lemon yogurt layer cake

Hello friends and cherished readers,

Once again I must apologize for neglecting edie’s eats. The last month has been a whirlwind–I traveled to Melbourne, New Zealand and the great barrier reef, and my family is here! But no worries (my favorite new Australian phrase), I am back in action and I know you won’t be disappointed by todays post. I’ll give you a hint-it’s another celebration cake :) It was my housemate Victoria’s birthday, and following the tradition from Meg’s birthday (the pb/chocolate cake), I was put in charge of making a cake for her party. It was a smashing success.

I know, I know, you’re on a diet and don’t want me tempting you with pictures of moist lemon yogurt cake with tangy lemon curd and fluffy meringue frosting. Well i’m sorry, but this may just be the best cake I have ever made, and it would be a shame not to share it with you.

I promise I will make my next few posts extra healthy to compensate…but for now, enjoy!

Lemon Yogurt Cake layered with Lemon Curd and smothered in Meringue Frosting

Adapted from Orangette, Smitten Kitchen and The Joy of Cooking

Lemon Yogurt Cake:

This cake is light and citrusy and 100% delicious. If you don’t need a fancy  celebration cake, this is also great served just with the glaze for an easy weeknight dessert (just divide the recipe in three).

Yield: three 9-inch layers or 24 cupcakes

1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup canola oil

Lemon glaze:
Juice for two lemons
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and zest, mixing to just combine.

Add the oil and stir to incorporate. At first, it will look like an oily mess, but keep stirring and it will eventually come together into a smooth batter. Pour and scrape the batter into a prepared 9-inch round cake pan (after buttering, I sometimes line the bottom with a round of wax or parchment paper, and then I butter that too).

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Cool cake on a rack for about 20 minutes; then turn it out of the pan to cool completely.

When the cake is thoroughly cooled, combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl and spoon it gently over the cake. The glaze will be thin and will soak in like a syrup.

Lemon Curd

This is also delicious with freshly baked scones or muffins, as a filling for angel food cake, and by the spoonful…

Note: If you don’t have a lot of time and need to get the cake done quickly you can always use store bought lemon curd which you can find in the jam area but I promise you it won’t be nearly as good as homemade.

8 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 lemons, zest grated and juiced

Place the ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Don’t let top pan touch the water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken ever-so-slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate it to thicken. This keeps, refrigerated, for about 1 week.

Meringue Frosting (also known as Seven Minute Frosting)

This may be the most INCREDIBLE frosting ever created!!! It is light and fluffy and marshmallow-y and FAT FREE and delicious! I will never feel nauseous from butter cream frosting again!

Note: Since my Australian kitchen isn’t very well stocked, I didn’t have a thermometer and didn’t feel like buying one, so I successfully made this without it. I just followed the time instructions and watched until I felt it was ready. I can’t endorse this method as I don’t want anyone to blame me if they get sick from raw egg whites, but I’m just putting it out there as an option if you don’t have a thermometer either.

5 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs whites at room temperature
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts or shredded sweetened dried coconut (optional-I didn’t use)

Whisk first five ingredients together in a large, stainless-steel bowl. Set the bowl in a wide, deep skillet filled with about 1 inch of simmering water. Make sure the water level is at least as high as the depth of the egg whites in the bowl. Beat the whites on low speed until the mixture reaches 140 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Do not stop beating while the bowl is in the skillet, or the egg whites will be overcooked. If you cannot hold the thermometer stem in the egg whites while continuing to beat, remove the bowl from the skillet just to read the thermometer, then return the bowl to the skillet. Beat on high speed for exactly five minutes. Remove the bowl from the skillet and add vanilla, beating on high speed for two to three more minutes to cool. Stir in coconut or nuts, if you are using them. Use this frosting the day it is made.

Layer Cake Assembly Instructions:

Add 1 tablespoon of lemon curd to the cake pedestal to help the cake stay in place. Remove excess crumbs from the sides of the cake. Decide which layers will be the bottom and middle and carefully slice off the top to flatten them if they are too rounded from baking. Spread the lemon curd liberally between the layers, on top and on the sides of the cake. Then finally get to the fun part and frost the top and sides of the cake with the fluffy meringue frosting! You can either smooth it out and pipe the sides (if you want to get fancy), or just leave it au natural like I did.

One response to “lemon yogurt layer cake

  1. Please make it again? This was the best …cake …of my life.

Let me know how the recipe turned out for you!