Blood Orange and Thyme Yogurt Cake

A Tender Yogurt Cake bursting with the citrus flavor of Blood Oranges as the main attraction and combined with a Soft Herbal undertone of Fresh Thyme and the health benefits of Chia Seeds.

Blood Orange and Thyme Yogurt Cake | URBAN BAKES

The time when our gloomy wintry days are now brightened with fresh and vibrant, sweet and sour CITRUS fruits. This is the time I dream about just after the heavy eating from the holidays and a fresh start to the new year.

Aside from lemons, my other favorite citrus are blood oranges. I’ve made a few treats with these beauties such as these blood orange and vanilla bourbon bars and my cardamom and oat blood orange tart. I can’t tell if it’s the flavor or the color I like most, but these are one hell of a beautiful fruit to play with!

Blood Orange and Thyme Yogurt Cake | URBAN BAKES

While many of us try to go on a health kick with the start of a new year, I was inspired to create a moist but “healthier” cake by substituting sour cream for low fat yogurt. If you prefer full fat yogurt, by all means, don’t hold back and go for it! I generally have the low fat variety in my fridge at any given time so I used what I already had.

If there’s one ingredient commonly paired with citrus, especially with lemons, it’s poppy seeds. Poppy seeds give an evenly speckled appeal to baked cakes and muffins while giving off a sometimes slight nutty flavor. I could have gone in this route but my goal was to remain more health conscious and with this cake, I wasn’t looking for a nutty flavor. To have the same speckled look while keeping nutrition in mind, I chose to go with chia seeds.

Blood Orange and Thyme Yogurt Cake | URBAN BAKES

Now, there is a deeper reason why I chose these seeds. You may recall in the post where I discussed having COVID-19, I mentioned towards the end that I was dealing with a new symptom, parosmia. Can you believe this? I am STILL dealing with this and it has made eating many of my favorites meals, extremely difficult. I’m unable to eat chicken and beef which were my main sources of protein and because of this, I’ve now had to resort to a pescatarian diet. But dang it! Seafood can get quite pricey!

Chia seeds have a decent amount of protein so when possible, I try to get my protein intake from as many plant sources as possible. Chia seeds have a few other nutritional benefits such as being packed with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber! Having a little slice of heaven [cake] made me feel less guilty and that is everything I need… right now.

Blood Orange and Thyme Yogurt Cake | URBAN BAKES

And let’s not forget the main attraction, the blood oranges itself. If only pictures could give this cake justice; I swear it looked more pink (in person) but nevertheless, the sweet raspberry-like flavor of the blood orange combined with an undertone of thyme, gave a surprisingly unique yet pleasurable flavor. One may say this cake may have more of an acquired taste, especially if adding herbs into something sweet is not something you are used to. The thyme is used as an additional layer of flavor that pairs well with citrus however, if adding herbs to desserts may incite more skepticism than comfort, feel free to leave it out and enjoy the richness this cake has to offer!

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Blood Orange and Thyme Yogurt Cake | URBAN BAKES

Blood Orange and Thyme Yogurt Cake

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: URBAN BAKES
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 9 x 5 cake 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A Tender Yogurt Cake bursting with the citrus flavor of Blood Oranges as the main attraction and combined with a Soft Herbal undertone of Fresh Thyme and the health benefits of Chia Seeds.




  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) blood orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons (1 gram) fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 3/4 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (17 grams) chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) freshly grated blood orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (245 grams) low fat plain yogurt


  • 3 to 4 cups (345 to 460 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) blood orange juice
  • 4 twigs of fresh thyme with stems, divided
  • 1 teaspoon blood orange zest



  1. CAKE: Heat oven to 350°F (175°C).  Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour; set aside. 
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in blood orange juice and thyme. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.  
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together, flour, chia seeds, blood orange zest, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until light and creamy in color. Pour thyme-mixture in slowly while continuing to whisk. Add in yogurt and mix until just combined.
  5. Add flour-mixture to the yogurt mixture.  Mix until just combined ensuring no dry flour pockets remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden skewer inserted in center of loaf cake comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs.  Allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing onto a wire rack for further cooling to room temperature.  
  7. GLAZE: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat blood orange juice to 125°F (52°C). Add 2 twigs of thyme into the juice and remove from heat.  Allow thyme to steep for 10 minutes, then discard.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk blood orange juice and 3 cups (345 grams) powdered sugar until smooth.  If glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time.  When dripping glaze from the spoon, it should fall onto the remaining glaze in the shape of a ribbon that will hold for about 5 seconds before it disappears.  Pour glaze over the top of the cooled cake.  With remaining glaze dripped from the cake, pour once more for a second coat.  Once dried, garnish with blood orange zest and 2 twigs of thyme. Slice and ENJOY!


This recipe calls for about 4 large blood oranges for its zest and juice.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Cuisine: American

Other Blood Orange Desserts

Desserts Using Thyme


  • Blackberry Lavender Crumble
    A buttery crumble over a succulent blackberry lavender filling creates a charming dessert with a beautiful floral scent. A delightful treat best served warm with ice cream!
  • Baileys Tres Leches Cake
    Talk about chocolate decadence doused in Irish Cream. This sinfully lush Baileys Tres Leches Cake will make you fall in love from the very first bite!
  • Blood Orange Mascarpone Tart
    Brighten your wintry days with the soft raspberry-citrus flavor of Blood Oranges in this Mascarpone Tart nestled in a homemade all-butter pie crust. And for a little extra lusciousness, dollop honey-sweetened mascarpone whipped cream and blood orange curd.
  • Praline Pumpkin Bread
    Get cozy with the warm scent of Praline Pumpkin Bread. Just sweet enough with a perfect tender crumb and an incredibly nutty crunch of pecans and sweet caramel glaze.
  • Maple Brown Sugar Blondies
    Before these chewy maple brown sugar blondies have finished baking, its rich buttery goodness and immense maple aroma will have you desperately crave a bite!

2 thoughts on “Blood Orange and Thyme Yogurt Cake”

  1. This was so tasty! Everyone loved it and I followed it completely. I ended up buying way too many blood oranges and had enough for 2 loaves so I actually made 1 loaf and 2 9-inch cakes (baked 35 min) and they all came out great!

    1. Hi Liz,
      So happy this came out great and that everyone loved it! I kind of like it when I have extra fruits on hand, it gives me a reason to make something sweet with them. 🙂
      – Connie

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