Versatile Yogurt Cake
I know, I know. Versatile Yogurt Cake? That name almost makes it sound like a cleaning product or a superhero. My excuse for the total lack of appeal is that my brain is on literal overdrive after spending most of my waking hours for the last 5 days studying or pretending to study civil procedural law. A more appetizing name could have been Simple Yogurt Cake or just Yogurt Cake, but they don’t really convey what it is.
It’s more than just an easy, French-style, butter-less cake…it’s a drawing board. Take today’s little bout of (astounding considering my circumstances) creativity: I split the batter in two and made one an apple caramel cake and the other a Heath bar cake. Though I have yet to taste the former, I was actually surprised by how good the Heath bar cake was. The crumb as foodies like to call it wasn’t bland or crumbly; it was moist and subtle (apart from the chunks of Heath bar, naturally), with a lovely bounce and an even lovelier flavor. It would be perfect with a cup of tea or a scoop of ice cream or barely whipped cream.
The Heath Bar cake was for the birthday my next door neighbor on the right; the apple caramel cake is for a dinner we’re going to at our next door neighbor’s on the left tomorrow night. Birthday neighbor was very appreciative, and even offered me a slice. (She is, I should clarify, possibly the nicest person I’ve ever met in my entire life.) At which point, I ran back next door to get my camera. Because I’m a loser like that. And because 5 more minutes of cake means 5 less minutes of adjournments, incentives to settle and indemnity orders.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll make some zabaglione or, I don’t know, something else that will help me procrastinate to serve with it.
And, seeing as I’ve been staring at statutes, slides and similar all day long, I’m going to step away from the computer now and think about sweet things like barely whipped cream and cakes that sound like superheroes. And maybe, just maybe, a better name for this delicious cake.
VERSATILE YOGURT CAKE
Recipe adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini’s Apple and Maple Yogurt Cake. If you want metric measurements, maple sugar and more, I suggest you take a peeksie at her blog. I kind of guesstimated on lots of the measurements, and added an extra egg, so don’t feel like everything has to be exact. And you have total license to go crazy (!!!!!) with such shocking ingredients as broken up candy bars, chunks of fruit, berries or chocolate chips. Plop some caramel on top and swirl it in, like I did. Add some lemon zest, cinnamon or cardamom. Or just leave it plain. It’ll be your perfect companion to any day, no matter how drudgery filled and glum. Serves at least 8.
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a big pinch of salt
whatever you want to add (suggestions: 1 apple, finely sliced/ 1 cup chocolate chips + orange zest/ blueberries + lemon zest)
Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C. Grease one large cake tin or two smaller ones.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, and oil. In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture and whisk it in quickly, until just combined, adding extras if you’d like. Don’t worry about lumps and do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). If you want, you can arrange the apple slices on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until the top is golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a rack and serve, warm or at room temperature. Keeps for up to 4 days at room temperature.