Easter Thyme and Lemon Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

For some Easter fun try this layered cake recipe with thyme bunny ears. The cake is light and fluffy with flavours of lemon and a hint of thyme. 

This is a large layered cake, if you wish to make a smaller version reduce the ingredients by a third and leave the frosting ingredients as is. This will still produce a 3-tired cake but slightly not as high. Reduce the baking time slightly to 20-25 minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 ½ cup all purpose plain flour sifted

  • 345g unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 2 ½ cup caster sugar

  • 6 medium free range eggs

  • 1 ½ cups of buttermilk

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 3 ½ tsp baking powder

  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon zest

  • 2 tsp Lemon thyme leaves

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the lemon cream cheese frosting:

  • 230g butter at room temperature

  • 230g cream cheese

  • 5 cups pure icing sugar sifted

  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

To serve:

  • Lemon thyme long strands (softer green sprigs)

  • 2 strands of green florist wire

METHOD:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180°

  2. Grease and line the base of 3-spring form baking tins (24cm).

  3. Cream together the butter and the caster sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time beating until well combined, scrape down the sides and base of the bowl as needed. 

  4. Follow by adding the vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest followed by the lemon thyme leaves and the buttermilk. Beat until combined.

  5. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking soda and baking powder. 

  6. Add the dry ingredients into to the wet mixing bowl. Turn the stand mixer down to slow and mix it in until it just comes together. Be careful not to over mix it.

  7. Pour the batter out evenly between the 3 baking tins. Using a spatula level out the batter.

  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden and a skewer came’s out clean when tested in the middle of the cake. It is best to bake one at a time or if you have a large oven bake two on the same level in the oven. 

  9. Place on a cooling rack to cool down for 15 minutes before removing the spring form cake tin. Allow the cake to completely cool down before icing or it can be iced the following day.

    For the frosting:

  10. To make the frosting, Beat the butter in a stand mixer until it's light and smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat further until it’s well combined.

  11. Follow by adding the icing sugar. Once well combined add the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat until the frosting is smooth.

    Construction of your cake: 

  1. Use a bread knife or cake leveller to cut the top of the 3 cakes to be level.

  2. On a flat serving plate place the bottom cake layer. If you have a cake turntable place the serving place on the turntable.

  3. Half fill a piping bag and attach a large piping nozzle. Pip in a curl starting at the centre of the cake out to the edge of the bottom cake layer. Don’t worry if it’s a bit rough, use a spatula to level it out.

  4. Lay the 2nd cake layer on top and repeat the icing. Follow by adding the top cake layer.

  5. Pipe a rough spiral on the top of the cake; use a spatula to level it out. The outside of the cake has a thin icing layer so some parts of the cake will show through, that’s the beauty of this thinner style of icing.

  6. With the remaining icing, pipe strips down the side of the cake with a rough gap of 10cm. using a spatula or icing scrapper, scrap the icing around the side of the cake. 

  7. Serve with thyme springs arranged around the base of the cake.

  8. To make the bunny ears; shape the florist wire in the shape of two bunny ears. Using long thyme sprigs gently wrap them around the wire until all the wire is covered. Gently press the bunny ears into the middle of the cake when serving. 

 

Recipe & photography by Bonnie Coumbe. Visit her site here & Instagram here. Styling by Lauren Miller. Visit her site here & Instagram here.