Lazy Lemon Cake

Sometimes you want cake, but don’t want to work for it.

A head cold this past week has left me craving cake, but without the energy to do much baking. Consoling myself with cookbooks from the library, I came across a recipe for Greek Lemon-Yoghurt Loaf Cake that was so easy, I couldn’t resist. Nothing else really caught my eye in the Great British Bake Off cookbook this came from, but I think this one is a keeper.

Here’s the recipe, in case you’re feeling lazy …

150 g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
50 g ground almonds
200 g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 medium eggs (I used 2 large)
125 ml Greek-style yoghurt
125 ml mild light olive oil (I used a mix of canola and extra-virgin olive oil, because I didn’t have light olive oil)

for the glaze:
125 g icing sugar, sifted
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 – 1 1/2 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and almonds into a mixing bowl (tip in any almonds remaining in the sieve). Stir in the sugar and lemon zest.

Combine the eggs, yoghurt and oil in a measuring jug and beat well with a fork. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until well combined.

Pour into a greased loaf pan lined with a strip of baking paper. Bake at 180℃ for 55-65 minutes until golden brown. When the cake is ready, cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and lift the cake out by the lining paper and allow to cool on a rack.

Make the glaze by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl. Mix in the lemon zest and then add just enough yoghurt to make a smooth, shiny glaze with the consistency of double cream. While the cake is still hot, spoon the glaze over the top.

I have lots of ideas for variations on this cake—using a blackcurrant glaze, replacing half the flour with barley flour, stirring in frozen blackcurrants … it’s a recipe that invites you to make it again and again. 

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