Lemon-Thyme Bundt Cake

It's springtime and I've been getting my herb garden and flower pots in order.  My favorite part is my quiet time while I water the plants.  It brings back memories of helping my grandmother water the plants in her lush yard.  Wandering through her yard was like walking through a jungle with the most exotic flowers hanging from beautiful vines.  My grandmother was known for bringing back plant cuttings from all of her travels, and her incredible green thumb could make anything grow.  She would always cut a piece of aloe from her yard and add it to her pitcher of water. She enjoyed using fresh cuttings in everything from her water to her delicious meals.  Following in her footsteps, I've added fresh thyme cuttings from my herb garden into a lovely Bundt cake.  Whether you’re growing herbs in a backyard garden or an indoor windowsill, fresh herbs can add vibrant flavor to your spring recipes.  They are often used to complement savory dishes, but herbs bright flavor also pairs beautifully with baked goods.  Thyme adds a distinctive twist to a classic desserts as in this Lemon-Thyme Bundt Cake which tastes every bit as bright as it looks.  The moist interior is flecked with thyme for a fragrant cake that is immensely satisfying, and perfect for serving with a cup of tea--or any special occasion. If only I could enjoy this cake with my grandmother...in her garden.  

Lemon Thyme Cake

Servings: 12-16

Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for coating pan

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 Tablespoon fresh minced thyme

1 cup whole milk, try

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 cups sugar

2 Tablespoons lemon zest

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

5 large eggs

Glaze

1 ¾ cup powdered sugar

2 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon water

special equipment: 12-cup Bundt pan

Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and generously flour Bundt pan. 

2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and thyme; set aside.

3. In a small bowl, stir together milk and lemon juice; set aside.

4. In a large bowl using your hands, rub sugar and lemon zest together until well blended and fragrant, about 3 minutes.  

5. Add butter and shortening to the sugar mixture and using a mixer on high speed beat until combined, about 2 minutes.

6. With the mixer on medium speed, add eggs one at a time until well blended, scraping down sides as needed.  Increase speed to high and mix until light and creamy, 2-3 minutes. 

7. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients, alternating with half of the milk mixture in two additions just until all ingredients are well combined.  Pour into prepared pan and bake until cake is golden brown, springs back to the touch, and a tester comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes and invert onto a wire rack and cool completely, 3 hours.

Glaze

1. In a medium bowl whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice and water until well combined.  Glaze should be pourable but stiff enough to hold its shape.

2.  Pour glaze on completely cooled cake.   Pour along the center top of the cake, working around the cake as the glaze drips down the sides. 

Do Ahead: Cake can be baked, cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in a cake dome at room temperature up to 3 days.  Glaze can be made and stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.