Monday, April 12, 2010

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably already know one of my favourite blogs is Orangette. Molly has never steered me wrong with a recipe, and her site is one of the first places I go when looking for inspiration, dinner, or just to pass some time. (now, if I could only get her to come and cook with me.....!!) She published a book last year, entitled A Homemade Life, and I was fortunate enough to find it under my tree this past Christmas. This is a book to be savoured, her stories and recipes are poignant, funny and deliciously romantic all at once. She writes and cooks from the heart, which is the beginning and ending of all great food. I love the fact that she encourages you to do as she does and play with the recipes, and, the eternal words of wisdom, read the entire recipe first! (this part, I need to work on!!) I have been reading it slowly, a recipe or two before I go to bed at night, which, I must now admit, has its problems! Almost every recipe leaves me wanting to make it, right then and there. 11pm at night is not the time to be starting to cook, for me anyway! I guess that is what bookmarks are for....

When I read the recipe for the French style Yoghurt Cake with lemon glaze, I knew it would be an awesome cake. After all, it was the cake that led Molly to meet the man who would become her husband. (See, food is love!) When our wonderful neighbours came for dinner Saturday night, it was the perfect excuse to try the cake. All I can say is Wow. It was an awesome cake, just like I knew it would be. Light, lemony ,and moist, everything it promised to be and more. Even today, 2 days later, the last small piece that I shared with Jim after lunch today, still delicious.

I made the recipe pretty much as is, my only real substitute was using my 9”springform pan instead of a 9” cake pan, which I do not have. I was almost tempted to substitute an 8” cake pan, but after seeing how much it rose, I am glad I did not. I did substitute the canola oil for a nice fruity olive oil that I have right now, which was a suggestion on the blog version of this recipe. I have been buying organic lemons whenever I can find them lately, I find a big difference in the taste, and this cake highlights the flavour perfectly.

Lemon Yoghurt Cake, taken from A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg


1 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 tsp lemon zest (I used the zest from one whole organic lemon, it was very close to 2 tsp)

½ cup well stirred plain yoghurt, NOT low or non-fat

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

½ cup olive oil


1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

¼ cup lemon juice (I used fresh squeezed organic, I find the taste difference well worth the extra price)


1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted

3 tbsp lemon juice

For the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Grease a 9” cake pan or spring form pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper (important step!) and grease this too.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Mix in the lemon zest and whisk to thoroughly combine.

In another bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, sugar, eggs and olive oil (the original recipe has you add the olive oil separately, I did it all together with no problem. I said I needed to work on reading the whole recipe, didn't I!!)
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry, and mix just to combine. Do not over mix!

Pour into prepared pan

Bake for 25-35 minutes (mine took closer to 40) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the Glaze and Icing:

While the cake is cooking, Make your glaze and icing.  I juiced 3 organic lemons, that were kind of smallish in size, and it was the perfect amount of juice for both the glaze and the icing.

 I strained the juiced lemons before mixing with the icing sugar.
Mix the glaze ingredients in one bowl, and the icing ingredients in another.  Set aside.

Cool the cake, right in the pan, on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge to loosen if necessary, and invert the cake onto a large plate. Remove the parchment paper, and flip back over on a wire rack—it should now be right side up. Set the rack over a pan with an edge. Spoon the glaze over the warm cake slowly, letting it absorb as you spoon.
Let cake cool completely.

Spoon the icing mixture over the cooled cake

Let the icing firm up for at least an hour. ( original recipe says you can eat it right away as well, feel free!)

I slid my cake off the wire rack and onto my serving plate before I finished spooning on the icing, so it pooled around the outside edges. Divine!