I used to live dangerously close to a grocery store with an in-store bakery and they made the best yogurt cakes.
Dense, rich, sweet, moist, and everything I could wish for in a cake.
For better or worse depending on how you look at it, I live about 2763 miles from that grocery store and it’s been nearly a decade since I’ve had a slice of their yogurt cake, but I still think of it fondly. When I saw blueberries in my freezer and blueberry Greek yogurt in the refrigerator, I knew homemade yogurt cake had to happen.
Like the other cakes I’ve been making recently, this is a one-bowl, mix-by-hand special that comes together in about 73 seconds flat with just a whisk. Beat two eggs, sugar, yogurt, oil, and vanilla. Add the flour and baking powder, fold in the blueberries, and bake. Fast and easy cakes are what I live for.
I prefer modest-sized ones, too, and this one is just a 9-by-9-inch cake but you may double the recipe and bake it in a 9-by-13-inch pan if you’re feeding a bigger brood than I am or have a longer attention span for larger sized cakes.
The cake turned out perfectly moist from both the yogurt and the oil. I was tempted to use melted butter in this cake for added flavor because I love the flavor of butter. However, oil makes cakes softer and moister than using butter and oil won. A moist cake trumps all.
To give the yogurt cake lift and enable it to rise properly and not be too dense and weighed down from the cup of Greek yogurt, I used baking powder as the leavener. I generally avoid using baking powder and instead try to use baking soda whenever possible. Baking powder is comprised of baking soda, cornstarch, and acid salts, such as sodium aluminum sulfate or cream of tartar. I am very sensitive to the bitter taste of the acid salts and can usually taste mere traces of baking powder when it’s present. Plus, baking powder can cause the crumb to turn dry and coarse if used in excess.
However, through the magical moistening properties of oil, yogurt, and the juices from the blueberries that are released while baking, the cake rose perfectly, while remaining moist and some of the density I desire in a yogurt cake was retained.
Sometimes the simplest things taste the best and I made a simple glaze with the juice of half of a fresh lemon, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and whisked them together. The glaze made my mouth pucker from the intense pop of lemon but it wasn’t too tart because the confectioners’ sugar balanced the lemon juice. Plus lemon and blueberries pair together splendidly and incorporating a teaspoon or two of lemon zest into the cake batter is a way to bolster the lemon flavor even more if you like to pucker up.
I wasn’t sure if Scott and Skylar were going to like the lemon glaze and lemon is a flavor, like peppermint, that once it’s added, it’s unmistakeable and can’t be undone. But I had forgotten that Scott really loves lemon in things and Skylar kept smacking her little lips, too.
The cake reminded me so much of the storebought yogurt cakes I used to purchase, but the major difference between my cake and those is that I used a drizzle approach for the glaze whereas bakeries pour cup-fulls of glaze over the cake, let it dry; and repeat. However, feel free to send your cake into a lemon-vanilla submersion bath rather than just a drizzle. I’d love to drink the bathwater.
I couldn’t resist picking out the blueberries that were baked into the cake’s firm yet springy interior.
Blueberries are such nice little surprises bursting with sweet juice and definitely worth having a blue thumb and index finger from for a few days after all that blueberry picking.
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For the Cake
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (8 ounces, I used Chobani Greek blueberry yogurt; other flavors such as strawberry, raspberry, or mixed berry may be substituted)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon+ lemon zest, optional
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups frozen blueberries, divided (fresh may be substituted)
For the Lemon Vanilla Glaze
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup+ confectioners' sugar, sifted
- For the Cake - Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-by-9-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil, lemon zest, vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, and mix until just combined. Fold in 1 cup blueberries and gently stir to incorporate (frozen blueberries bleed and run less than fresh and if using frozen do not thaw them first; add them directly into the batter frozen; alternate berries or other seasonal fruit such as strawberries, peaches, pears, or plums may be substituted)
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Lightly sprinkle 1/4 cup remaining blueberries over the top. Bake for 37 to 40 minutes, or until top is domed and set or a toothpick comes out clean, and edges of cake are just browning and beginning to slightly pull away from sides of pan. Allow cake to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before turning out to finish cooling on a rack. While cake cools, make the glaze.
- For the Lemon Vanilla Glaze - Combine lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and confectioners' sugar in a small bowl and whisk until smooth, playing with lemon juice and sugar ratios until desired glaze consistency and flavor has been reached. Drizzle glaze over cake and serve immediately. Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 95mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 3g
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Banana Bread Brownies with Vanilla Caramel Glaze – Made with bananas and yogurt, they’re incredibly moist and tender. Very rich and fudgy and chocolate is used three ways. More fudgy brownie than banana bread, but it’s a marriage for times you can’t decide between using the ripe bananas on your counter or your honoring your chocolate cravings
Microwave Blueberry Banana Oat Cakes (vegan, GF) – Ready in 3 minutes and although the recipe is older, I get so many reader emails about this being a go-to breakfast and portable snack, especially for anyone in a dorm room or who has limited kitchen access. All you need is a microwave for this little single-serving cake
Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars – If you like berries and easy desserts, this layered cake-bar is for you with a cake base, topped with coconut, sweet milk, and berries
Have you ever made a yogurt cake?
Do you bake with yogurt or sour cream?
Baking with yogurt or sour cream, and cream cheese is in it’s own league, keeps baked goods soft, tender, and moist. Nothing is worse than dried out desserts and I’d rather have none than have a piece of dry cake, which is why I always add at least a dollop, and usually much more, yogurt or sour cream to any muffins, cake, cupcakes, or bread I make.
Feel free to share your recipes for soft, moist, tender cakes, muffins, cupcakes and breads and what you do to get them that way.
Have a great weekend and stay tuned for a couple great giveaways this weekend!