I wanted to redeem myself after the dismal results of the Whole Lemon Muffins the other day and Jennifer's comment about Ina Garten's Lemon Pound Cake recipe reminded me of the Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake that Smitten Kitchen blogged about a few weeks ago. I know that Smitten Kitchen recipe is based on an Ina Garten recipe -- but I'm not quite sure if it's the same cake that Jennifer mentioned in her comment.
The great thing about the cake on Smitten Kitchen though, is that you can change it up in a number of different ways. I doubled the recipe (I bought far too many lemons and doubling was a chance to use more of them up) and I folded in some blackberries since they were on sale at the grocery store. I made muffins instead of a cake though because it's easier to get rid of food that people can eat in single-serving portions than it is to get rid of cakes. I hate throwing stuff away, but my poor friends at work get inundated with a relentless stream of baked goods -- people who don't know me that well are just more comfortable taking finger foods (cookies or muffins or cupcakes) than they are taking something like cheesecake or cake that requires a plate and a fork.
This recipe more than made up for the disappointment of the Whole Lemon Muffins. Light and soft with a bright lemon flavor... the blackberries mostly sank to the bottom, but that's fine. The flavor of the blackberries combined with the lemon is a great combination, and something I would like to repeat. I can definitely see this cake recipe sticking around and popping up again, especially as a bundt cake with blueberries for a summer bbq... mmmm....
1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed
1/3 cup 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 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. 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 cup lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon 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 before flipping out onto a cooling rack. 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 (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.