Cupcakes, Food

Olive Oil, Lemon, and Thyme Cupcakes

December 29, 2014

The only thing I like more than a delicious dessert is an interesting dessert. Unusual flavor pairings, ingredients, or sweet-savory combinations are just some of the ones that intrigue me.

This recipe falls into the latter category, and is an amalgam of two different recipes. Fruity, savory olive oil is paired with a tangy-sweet lemon glaze and fresh, lemony frosting. A little herbal intrigue is added with some thyme – I like to add it to the cake, frosting, and sprinkle it on top.

Each flavor complements and offsets the others – the olive oil cuts the sweetness of the cupcake, while the lemon cuts the heaviness of the thyme with bright freshness. The other thing I love about this is the crumb of the cupcake. It almost has a cornbread-like texture, which lends to the savory element very nicely.

Without further adieu – the recipe!

Olive Oil, Lemon, and Thyme Cupcakes | Cupcakes Food
Olive Oil Cakes with Lemon and Thyme
Yields 12
  1. 1 tablespoon melted butter
  2. 1-⅓ cup sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  4. 2 eggs
  5. ¼ cup olive oil
  6. ⅔ cups whole milk or buttermilk
  7. 1 cup flour
  8. ½ teaspoons baking powder
  9. ½ teaspoons salt
  10. 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  11. 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse the sugar and lemon zest in a blender until combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, then gradually pour in the olive oil and milk, pulsing until emulsified into a thin batter, about 30 seconds. (Don’t overblend or the cakes will be too puffy.)
  4. Whisk one cup flour, the baking powder, salt and thyme in a small bowl.
  5. Add to the blender in 2 batches until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into cupcake papers in a cupcake pan.
  7. Bake until the cakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes depending on your oven.
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Plethora, Etc.
Tangy Lemon Olive Oil Glaze
  1. 1-½ cup powdered sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon melted butter
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  5. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more as needed
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter along with the olive oil.
  2. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth. Add more lemon juice if it's too thick to brush onto the cupcakes.
  3. Brush onto the cooled cupcakes, or invert the cupcakes and dip them one at a time in the glaze, then frost as desired.
  1. I prefer to brush (rather than drizzle or dip) the cupcakes because it's a little less messy.
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Plethora, Etc.
Lemon Thyme Buttercream
Yields 24
  1. 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, set at room temp about 10 minutes, but not softened
  2. 8 oz. (one package) cream cheese, softened
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  4. 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  5. 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  6. 1-2 tablespoons minced thyme (depending on your personal tastes)
  7. 4-6 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  1. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Scrape down the bowl.
  2. Add cream cheese and blend until fully combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Add lemon extract, vanilla paste, lemon zest, and powdered sugar and blend on low speed until combined.
  4. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
  5. Test the frosting to see if it crusts properly (see notes below). If it doesn't add more powdered sugar a cup at a time.
  6. Frost cooled and glazed cupcakes as desired, then sprinkle with a little thyme as a garnish.
  1. Don't add too much powdered sugar all at once. Start off with 4 cups, then try piping a little frosting on a plate and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes. If it begins to crust (harden on the outside when gently touched, but still gives when you press on it), it's ready. If it is still soft and melty after sitting, add more powdered sugar a cup at a time.
  2. If you add too much powdered sugar and your frosting is too stiff to pipe easily, add whole milk or heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until your frosting is fluffy and easily pipe-able, but still crusts when allowed to sit for a few minutes.
Adapted from Glorious Treats
Adapted from Glorious Treats
Plethora, Etc.

1 Comment

  • Reply Lemon Lavender Cupcakes - Plethora, Etc.Plethora, Etc. February 23, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    […] mentioned previously, sweet-savory combinations are some of my favorite desserts to make. Lemon pairs beautifully with a variety of herbs, and lavender is no […]

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