I am greeted by my greasy reflection, while sitting in front of a mirror to type this entry. The loose t-shirt I have on, is glued uncomfortably to my back. In case you are wondering, I am far from the dry and cold winter in the northern hemisphere. And yes, we are back to the hot and humid foodies paradise- Singapore!
In my rush to clear up the fridge content before our 3 weeks vacation, I baked this lemon yogurt cake. Instead of our usual travel companion-banana cake, we have this to snack on board the 20 odd hours flight.
The lemon yogurt cake recipe originated from one of my favorite cookbook author- Ina Garten. Her lemon cake recipe is one of the early recipes I have tried when I first started baking. It is also one of my all time favorites.
Her lemon yogurt cake uses the same technique of brushing lemon syrup onto the hot cake, which assures that the cake stays moist and packed full with lemony flavor. The kind of cake that I would gladly eat anytime of the day. Instead of using whole milk yogurt, I used the greek yogurt samples I got from Stonyfield Farm. I added 2 containers of the 5.3 oz Oiko organic Greek yogurt, which was slightly more than the recipe indicated. Because I remember having lots of syrup leftover when I made the lemon cake last time, I simply used the juice from 2 lemons, in which the zest had been added to the batter earlier on.
For the convenience of packing, I made the cake with my mini loaf pan and did some personalization with each. Frozen blueberries were added to one mini pan, making that a lemon blueberry cake. The next one has poppy seed in it, making it a lemon poppy seed cake. I left one au naturel, and one with lesser poppy seed in case OCT decides he doesn't like poppy seed.
How glad we were having the lemon yogurt cake on board with us! The food that United Airline served in the economy class cabins were horrendous! OCT who is not a picky eater laments that the portion has shrunken too. Naturally, he was hungry before the next meal was served. The yogurt cake saved us from resorting to the airline pretzels. :)
Lemon Yogurt Cake
adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa At Home
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 containers of 5.3oz organic Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons of poppy seed
1/4 cup of frozen blueberries (more if you are making a big loaf cake)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan or the mini loaf pans.
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.
Add in your preferred add on ingredients (poppy seed or blueberries) and bake for about 50 minutes, (if you are using the big loaf pan) about 25-30 minutes (if you are using smaller pans),or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/4 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup 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.