French Lemon Yogurt Cake

by Elizabeth Atia -

As a family we recently had the pleasure of spending the weekend at Burrastow Cottage, a recently renovated early 19th century listed building on the west side of Shetland a stone's throw from Burrastow House.

Over the last few years Burrastow Cottage has been transformed into self-catering accommodation for folk looking for a remote place to get away from it all, and this is the first season it is open to guests. This place provides peace, quiet and solitude in abundance. The only noise we could hear while we stayed was the sound of the wind and the waves lapping on the shore nearby. Pure heaven!

The cottage sleeps five with a double bedroom, a twin bedroom with two beds and a single bedroom downstairs. There are two bathrooms, one with an incredibly deep bath and the other with a rainforest-like shower head. There's also a sitting room with an open peat fire, the perfect place to relax and escape from the stresses of the world, but don't worry, you'll not be entirely disconnected while here unless you choose to be. The wi-fi actually works!

Most of my time at Burrastow Cottage was spent in the kitchen of my dreams. With a gorgeous aqua blue gas fired Rayburn and kitchen cupboards painted to match, concrete worktops and big deep windows letting in the most gorgeous light to the little bits of driftwood made into cupboard handles - I fell in love with this kitchen!

I had to update my profile picture for my social media chanels in this kitchen (see above).

Spending a weekend away from it all means, of course, that cake has to be had, so I made a French lemon yogurt cake recipe that I've become quite fond of over the years.

This cake is the ultimate afternoon cake with a perfect moist crumb and a lemon drizzle glaze adding a crunch to the top. Dusted with icing sugar to decorate it pairs very well with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee.

It's a remarkably simple recipe to make too - traditionally half cup yogurt jars were used to measure out the yogurt, sugar, flour and oil, but as yogurt tends to be bought in larger containers these days the recipe has been adapted to cup measures.

When you add the oil in at the end the texture might appear to curdle a bit, don't worry - just keep beating at the batter will end up smooth. I tend to use a whisk to help break up any lumps of flour.

French Lemon Yogurt Cake

Course: Main

Servings: 12

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
for the cake
  • plain natural yogurt - 0.5 cup
  • caster sugar - 1 cup
  • eggs - 3 large
  • plain flour - 1.5 cups
  • baking powder - 2 tsp
  • salt - 0.5 tsp
  • lemon - 1 (zest only)
  • sunflower oil - 0.5 cup
for the lemon glaze
  • lemon juice - 0.25 cups (freshly squeezed)
  • icing sugar - 0.75 cups (plus extra to dust)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F/ 170 C/ gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of a 9 inch round cake pan with a round of baking paper.
  2. Combine yogurt, sugar and eggs together in a large bowl and beat until well combined.
  3. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and stir well. Stir in the lemon zest.
  4. Stir in the sunflower oil, beating well until the batter is smooth.
  5. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until the cake is well risen, golden and springy on top. A skewer, inserted into the centre, will come out clean.
  6. While the cake is baking prepare the glaze: combine the icing sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and whisk until combined. I find if I leave it for 20 minutes or so the icing sugar will dissolve so that the glaze becomes clear.
  7. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. While still warm, poke holes over the top of the cake with a skewer and spoon the lemon glaze over evenly.
  8. Leave the cake to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and eating.
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