I have been baking this Lemon Yogurt Cake for a very long time now. I love this easy recipe and the results are beautiful and delicious. Pouring the syrup while the cake is still warm makes it really moist. The glaze gives an attractive touch to the final dessert. This sunny lemony cake will happily enchant you and your guests!
Mon-Mari-D’amour doesn’t usually like cakes, but gave this dessert (or me?) an A+ and the kids love it too. If it passed the three most strict judges in my life, I think I can safely share this recipe with you.
LEMON YOGURT CAKE
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home. Ina Garten
Makes 1 loaf (serves 8 to 10)
1 ½ cup (188 g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (210 g) plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons very finely grated lemon zest* (2 lemons)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup (112g or 120 ml) vegetable oil
For the syrup
⅓ cup (66 g) granulated sugar
⅓ cup (80 g or 90 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze
1 cup (100 g) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Heat the oven to 350F degrees (180C).
You will need one medium bowl, a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, a rectangular cake/loaf pan of 8 ½ x 4 ¼ x 2 ½-inch (21.5 x 11 x 6 cm), a small sauce pan, a small bowl and a cooling wire rack.
Grease and flour the cake pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, over low speed, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla until well combined. Gradually and slowly add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. With a silicon spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter until it’s well incorporated. Don’t over mix it.
Pour the batter into the floured pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, cook ⅓ cup lemon juice and ⅓ cup sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, let it cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the pan and place it on a cooling wire rack over a sheet pan (or anything than can collect the drippings, so you won’t end up with a mess.) Pour the syrup over the cake then let it cool completely.
In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice until well combined and smooth. Pour the glaze over the cake (still over the cooling wire rack: remember the drippings. You’ll thank me later!). Let it set for a few moments before moving the cake to a serving dish.
*When grating the lemon and extracting the zest, try not to push hard on the fruit and avoid the “white” section of the peel because it is bitter. The small pockets of intense flavor are in the yellow part of the skin. I personally use a super fine microplane grater. I hold the lemon in one hand and with the other I lightly pass the microplane grater on the top of the lemon peel. The zest I end up with is light and dissolves when mixed or cooked. You get the flavors but not the thick curly residue. Your patience will be rewarded! (: