lemon yogurt cake with cranberries
The day after I wrote about the delicious Korean pancake, I came down with the cold to end all colds. And 12 days since the day I fell sick, I am still dealing with its remnants, which manifest themselves in pressure in my sinuses so bad, I have an upper jaw toothache. The same cold that managed to make me cough up a lung, develop a case of nasty pink eye, that very same cold has been unresponsive to antibiotics and other medicine. I’m seeing my doctor today again for hopefully stronger meds – I should be getting frequent flier miles there. I’ve used up numerous tissues and might be on the government’s special monitor list for buying too many decongestants. I swear, I’m not making anything out of them!
And so without a doubt, this long weekend was to be spent at home, recuperating and gaining my strength back. My boss also asked me to babysit her two pugs for a day, and while the dogs are very cute and friendly, I must say, I am a large dog person after all. For one reason or another, we couldn’t leave the pugs at home to take a walk outside – one of the dogs looked as if he was going to have a heart attack when he realized we might be leaving. So I sent KS off to watch the new Indiana Jones, while I puttered around the kitchen. We had some lemons left over and some yogurt I had to put to some good use in order not to throw it out, and so I once again, relied on Ina Garten’s recipe for her lemon yogurt cake, which I have made with blood oranges and Deb over at Smitten Kitchen made with grapefruit and other citrus things.
I omitted the glaze from my cake because I find that glazes generally ruin baked goods for me. I dislike glazed cakes the same way I dislike frosted cookies – I find them overly sweet. Without the glaze, the cake is a wonderful morning accompaniment to coffee, or stands as a snack on its own. And were I to make any other enhancements, I would say, use about half the oil the recipe asks for and you will wind up with a lovely, moist, seductively-scented cake. I can’t resist lemons in anything – and with the sun shining and the warm weather finally settling in, this lemon cake just makes me want to grin from ear to ear.
Of course, no cake of this nature for me would be replete without cranberries, as I like a little bit of tartness in the otherwise sweet dough. As some of you might know, each November, I buy about 6 bags of cranberries, use about 2-3 bags on the holiday itself, and then freeze the remaining 3 bags. They last me about a year and make a fantastic addition to things like pumpkin bread, apple pie and the above creation.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
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
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Gr
ease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup 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 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. Cool.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.
Note: I find the glaze to be overly sweet and it ruins the cake for me, but I realize that most people enjoy glaze on their cake. So I kept it as part of the recipe, but omitted it on my cake.