French Lemon-Yogurt-Olive Oil Cake

French Lemon Yogurt Cake - trustinkim

This gorgeous little cake is drenched in a lemon glaze, making it irresistible. I found the recipe on Orangette.  I was looking for a lemony cake, but I wanted to make a recipe that used olive oil. I altered the original recipe slightly by using olive oil, and adding a little more lemon zest.

One other change I made was in the preparation of the recipe, which I think is quite important. I added the zest at the beginning, along with the sugar. If you rub the sugar and zest together it releases the oils from the zest better.

I served part of the cake, then wrapped up a portion and put it in the freezer – just as good a few days later!

What you need for the cake:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • lemon zest, from 1 large or two small lemons
  • ½ cup olive oil

What you need for the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
 What you do:
  1. Prepare an 8 inch cake pan by spraying it or rubbing it with butter. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan. Spray or spread butter on the parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Place the sugar and zest in a large bowl. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers.
  3. Add the yogurt and eggs, one at a time, and stir until well blended.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing enough to just combine the dry ingredients.
  5. Add the oil a little at a time and stir until it is a smooth batter.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake on rack for 10 minutes; then turn the cake out onto the rack.
  9. Prepare the glaze by stirring the lemon juice and powdered sugar together. Place a plate or baking tray below the cake to catch drips. While the cake is still warm, use a pastry brush spread the glaze all over the cake –  some of it will drip off, but keep going until the glaze is gone, as it will soak in.
  10. Allow cake to cool completely.
  11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you desire it and serve. This cake was still delicious a few days after baking.

 

Lovely Lemon Loaf

easy lemon loaf

 

Mmmm, I love a good lemon loaf! I’ve made a few before: lemon olive oil cake, and a few that I am just now discovering I haven’t actually posted before… more to come! But this is definitely the first cake I’ve ever made in a blender! Okay, so you need bowls and stuff too, but I liked how quick it was to blend up the liquid ingredients.

Anyways, this one wins points because of the lemon drizzle that adds a nice lemony kick to balance the sweetness of the cake.

The original name, in the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, is Easy Lemon Pound Cake. And it is easy, and lemony, but there’s only 1/2 pound of butter in there!

What you need for the cake: 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cake flour OR see instruction #2 below if you don’t have cake flour, as I did not
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

What you need for the lemon glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and place the rack in the centre of the oven. Grease and flour an 8 & 1/2 by 4 & 1/2 inch loaf pan. I use the wrapper for the butter to grease the pan, then shake some flour around in it.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. (If you don’t have cake flour: measure 1.5 cups of flour, then remove 3 tablespoons. Add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Now sift 5 times; yes, you have to do this to get the right consistency.)
  3. Melt the butter, then whisk it to combine any separation.
  4. Place the sugar and lemon zest in the blender (or food processor) and pulse about 5 times. Add the lemon juice, eggs and vanilla, then blend until combined. With the blender running, add the butter. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Sift the flour mixture into the batter in 3 steps, whisking gently each time until just combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 325F. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the loaf is a deep golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. This should take about 35 minutes, although mine took much longer.
  8. Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes then turn it onto a wire cooling rack. Poke the top and sides all over with a toothpick. I used a chopstick, which is why the holes are so visible. Cool the loaf for at least one hour.
  9. While the loaf is cooling begin making the glaze. Bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil and stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer until it has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
  10. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with the glaze.

This loaf will keep at room temperature for about 5 days. It will probably be gone before that, but it won’t go bad if you hang on to it.

 

Lemon Cherry Poppy Seed Muffins

Oops, I think I’m getting the keyboard sticky. . . I just baked these, and they’re so good that I’m typing while I eat.  To be fair, they’re more of a mini cake than muffin – I think of a muffin of something sort of healthy, and I can’t really think of any health benefits for these except the sheer joy of eating them.  And joy is pretty good medicine, don’t you think?

I’ve been wanting to make a lemon cherry poppy seed muffin for a while, but I haven’t found a recipe I like.  I took this one from the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog mainly because it had buttermilk in the recipe, which I think is the reason these turned out so light and cakey.  The original recipe is blueberry lemon, so I just exchanged the blueberries for dried cherries and poppy seeds.  I also made the glaze out of white sugar instead of the icing sugar the recipe called for, because I find glazes made of icing sugar have a bit of a tinny taste to them.

This recipe makes 1 dozen, but feels free to double it if you need more.

What you need:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 & 1/4 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 & 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped (sour cherries if you have them!)

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

for the glaze:

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

What you do:

1.  Place paper liners in a 12 cup muffin tin.  Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2.  Beat the butter until light and fluffy, then add the sugar and beat again.

3.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the lemon zest and juice, and the vanilla.

4.  For the next part make sure you beat only as much as necessary to incorporate the ingredients: Beat in 1/2 cup of the flour, then 1/4 cup of the buttermilk.  Add 1/2 more cup of flour, then 1/4 cup more buttermilk.

5.  Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with the baking power, baking soda, poppy seeds and salt.  Hand mix this into the batter until just barely mixed in, then add the cherries and just fold them in.

6.  Spoon into the lined muffin tins.

7.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  They should have a golden brown hue.

8.  While the muffins are baking, put the glaze ingredients in a pot and heat enough for them to melt together.

9.  When the muffins are baked, place them on a rack to cool and glaze them right away.

I recommend eating them while they are still warm, but I’m sure they’ll be almost as good when they’ve cooled.