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Orange Thyme Cake

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Yield: Makes one three layer six inch cake 1x


Orange thyme Layer Cake has a brown sugar buttermilk cake, an orange cake syrup, and a raspberry german buttercream frosting.



Brown Sugar Buttermilk Cake

  • 295g Cake Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 190g brown sugar
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 210g buttermilk, at room temperature

Thyme Syrup

  • 120g Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 100g sugar
  • Small handful of fresh thyme

Raspberry German buttercream

  • 90g fresh raspberries
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 240g whole milk
  • 150g sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Corn starch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • pinch of salt
  • 450g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature

Orange Glaze

  • 155g sifted powdered sugar, plus more as needed to thicken the glaze
  • 20g fresh orange juice
  • Small amount of raspberry juice, or a few drops of pink food colouring

To Garnish

  • 70g Raspberries
  • Thyme Sprigs



  1. Preheat oven to 350f/180c. Grease and flour three six inch cake tins. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add the orange zest and vanilla and beat until incorporated. 
  3. While the butter is creaming, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. Scrape down the bowl of the mixer. Add the eggs and yolk one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
  5. With the mixer running on low, add a third of the flour, alternating with half of the buttermilk. Ensure that you begin and end with the flour. Mix until just combined. 
  6. Divide the batter between three cake tins. Place a small ramekin of water in the oven to help reduce doming. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the middle of a cake comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in their tins before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the ¾ cup sugar, corn starch, egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the milk to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  2. Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan. 
  3. Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow dish or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up this process by placing the custard mixture into a bowl, and placing the bowl into an ice bath, stirring frequently.
  4. Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the custard mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat for a few minutes until smooth and silky. 
  5. In a food processor or blender, combine the raspberries and 2 tsp sugar into a puree. If you would like it smooth, press it through a sieve over a bowl and discard the seeds. I chose to keep the seeds in as it looks more rustic. 
  6. Reserve about a cup of the buttercream for the white outside of the cake. Combine the rest of the buttercream with the raspberry mixture.


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and orange juice. Add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for approx 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain to remove the thyme


  1. If you are wanting to use a turn table to help assemble the cakes, remember that for the final glaze, you will need to transfer the cake to the dish that you will be serving it on, as the glaze will drip down onto the plate, so ice the cake, then transfer it if needed before glazing.
  2. Level off the cakes. Place the bottom layer on a turntable or cake plate, and brush liberally with the thyme syrup. Using an offset spatula, spread on approx. ¾ cup of the raspberry german buttercream. Smooth down, and place the second layer on top. Repeat the process, brushing syrup on every layer, until the cake is stacked. Use your offset spatula to fill in the gaps between the layers with extra buttercream. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Remove and roughly coat the outside of the cake with the white buttercream, either using a cake scraper or an offset spatula to smooth.
  3. Transfer the cake to the plate that you will be serving it on. To make the glaze, mix the orange juice and powdered sugar together to form a runny paste. If you would like the glaze to be pink, add either a drop of pink food colouring, or push a few raspberries through a sieve, adding the juice to the glaze. Add more icing sugar if necessary, to reach the desired consistency. Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, coaxing it to drip down the sides a little. Decorate the top of the cake with Raspberries, and additional Thyme.
  4. Head over to Stacys blog to see her finished product and process!


Adapted from 'layered'