A very long time ago I worked as an au pair in Brussels for an Italian family. The mother had a recipe for a yogurt cake that I adored. It had the ability to make uncomfortable or difficult aspects of the job more palatable. I copied it out and brought it home. Somehow I never made that particular cake again but I always remembered it. When we began making our own yogurt I knew the cake had to be resurrected. Although the notebook containing the original recipe was long gone, I was able to make something that closely resembled my memories. This is a single layer, iced cake and I could happily eat it every day.
Lemon Yogurt Cake
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup sugar
generous gratings of nutmeg and cinnamon, ≈ ¼ teaspoon
12 ounces plain yogurt, room temperature
4 ounces vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon rum extract
¼ teaspoon lemon oil
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
fine sea salt
1 Meyer lemon
Preheat oven to 350°F or 325° with convection
Spray a 10-inch springform cake pan with pan spray and wrap the bottom with foil.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Separately whisk together the yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs, extract and lemon oil. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap it on the counter a few times to spread the batter evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top of the cake is just firm to the touch.
Let the cake cool in the pan for one hour. Remove the sides of the pan, leaving the base on the foil. Put the confectioner’s sugar in a bowl. Add a few grains of salt. Juice the lemon and add 2 tablespoons to the sugar. Mix to form a thick icing. Spread the icing over the top of the cake. Let it set for 10 minutes before serving.