Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake

This Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake is a traditional British recipe with a twist. The fresh thyme leaves are delicious with the lemon – give it a try, you’ll love it! The Great British Bake Off is back and this week was cake week. The signature challenge was a traybake which made me question every other tray bake I had made! Firstly I had recently started referring to traybakes as sheet cakes because I thought this better described what they were. I thought of traybakes as things like flapjacks and rocky road and not cakes.

After watching GBBO, traybakes can clearly be cakes too and I think sheet cakes is more of an American term. I still like calling them sheet cakes so I might use both names to spice things up!

Other than the name, I was also using a different sized tin than used for traditional traybakes. I was using a 20cm² tin which is typically used for brownies. It meant I could make nine deeper squares of cake – who doesn’t want a bigger slice of cake?! However again I don’t think this is traditionally what traybakes look like. 

So after reevaluating everything I thought I knew about traybakes, I thought I should go back to basics. When I think of a traybake, I instantly think of a lemon drizzle traybake. This is slightly strange though because I’m not keen on lemon drizzle traybakes! I don’t like the crispy sugar topping at all; the  actual cake is tasty though! Because of this, I can’t remember the last time, or if I have ever made one. 

Therefore I decided it was time to make a variation of a lemon drizzle traybake that I did like. I’ve wanted to make a cake flavoured with lemon and thyme for quite a while now. I have a book that I write down all of my recipe ideas in and it has been in there for ages, just waiting for the perfect time to make it. 

After I’d decided on the flavours, I knew the best place to find a recipe to adapt was no other than the legend that is Mary Berry. She had to have lemon drizzle recipe that I could tweak; and she didn’t disappoint! 

After a few tweaks, my Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake was made! Most importantly, my Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake doesn’t have a crisp sugar topping, and instead a lovely soft but sharp drizzle. I finally have a lemon drizzle traybake that meets my preferences!

5 from 7 votes

Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake

This Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake is a traditional British recipe with a twist. The fresh thyme leaves are delicious with the lemon - give it a try, you'll love it!

Course Cake
Cuisine British
Keyword Lemon, Thyme, Traybake, Sheet cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 173 kcal
Author Curly


For the cake

  • 225 g margarine
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 275 g self raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 lemons zested
  • 3 tsp thyme leaves

For the drizzle

  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan assisted 180ºC non fan) and line a  traybake or roasting tin with baking paper

  2. Cream the butter and sugar together for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy

  3. Add the rest of the cake ingredients and mix until combined

  4. Tip into the prepared tin and spread to flatten the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean

  5. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack

  6. Once the cake is completely cooled, make the drizzle by combining the lemon juice with the icing sugar. Add a little at a time because you may more need it all 

  7. Drizzle over the traybake and scatter with the fresh thyme leaves. Cut into squares and serve. 

Recipe Notes

Add the lemon juice gradually as you may not need to add it all. You want the drizzle to be thin enough to actually drizzle over the cake, but thick enough so it is visible on the cake. 

Nutrition Facts
Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 173 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 100mg4%
Potassium 71mg2%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 380IU8%
Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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17 thoughts on “Lemon & Thyme Drizzle Traybake

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  3. Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

    What a fantastic idea to add thyme to lemon cake! I must say I do love traditional lemon drizzle cake but your soft and tangy lemon icing sounds really appealing too! 🙂 #Thank you for sharing with #BakingCrumbs 🙂 x PS. I can’t get over the thyme! lol It’s a must try for me! 🙂

    1. Curly Post author

      Thanks Jo. I know I’m the odd one out not liking the traditional crunchy topping but hopefully I can win a few people round with my soft icing! Haha give the thyme a try!

  4. Pingback: Lemon & Mascarpone Cake – Curly's Cooking

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