Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lemon Cake – Ina Garten is always good.

I have a bit of a cookbook problem. . . or according to my husband – a real problem.  Just this week my dad built me a custom bookshelf for my cookbooks (it matches the kitchen he built for me last year – no he’s not a carpenter, he’s a doctor – don’t ask.  But yes, in case you were wondering, I am spoiled).  Looking at my beautiful tower of cookbooks makes me feel very contented.  It also motivates me to cook.  As much as I love pulling recipes off the computer there’s something about the heft of a cookbook that delights me. 
Isn’t it pretty?  Those cookies in the jar are these if you were wondering.
That said I actually somehow don’t own any of Ina Garten’s many cookbooks.  I’m not sure why.  Some of my best dishes actually come from Ina, she never seems to let you down.  Her recipes are usually easy, and always work, usually spectacularly.  My favorite coconut cupcakes (oh are they good), a really great chocolate cake, the salmon dish that my four year old requests  almost every week,  all Ina.  This recipe is a new Barefoot Contessa recipe (to me, it just took me forever to make it, I realize that it’s an old favorite to many).  This is her Lemon Yogurt Cake.  You can click here for her recipe, but I’ll put it here on Teresacooks for you too.
My kids kept going “oh, it’s so tangy sweet!”  They were also pretty annoyed when my youngest ate all the glaze off the last hunk of cake.  The glaze is really good.  I made 2 of these and gave one to a friend.  It’s kind of perfect for that sort of thing, I wrapped it in wax paper like a present and gave it away, it’s sturdy enough to do that and not break in half. 
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You’ll need fresh lemons and whole milk yogurt.

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The lemon zest goes into the wet ingredients. . . this is what happens when a 4 year old is your assistant.
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Then you soak the hot cakes with lemon syrup.  Glaze the cooled cakes.  Pretty.
Note the cakes are on a rack over a cookie sheet, and the syrup and glaze is puddling underneath them.  Don’t forget to put them on the rack or you’ll be sorry.  I love the simple beautiful appearance of these cakes.
Lemon Yogurt Cake by Ina Garten


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons 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 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 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 1/3 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,take a skewer and poke some holes in the cake so the syrup can sink into the middle.  Then pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

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