Unlike most of her recipes, Ina Garten jokes, this one does not start with a pound of butter. And yet, her lemon yogurt cake is no worse for the wear. In fact, I’ve made this recipe countless times without ever growing tired of it. And because it’s so good and so easy to make, it’s become my recipe of choice for pot-lucks and parties.
Over time, I have made my own small changes to the recipe. Here’s how I make my version.
Lemon Yogurt Cake
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa at Home.
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 45-50 minutes
YIELD: 1 Loaf
WHAT TO GRAB:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt (I like Stonyfield Farm)
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
2 teaspoons lemons zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
1/3 cup lemon juice
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bread loaf pan, line with parchment paper, and grease again.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another mixing bowl, mix together the yogurt and 1 cup of sugar. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. With a rubber spatula, and working in batches, whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making certain the oil is completely incorporated.
3. Pour the batter into the bread loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
4. While the loaf is baking, heat the lemon juice and 1/3 cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved, set aside. (Alternatively, you can skip this step, and simply add plain lemon juice as described in step 5).
5. When the cake is done, let the pan cool for 10 minutes on a baking rack. After ten minutes, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake, allowing it to seep in. (I like to make a few, tiny holes in the top of the cake, to make sure the mixture is well-incorporated).
6. Allow the cake to cool in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. (Letting the cake sit and cool allows the cake to fully absorb the lemon juice , and become really moist – it’s really worth the wait).