Monday, April 7, 2008

lemon yogurt anything cake

lemon blueberry yogurt cake

We were almost done with our blissful batch of Meyer lemons when I realized that it would be a crime against… well, something dramatic if I finished them without sharing with you a recipe which might look at the outset like just a plain old loaf cake, but should not be taken at face value. You may see lemons and blueberry but I want you to see a palette upon which you can paint your countless citrus yogurt cake dreams. This cake is so moist that it needs to be cut carefully, so not to smoosh the crumbs from the top of the cake into the bottom, and so delicious, I dare you to make it last a week(end).

The core recipe comes from Ina Garten, and you might recognize it from the grapefruit cake I made last year, but really, I never meant to stop there. Let me now make up for lost time with other ideas for the cake:

  • Swapping all of the vegetable oil with olive oil
  • Swapping a few tablespoons of the vegetable oil with a nut or coconut oil
  • Swapping grapefruit, orange, blood orange or lime for the lemon
  • Swapping blackberries or raspberries for the blueberries
  • Using 1/3 cup of poppy seeds instead of the blueberries for a lemon-poppy cake
  • Adding 1/2 cup of toasted, chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Swapping almond extract for the vanilla
  • Covering the cake, once completely cooled, with a glaze of 1 cup of powdered sugar whisked with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Making an extra and sending it to Alex, who for the first time, ever, did not suggest a baked good could be improved with chocolate
  • That said, if you added 1 cup chocolate chips to an orange version, you’d get something reminiscent of this Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake
  • This recipe will also yield about 12 standard muffins or 36 miniature muffins, baking time adjusted.
  • It could be doubled and baked in a well-greased and floured bundt pan, baking time adjusted.
  • This recipe could also be baked in an 8-inch square or 9-inch round, to create a thin cake (approx. 1 1/2 inches tall), baking time adjusted.

yogurt, sugar, zestblueberries in lemon batter

With all of those ideas, I cannot wait to see which combination you choose. If you try a version, do let us know how it came out in the comments and if you post it to Flickr, please consider adding it to the Smitten Kitchen Recipes Pool!

One year ago: Arborio Rice Pudding

Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Loaf
Adapted loosely from Ina Garten

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (if you’re skipping the fruit, you can also skip the last tablespoon of flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, [updated to note] no need to thaw (I used wild blueberries, hence the tiny size)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.


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