During these times when we are missing the routine of daily life and the company of others, it’s the little gestures of thought and kindness that make us smile. So, I thought it would be fun to distract everyone from your regular evening activities and invite you to bake a very simple little cake together. The idea is that we bake one for us to keep and one to give away to make someone’s day – a first responder, an isolated neighbour or friend, the local delivery person or anyone out there working to keep us safe and well.
As cooking classes around the kitchen island have been paused, you can join me in the kitchen via zoom for bake dates where I share as many kitchen tips as I can and chat about kitchen life while baking a sweet treat of the week to share. Feel free to either bake along with me in the sessions in real time, or simply watch and bake whenever it’s most convenient.
For our fist session this week we made my go-to simple, one bowl, pantry staple: Lemon Yoghurt Cake. I will post the recipes here every week after the event so you can refer back to them at any time. The zoom links for the following sessions will be in the classes section of the site.
This is a very forgiving recipe with a number of flavour options in case you are missing an ingredient or want to make it again with different flavour variations. If you have any questions please do send me a message.
As Jeremy and I do not share a kitchen, he will be joining us from his own screen but will be here with me in spirit.
Please do let me know you have any Bake & Donate requests or feedback. I hope you are keeping safe and well and I look forward to seeing you all in this temporary normal, behind a screen, but in real life very soon.
This recipe makes 1 loaf cake (11 x 22cm / 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch), 1 dozen muffins, or a 20 cm (8 inch) square pan. If you want to turn this into a bundt cake or cook it in a tube pan, you will need to double the recipe. If you want to bake and donate a whole loaf cake and don’t have any mini loaf tins, please double the recipe. Alternatively, just slice and share!
I often add fresh or frozen blueberries or blackberries to this cake at the end for an extra tang. They are optional, but delicious and a good way to change up a recipe that you will want to make again and again. (If you are using frozen berries, do not defrost first).
I have included two glaze versions – both optional but gives it an extra citrus zing.
If you don’t have a lemon or two to hand (or want to reserve them during these times), this works brilliantly with the equivalent amount of grapefruit, orange, blood oranges or lime.
For the Cake
- 180g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 200g (1 cup) sugar
- zest of 1 lemon (approx 1tbsp)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g full fat plain yoghurt
- 125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
- 150g (approx 3/4 cup) blueberries (fresh or frozen work, but if using frozen do not defrost first)
For the Syrup Glaze
- 30g caster sugar
- 80ml lemon juice
For the Icing Sugar Glaze
- 80ml lemon juice
- 100g icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180C (350F), making sure your shelf is in the bottom third of the oven
- Grease and line a 11 x 22cm loaf tin
- In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.
- In the bottom of your mixing bowl, rub together the sugar and the lemon zest between your fingers until the lemon oil releases into the sugar. This gives it a wonderfully lemon flavour.
- Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix together. This is such an easy cake, I usually do this by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, but feel free to use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer if you prefer.
- Add in yoghurt.
- Add dry ingredients to the yoghurt and egg mixture and mix until just combined. The trick here is to stir in only one direction. You may be tempted to stir in one direction and then the other to incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, but stirring in only one direction keep the batter lump free.
- Pour in oil and stir (again in only one direction) until the oil is completely incorporated. (I you are using a mixer, this stage should be done by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.) Do not rush this stage.
- Gently stir the blueberries or any other berries of choice if using through the batter.
- Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin and bake in bottom third of the oven for 45-50 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean)
- (Muffins will take 20 minutes to cook, a square cake will take 35-40 minutes to cook, a bundt tin or tube pan will also take 45-50 minutes)
- When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- While it is cooling slightly, make your glaze of choice:
- For the syrup glaze: mix the sugar and lemon juice together in a small saucepan and gently cook until mixture is clear and sugar has dissolved.
- Prick the top of the cake all over with a skewer and brush with the glaze (or carefully pour it over the top. Allow to cool for anther 10 minutes and remove from the tin onto a cooling rack.
- For the icing sugar glaze: Once the cake has cooled, in a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and icing sugar and mix until white. It swill seem stiff at the beginning, but be aware it will lose quickly, becoming runny and more transparent. Once you have found your ideal consistency, spoon it over the cake land let it drip down the sides. (if if becomes too runny, you can add more icing sugar a little at a time.)
Have you made this dish?
Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on email@example.com