This marks my 20th blog post and I couldn’t be happier to be sharing this recipe! I had to figure out a dessert to bring to a friend’s house this past weekend, and I wanted to do something different, but had a ton of leftover lemon cream cheese icing in the fridge that I wanted to incorporate. (I made lemon cupcakes for a cancer fundraiser, but sadly they somehow went un-photographed, meaning I can’t share them with you!). So you get this cake instead!
I found this recipe from Ina Garten, and after reading the rave reviews, decided it would be a good choice. I don’t know if I’ve said it on the blog before, but Ina aka the Barefoot Contessa, is the QUEEN! Everything she touches turns into edible gold. Her recipes are amazing, and I never have any doubts when I’m making something that she has created! If you do not know who the Barefoot Contessa is, go watch the food network right now! (Well, after you read the rest of this!)
I decided to make the cake, cut it in half, put some of the cream cheese icing and strawberries in the middle, and then cover the whole thing in more icing. It would be a lemony package of deliciousness. The cake calls for yogourt, which makes it extremely moist and Ina claims that the yogourt makes it healthy…..I’ll take her word for it!
Once the cake comes out of the oven, you pour a lemon simple syrup over it, which will absorb into the cake, and infuse it with an intense lemon flavor. I was a little nervous thinking that the whole thing would be TOO lemony considering I was also coating it in a lemon icing, but it turned out perfect!
I am not a big fan of buttercream icing on cakes because it is always too sweet, which is why I use cream cheese most of the time. I am still searching for the perfect buttercream recipe though!
I don’t have any pictures of the inside of the cake because, a) I forgot while I was making it, and b) I am not at the crazy foodie stage of taking pictures of everything I eat..yet. I loved that it only made a loaf sized cake, which is perfect when you don’t have a lot of people to feed. I think the cake on its own, without icing or strawberries, would also be really good. Ina uses a simple glaze on her cake, and I think it would be a good solution for something a little less labour intensive! I would even consider adding a few handfuls of poppy seeds to make it a little fancier. I know it looks long, but If you skip the filling and the icing, it is a pretty simple, but impressive cake which can be pulled together pretty quickly.
Strawberry Lemon Yogourt Cake
Adapted from Ina Garten
Cream cheese icing from Annie’s Eats
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup plain yogourt (I used 1%, you can use whatever you like!)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- zest from 2 lemons
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fresh strawberry filling
- 2 cups strawberries
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp sugar
Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 block)
- 2.5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1 1/3 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 1/2-1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- zest of 1/2 lemon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the entire pan with the parchment paper in place.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine yogourt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, just until combined. Fold the canola oil into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 45-50mins, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan for 10 mins, then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, combine sugar and lemon juice for simple syrup in a saucepan, and heat over low heat, stirring until sugar is melted. Remove from heat and pour over the warm cake. (If you want to make the filling, cut the cake in half before you pour the syrup on, and then pour the syrup equally onto each half). Let cake cool completely before filling and icing.
For icing, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined, 1-2 minutes. Add in lemon juice and zest. Gradually add in icing sugar until well incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat for a few more minutes until icing is smooth.
Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a bowl to make filling, and spoon strawberries onto bottom half of cake. Smooth a layer of icing on the inside of the top half of cake, and place it on top of the strawberries, so the strawberries and icing are sandwiched in the middle of the cake!
Cover the outside of the cake in the remaining icing, and decorate with strawberries, or as desired.
I would recommend storing this in the fridge if you are not eating it immediately. The icing will melt if it is warm, as you can see from my pictures! Just take it out 10 to 15 mins before you want to eat it, to let it come to room temperature.