I first learned about yogurt cakes over a couple of years ago as I first ventured into the world of baking, where I would cut out recipes from the weekend newspaper. This idea of using yogurt in cakes immediately caught my eye and I dove head first into it. But it was not meant to be. I wasn't sure whether it was because I was still a horrible baker, or whether the recipe just wasn't up to standard, but I ended up with a cake that was very sticky, had the consistency of a rock and definitely was not pleasant in the mouth! My ever so loving family ate them with gusto and told me that I had done a wonderful job (I know they didn't want to hurt my feelings, bless their souls). I however, knew of my failure and have avoided cake recipes with yogurt in it like the plague.
It wasn't until I stumbled across Smitten Kitchen's version that my interest with this particular ingredient once again peaked. Not to mention that my dad had bought a 2kg tub of natural yogurt from the weekend farmer's market because he didn't know that we already had 1kg of yogurt sitting in the fridge! As yogurt goes off quickly, I decided to once again have a go at making yogurt cakes. And the result? A wonderfully light, soft and springy cake with hints of lemon coming through. Of course, you could always add a glaze or some lemon icing but it definitely is not needed. I think my faith in yogurt cakes has been renewed.
This cake is absolutely lovely, the citrus flavours reminiscent of Spring and definitely brightens up this bleak Winter weather. Eat it for breakfast with some more yogurt. Dust some powdered sugar on top and drink with some freshly brewed tea as an afternoon snack. And you have no excuse not to make it as it is such a simple cake to bake!
Lemon yogurt cake
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 cup whole milk plain unsweetened natural yogurt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease the sides of a 23x12cm loaf pan with oil and line the bottom with baking paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, sugar, lemon zest and juice. Beat the 2 eggs in a separate bowl and pour into the large mixing bowl, whisking until combined.
3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, right over the yogurt mix and stir with a spoon until just combined (make sure not to overmix!)
4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Flip the cake onto a plate. When cool, cut and serve. Eat and feel yourself float around in a heavenly lemon daze.