Just Enough Thyme

…for a delicious cake! Summer has officially graced us, and I’m at the tail-end of a week packed with Greek inspired flavors, so I felt a dessert encompassing sweet lemons and fresh thyme, was in the cards. Bringing a fresh summer element, I opted for blackberries and thought they’d marry-up well with the other flavors. So, what do I make with all this? Well, I decided these ingredients would hold-up well in a loaf cake with a sweet dose of extra virgin olive oil. We just visited this ingredient recently with our sweet olive oil ice cream, but who can have too much of a good thing, right? Until I find out otherwise, there is cake to be baked and this one is a knockout!

 Just ever so sweet, simple, and perfectly baked with summer’s bounty – delicious! Sometimes when I develop new recipes, especially for baking, I’m  just never sure what the outcome will be. It can go either way! I have to say this one was what I hoped, and I will be making it again soon. Though in my next go round, I will add more fresh blackberries & thyme. I feel the cake was not lacking, but could have hosted more of these easily. The fresh lemon zest was perfectly paired, yet still subtle; definitely not overpowering. Homegrown lemons really make a difference, and I have my parent’s lemon tree to thank this time.

Let’s make a cake…

Blackberry Lemon Thyme Olive Oil Cake


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: one lovely loaf cake

I ate too much of it

A fruity & light cake with fresh summer ingredients like blackberries, fresh thyme and lemons! A perfect tea time cake or anytime of you ask me! This one is made with sweet olive oil for a wonderful moist consistency. A nice alternative to the blueberry muffin :)

What to get:

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp chopped, FRESH thyme
  • 2-2.5 cups fresh blackberries (may need to cut large ones in half)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 T Meyer Lemon EVOO (I get from WeOlive) *if you don't have, use more zest!
  • 3/4 cup (less 2 T) extra virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), sweet variety like Arbequina or Koroneiki)
  • *Powdered sugar for topping cake

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. prepare loaf pan with butter/shortening and flour, set aside
  3. Combine dry ingress: flour, baking powder, salt.
  4. In small separate bowl, toss blackberries and fresh thyme with 2 T flour (this is to help berries to not sink to bottom of cake while baking!).
  5. In bowl of an electric mixer combine eggs, lemon zest and sugar, beating well.
  6. Add vanilla.
  7. Beat in milk.
  8. Add oil, gradually until incorporated.
  9. Add dry ingredient mix gradually till combined, only stirring lightly.
  10. Now gently stir in blackberry/thyme mixture until folded.
  11. Bake in loaf pan for about 40-50 min depending on pan and oven. Mine took 50 min, until toothpick inserted into center came out clean!
  12. Cool cake in pan, on rack for about 40 min, and slice.
  13. Dust top with powdered sugar and serve warm or at temperature.


If the blackberries are very large, I cut into halves width-wise; otherwise they will most definitely sink to bottom of cake. Tossing the blackberries and thyme with flour prior to incorporating into batter aids in keeping them all from sinking to bottom of pan during the bake. the sweet olive oil is used instead of butter, but will make for a perfect texture and crust.


This is a great alternative to your average blueberry muffins! Thyme is an unsuspecting ingredient, but when fresh lends a pleasant, earthy contrast to the lemon zest we use. Summer ripened berries are best and I would only go with fresh. Though, the ones at my local market are rather large, so I opted to slice some of them in half so they didn’t plummet to the bottom of my cake pan! Tossing the berries and thyme with a couple of tablespoons of flour pior to adding into the batter, helps to prevent automatic sinkage! Sweet olive oil in lieu of butter, gives a hint of subtle flavor, while making for a perfect crust and texture. This cake is very moist and I’m already looking forward to my next batch…


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  • […] for this texture and flavor-wise. I also featured this substitution in another dinnervine dessert—Blackberry Lemon Thyme Olive Oil Cake —which I found to have an ever-so crisp crust & very moist center. In our lemon cake this […]ReplyCancel

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