This recipe is for a simple but delicious yogurt cake that can take a bit of personalisation.
A few years ago I used to make cakes all the time. It seemed like every weekend I’d whizz off into the kitchen, look through my cupboards and knock something together. I’d experiment and have fun, twisting basic recipes up into something different and new. Importantly, no matter what I made, Mr E3’s office gratefully received them.
I’ve spent entire Sunday’s producing various cakes for the fifty or so people in Mr E3’s office at birthday time. Tupperware and old biscuit tins full of Lemon Drizzle slices, cherry pie-filling stuffed Bakewell inspired cupcakes and jammy crumble yogurt cake pieces would leave the house. There were requests for chocolate caramel brownie bars too…
At one point I was the designated family birthday cake maker. I learnt that my patience for decorating is limited – I prefer to coat cakes in whipped, light as a feather buttercream covered in chocolate curls to make them seem special. Working with fondant to create a replica football shirt design with neatly iced lettering isn’t my cup of tea, though of course the nerves at this being a 30th birthday cake might have had something to do with it.
Along the way I stopped making these cakes. I’d had enough – the expense, the time, the anxiety over whether it was good enough. I lost the joy of it, and with one thing or another life threw at me I just never got back in the habit. Like with any skill that isn’t practiced, I thought I lost the knack for it. Then, out of nowhere, I just really had to make cake.
A Chicken Tikka meal plan that never came to be had left me with natural yogurt and a lemon in the fridge. Off I went, butchering an old but reliable yogurt cake recipe and adjusting bits and pieces along the way. I wanted a loaf cake but all I have in Germany is a 2lb loaf pan, so I went with the flow. Unashamedly, this cake is made with margarine too.
Not long later I ended up with a cake that turned out exactly how I’d wanted. Soft and moist, light but with a satisfying denseness. Drizzled with tart, sweet and thick lemony icing drizzle – this cake got demolished.
We enjoyed it so much, actually, that I made it again less than a week later. Mr E3 fancied blueberries in there, so I gave it a shot with just a little more flour. Still good! And with a mouth full of blueberry studded yogurt cake, he turned around and said: “You know, I think this would be good with chocolate chips in too.” Do you suppose that’s a request?
Lemony Yogurt Cake
A quick and simple yogurt cake recipe that can be enhanced with your favourite citrus flavours.
Course: Sweet Treat
- 125 g Baking Suitable Margarine, Room Temperature
- 125 g Caster Sugar
- 2 medium Eggs, Room Temperature, Beaten
- 140 g Self Raising Flour (or Plain Flour blended with 2 level tsp Baking Powder)
- 75 g Natural Yogurt, Room Temperature
- 1 tbsp Citrus Zest (Lemon, Lime or Orange)
- 3 tsp Citrus Juice (Lemon, Lime or Orange)
- 60 g Icing Sugar
- 15 g Flour
- 100 g Fresh Blueberries, Washed, Dried
- Preheat the oven to 160 C Fan Assisted (325 F) or 180 C Standard (350 F).
- Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper. Approximate dimensions: 24cm x 14cm x 7cm. Note: If using a tin with different dimensions, adjust cooking times accordingly.
- Cream together the margarine and sugar until the mixture has lightened in colour and is fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, little by little, along with a spoonful of flour to keep the mixture from splitting if necessary.
- Lightly but thoroughly mix in the remaining flour (including the extra if using blueberries). Once incorporated, mix in the yogurt and citrus fruit zest.
- Pour into the prepared tin and gently level the mixture. If using blueberries, dot the surface with them evenly before placing the tin on the middle shelf in the oven.
- Bake for around 30 – 35 minutes. Remove from the oven when the cake is fully cooked: A toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake will come out cleanly.
- Allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes before carefully lifting the cake out and leaving to cool fully on a wire rack. Once cool, remove the baking paper from the cake.
- Mix the icing sugar with the citrus fruit juice. Add additional water, drip by drip, until you reach your preferred icing thickness. Drizzle this across the cake as desired. Note: You might find it easier to use a make-shift icing bag: put the icing in a food bag and snip the end off.
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