I was looking for some beautiful and simple cake for mom's BD, and found this page. I haven't taste yet, but the frosting and the syrup are good taste. To make frosting, I added four tbs of the syrup, and the frosting got little gravy. I spread the frosting on the cake and put in the fridge to set the frosting. Is there any tips to make the frosting harder? Anyway I can't wait few more hours to eat the beautiful cake!