Tuesday, February 7, 2012

lemon yogurt cake - recipe #2 of 7 days of sweets

I know lemon yogurt cake doesn't scream Valentine's Day, but this cake is SO good and easy to make, why not bake your sweetie a cake filled with sunshine. Lemons make their way into the cake, in the soak, AND in the sugary glaze on top. It's perfect for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or for a Valentine's Day dessert drizzled with red raspberry sauce. 

A couple of weeks back, I blogged about Meyer lemons and made Meyer lemon meringue tarts. And since I still had a few Meyer lemons left from smuggling them back from CA, I couldn't resist using them in this cake. 

This is another one of those recipes that I have had for years! It has fallen off my baking radar, but after today, I will bump it up to one of my faves.

Lemon Yogurt Cake
Taken from Barefoot Contessa At Home 2006 and adapted to my own taste

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole-milk yogurt ***I used low fat yogurt and it seemed to be fine***
1 cup sugar ***Since there is sugar in the glaze/soak and in the glaze topping, I reduced the amount of sugar to a scant 3/4 cup***
3 extra large eggs ***Extra large eggs? Who buys extra large eggs? Most recipes call for large eggs and I used the largest ones from my dozen for this cake***
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons 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 pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup (or less) of sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. 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 1/3 cup 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. Carefully remove cake from pan and place on a baking rack over a parchment lined baking sheet. ***This next step is not in the original recipe but if want your cake to soak up the lemon syrup, I suggest you do this.....With a wooden skewer, pokes holes all over top of cake*** While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. ***I gently spooned the syrup on top making sure the cake absorbed as much as it could*** Cool.

Once your cake is completely cooled, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and drizzle it all over the cake. 
***The lemon glaze on top of this cake forms a slight crust but never gets completely hard.***

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