Is your fridge forever cluttered? If so, you can empathize when I say I made this cake for the sole purpose of clearing out a container of yogurt. I’ve been using yogurt quite a bit in lieu of buttermilk for our morning pancakes. Just sub it in your favorite buttermilk pancake recipe, thin it out with some water or milk, and it is just as good! Inaya is my go to person for sifting dry ingredients together. She can almost mix wet batter, but needs a little help reining in her stirring excitement. Kudos to her since I am not easy to work with in the kitchen. Any one of my friends who have attempted to cook or bake with me only to run out screaming and flailing their arms can attest to that. Sorry for the sofa/printer pictured here. It’s hard to find good lighting in my apartment and it just so happens that smack in the middle of the living room is the best place. There’s no butter in this cake. And I can’t say that I don’t miss it. I do. Sincerely. But, luckily, I am taking this over to my in-laws tomorrow, where there is a sort of hex on butter (I know, I know how could we be so different, might as well be from another planet). But there is no denying that some of the best cakes are made with vegetable oil. Namely because veg oil is a liquid at room temperature, so cakes made with it tend to be more moist. Take Beatty’s Chocolate Cake from example. And make no mistake – this is yet another Ina recipe, adapted a bit, which she adapted a bit from Dorie Greenspan. This cake gets a few hits of lemon flavor. First, the lemon zest infuses the batter. Second, it gets drenched in a lemon/sugar syrup while still warm. Third, it gets a pretty little glaze from a powdered sugar/lemon juice concoction. I used large eggs instead of the extra large eggs she usually calls for. Didn’t miss a thing. I might try a mixture of baking powder/baking soda next time though, just to see how it affects the rise. Also, I omitted the vanilla extract, which I sincerely regret. I also used 1/3 cup powdered sugar for the icing rather than a full cup (we’re watching our waist lines around here LOL). So, if you know of any butter haters, this is the cake to make for them.
Adapted from Ina Garten.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup full fat plain yogurt
- 2 tsp lemon zest (from 2 big lemons or 3 small ones)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- another 1/3 cup sugar
- additional 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar (more if that’s your thing)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with non stick spray.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Mix oil, yogurt, lemon zest and vanilla in a large measuring cup or mixing bowl. Add eggs, sugar and stir vigorously until incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Don’t over mix – a few lumps are OK. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 50 minutes.
- After the cake is done, let it sit 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Place the cake and rack over a sheet pan (to catch excess syrup/icing). Dissolve water and sugar in a sauce pan. Poke holes through the top of the cake with a toothpick and drizzle the lemon syrup.
- Combine lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the cake. Slice. Serve.