Quick lemon-thyme loaf

Thyme adds a tasty twist to a classic favourite

I adore all things lemon and this speedy sweet bread is one of my go-to recipes. The addition of  fresh thyme leaves makes this loaf extra-special, providing a nice pop of flavour, particularly in the sweet glaze on top. Easy enough for a weekend brunch, this loaf is so delicious you could also serve it at a fancier event like a tea party or bridal shower. It’s great for gifting too!

quick bread made with lemon and thyme



  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 mL) white sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sour cream
  • 1 3/4 cups (415 mL) flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder


  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) water


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 x 4 inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Make the batter using a stand or electric hand mixer. In a large bowl beat together the butter, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and thyme until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and blend thoroughly. Add sour cream and blend in.
  • Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add in, half at a time, to the butter mixture and blend in. Spoon into the loaf pan, smoothing the top with the back of the spoon or your dampened fingertips.
  • Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • While loaf bakes, prepare the glaze. Put sugar, zest, lemon juice, thyme and water into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat so it simmers and reduce by half (about 6 – 8 minutes). Strain the hot syrup into a jug or glass measure to make it easier to drizzle.
  • As soon as you remove the baked loaf from the oven, poke holes all over the top with a toothpick then pour the warm syrup slowly and evenly over the top. Press a few small sprigs of thyme into the top of the loaf; as the glaze cools, the thyme will adhere.
  • Let cool for 20 minutes then lift out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
  • Well-wrapped, the loaf keeps for 3 days at room temperature or 3 months in the freezer.

Makes one loaf.

quick bread with lemon and thyme

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

6 thoughts

  1. I wasn’t planning to read another dessert recipe but when I saw the picture and description, I couldn’t resist! An unusual inclusion of thyme, which I grow in my herb garden. Love the fresh lemon too. Only my list to make now, Paula!

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