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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

If you've been on Pinterest lately you may have seen a post for strawberry yogurt cake.  I came across it one day and thought it looked fantastic so I repinned it.  Of course, I didn't bother to go to the actual link right then - I hate when I do that - so I didn't realize the pin was no good and went nowhere.  Well when I went back to make it and realized this, I did a little searching and put together a couple of different recipes to make up this one.

I made two different varieties, blueberry and strawberry and added lemon to both.  I also decided to bake this as a loaf cake instead of a bundt cake like the inspiration.  This recipe will make one 8x4" loaf or 2 smaller loaf cakes.  You could also convert this to muffins if you prefer and get 12-15 muffins, make sure to adjust the baking time, I would suggest about 20 minutes.  If you want to do both flavors, bake it in smaller pans or double the recipe, that's what I did to yield this much cake.

A couple of key tips - don't skip the lemon syrup step.  This really makes the lemon flavor soak in and makes a great crust for the cake.  Also make sure to let the cake cool completely before adding the glaze or it will just melt right in.  You can use fresh or frozen fruit in this recipe.  I used fresh because it was on sale and looked good at the store.  If you want to use frozen, use frozen blueberries straight from the freezer.  If you are using strawberries, I like to put mine in a strainer over a large bowl and let the water drain out of them first so they don't make your cake too wet.

Blueberry (or Strawberry) Lemon Yogurt Cake
Recipe adapted from several sources

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups blueberries or strawberries (roughly chopped)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

1 cup powdered sugar
Approximately 2 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray loaf pan(s) with baking spray or butter and flour.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and oil until well combined.  Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly incorporated.  Finally gently fold in blueberries or strawberries.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes to one hour until top is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool approximately 10 minutes in pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Set wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet before adding syrup and glaze.  While the cake begins to cool, make the lemon syrup.  Combine sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir continuously until dissolved, cook about 2-3 more minutes until it begins to thicken slightly.  Use a toothpick or skewer to poke holes in the top of the cake.  You don't want the cake to be right out of the oven at this point, but it should still be warm.  Using a pastry brush or large spoon, brush/ladle syrup over the cake.  Let the syrup soak in and then brush one more time.  Let the cake cool completely.

Prepare the glaze by adding the powdered sugar to a mixing bowl.  Whisk in a small amount of the lemon juice, add more lemon juice until the glaze reaches the consistency of a thick caramel sauce.  You want it pourable but not thin.  Pour/drizzle the glaze over the cake and let it harden for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

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