I am hanging on to the end of summer with a celebration of my favourite fruits. This delightful Blueberry Loaf Cake is the perfect treat for afternoon tea. It’s full of fresh bursting blueberries and covered in a tangy cream cheese glaze flavoured with lots of lemon and delicate thyme leaves.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you might know that I love creating recipes with fruit. I’ll choose a fruity dessert over chocolate almost every time. We are so lucky that there is such a variety of beautiful and delicious fruits every season. Berries are so different to peaches or figs, but I love them all for different reasons. It’s not hard to find cooking inspiration just by heading to the farmers market and looking at what’s in season. To me, fruit is one of the most versatile ingredients to play with as a baker and I love making it the star of the show.
But if fruit is the real star, it has so many supporting characters that help to make it shine. Warming spices like cinnamon, ginger and of course vanilla are always winners. A splash of bourbon with peaches or Chambord with berries takes the hero ingredient to another level.
But today we’re talking fruit and herbs.
My herbs are going wild out in the garden so I’m always looking for interesting ways to use them. It may sound unusual but if you’ve never tried the combination of strawberry and basil, pineapple and coriander, watermelon and mint or lemon and rosemary, you’re really missing out! Today’s choice was blueberry and thyme – a match made in heaven.
I had an abundance of fresh blueberries and wanted to use them in a special recipe. The idea of a loaf cake kept coming to mind, which is actually something I don’t make that often. My pretty new pink loaf pan, which may have had something to do with it!
I wanted the texture to be lighter than a pound cake, not too dense. I knew there would be yoghurt or sour cream in the mix to add a bit of tang. There would be jammy pockets of blueberries all throughout the cake, and lots and lots of lemon zest. I wanted a glaze that wasn’t too sweet with a big hit of lemon and lots of fresh thyme.
Well, I think I pretty much nailed it! We really loved having big slices of this Blueberry Loaf Cake with a cup of French Earl Grey tea. It’s the perfect afternoon tea treat! The best part is when you get a little of everything in the one bite – the tender cake, a jammy blueberry and some of that delicious glaze too.
As usual, I encourage you to take this recipe and make it your own. I think it’s a great simple cake base that can be adapted. I just know I’ll be making it again and again. You could make it a round cake instead of a loaf. If you like the idea of a frosting better than a glaze, just leave out the milk for a spreadable texture. I think any other berry would work really well here too!
Blueberry Loaf Cake with Lemon & Thyme Glaze
This delightful Blueberry Loaf Cake is the perfect treat for afternoon tea. It’s full of fresh bursting blueberries and covered in a tangy cream cheese glaze flavoured with lots of lemon and delicate thyme leaves.
- 110 g butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
Lemon & Thyme Cream Cheese Glaze
- 120 g cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2-1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 5-8 tablespoons milk
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan forced (350°F). Grease and line a loaf pan with non-stick baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the sour cream and beat until combined. Add the eggs and mix in one at a time until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest and beat until combined, being careful not to overmix. Add the blueberries and gently mix in with a spatula, being careful that they don’t burst.
Pour the cake batter into the loaf pan and bake for around 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the loaf pan.
In the meantime, make the glaze. Mix together the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and thyme leaves and mix again. Add the milk a little at a time until the desired glaze consistency is reached.
To serve, drizzle the glaze over the top to cover completely. Serve in thick slices with a cup of your favourite tea.
The un-glazed cake will store in an airtight container for 2 days but is best to eat fresh on the day that the glaze is added.