I spaced out and booked us so that we ate out all day on Sunday – even though I had planned and bought some lamb, chard, and potatoes for a nice treat for dinner. Instead, we had a lovely brunch at Morning Glory and a birthday dinner with my sister at Rivoli.
So, I’m going to distract you with sunshine and lemons.
This is a slightly dense and totally moist and flavourful lemon cake that goes well with breakfast, or is delightful as an afternoon snack. I love making it whenever I have plain yogurt on hand (which isn’t very often), and the bright citrus taste always brings a little sunshine to my day. It was with this thought in mind that I picked up some lemons on Saturday when we ventured out in the -19 weather to get groceries. In the middle of this bleak and freezing day, a slice of this cake with a warm cup of tea in the afternoon is perfect.
The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook that I received a few years ago when I first started building my kitchen. The book is great for basic recipes, and there are quite a few staples in here that I tend to revisit quite a bit. I have also since read that yogurt cake is a very typical French snack, and from there have made my own adjustments to all the recipes for yogurt cake I’ve come across, to get to the one below.
- 250g plain yogurt (non-fat doesn’t work as well as the thick whole-fat good stuff)
- 200g (1 cup) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 250g (1 1/4 cups) flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 100g (1/2 cup) vegetable oil (i.e. canola)
- juice from the 2 lemons
- 65g (1/3 cup) sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter, flour, and line a loaf pan with parchment
- Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside
- Whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed, but don’t over-beat
- Fold in the flour until well incorporated. Drizzle in the oil and stir everything together until the oil is completely integrated in the mixture
- Pour into pan and bake for 45 – 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The top always cracks for me. If you have any tricks/patience to try different temperatures or techniques, please feel free to share in the comments!
- Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes on a rack before removing from the pan
- Put the cake in a plate or on the rack but with a plate underneath. Heat up the lemon juice and sugar until sugar is melted and the mixture is warm, and drizzle slowly all over the cake
- Let the cake sit in the lemon juice for 5 – 10 minutes before removing from any remaining liquid and cooling on a rack
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup (80g – 160g) icing sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or water – from your remaining lemon juice would be ideal
Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice until it’s a thick syrup consistency, and drizzle over the cake. Let the icing cool and harden before slicing.
Hope you’re all keeping warm and cozy and doing the Summer dance with me!