Strawberry, rhubarb and thyme cake

Strawberry, rhubarb and thyme cake

By
From
The Herb & Flower Cookbook
Serves
6-8
Cooking time
35 mins

This is a grown up twist on the classic Victoria sponge – the surprising addition of thyme cuts through the sweetness of the fruit. Perfect for a summer balcony party, served with tea or as a lovely partner to a crisp, dry glass of pink fizz. But then, what isn’t?

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g butter, plus extra for greasing
4 eggs
200g sugar
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
200g self-raising flour
milk, (optional)

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
100g rhubarb, chopped
50g strawberries, hulled and halved, plus extra for decorating
25g sugar

For the buttercream

Quantity Ingredient
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a large 7 cm-deep cake tin. Break the eggs into the bowl of an electric mixer, add the sugar and beat until pale and creamy. Add the thyme and butter, sift in the flour and beat until smooth. Add a splash of milk if the mixture is looking a little too solid. Spoon it into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes, until golden brown, springy to the touch and it is shrinking away from the edges of the tin. Leave for 5 minutes before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool.
  2. Once the cake has cooled, make the filling. Add the fruit and sugar to a small pan and place over a high heat, stirring constantly. Nothing will happen for a few seconds and then the sugar should start to melt and the fruit will go a bit gooey. Turn the heat down to low and let it bubble for 10 minutes – it should take on the consistency of thick jam.
  3. Carefully slice the cake in half to create two layers. Spread the filling over the bottom layer, then sandwich the top layer back in place. Make the buttercream by beating all the ingredients together for about 5 minutes, slowly at first and then increasing the speed. It should be thick, pale and creamy. Spread the buttercream all over the top of the cake and decorate with a few strawberries.

Substitute the thyme with...

  • Lavender, rosemary or lemon thyme.
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