Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake
It’s no secret how I feel about Ina and her recipes. They’re so wonderfully simple and elegant – just like her! In fact I was watching the Chefography of the Food Network this weekend and Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production for the Food Network, said that he cooked with Ina Garten’s cookbooks long before she appeared on the Network. He said that her recipes made him look good, and I completely agree. This recipe makes you look real good.
I think her Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe is one of her most well-known (I think they even sell it in a box with a mix version!). It’s a versatile, light and beautiful cake that I’ve seen frequently around the blogoshere with minor modifications (most recently on Smitten Kitchen who added blueberries – yum!). It’s a recipe I’ve been meaning to try for some time now, and Saturday’s cold and rainy weather gave me the perfect excuse to bake!
As with most of Ina’s recipes, they seem simpler on paper than in execution. But don’t let that deter you! My recommendation is to recruit a sous chef (thank you R!) who will zest and juice the lemons – it will go much faster. See below as my fabulous sous chef pours the glaze…..
For my first attempt at this cake, I really followed her directions closely, but I can’t wait to try this out with blueberries or poppyseeds! Towards the end of the loaf (yes, we ate an entire loaf cake in a day and half… please don’t judge), we even topped a few slices with fresh, sugary-sweet strawberries that added a lovely burst of flavor and color.
Try the recipe as is or add your own modifications! This moist and zesty cake is very forgiving, so let your imagination run wild!
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 C. sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 C. confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbs. 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. Grease 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 C. lemon juice and remaining 1/3 C. 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.