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Greek Yogurt Cake

My idea of health food.

Yogurt does a body good.

This cake has plenty of yogurt in it.

Ergo, this cake is bona fide health food.

OK, maybe not. But can you blame me for trying? Especially when this “Greek Yogurt Cake” is so moist and tender, with a wonderful tang to it?

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Mad Hungry Cravings” (Artisan) of which I received a review copy. Lucinda Scala Quinn, executive food editor of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and mother of three, has created comforting dishes sure to appeal to families — everything from chicken chive burgers to “Eggplant Parm Stacks” to banana chocolate chip cookies.

For this cake, I used Nancy’s Organic Greek Yogurt, of which I recently received a sample. The nonfat version is so thick and creamy that it’s hard to believe it’s made with skim milk. What’s more, the company says that each serving contains more than 56 billion active probiotic cultures, which are thought to aid digestion and strengthen the immune system. See, yogurt cake is good forĀ  you. (wink, wink)

Thick and creamy Greek yogurt.

The yogurt, available in 6-ounce ($2.29) and 24-ounce ($6.69) containers is sold at Albertson’s, Safeway, Whole Foods, Raley’s, Andronico’s, Rainbow Grocery, Real Food, and Mollie Stone’s stores.

This simple batter of yogurt, butter, flour, honey, sugar, eggs, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla extract bakes up fluffy. The next day, the cake will still be moist, but the texture will become a little denser, almost like pound cake. It’s wonderful, either way.

Super moist and super good.

The cake is rather a blank canvas. You can serve it sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Or with sour cherries in syrup. Or with a dollop of more Greek yogurt and walnuts drizzled with honey. Or with any fresh summer fruit you desire.

Fruit? Why, that makes this cake even more healthful.

I’ll have another slice then. Can you blame me?

Greek Yogurt Cake

(Serves 8)

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt

1/4 cup honey

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Walnuts for garnish (optional)

Sour cherries in syrup for garnish (optional)

Extra Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees wit a rack in the middle position. Butter and flour a 9-by-2-inch springform pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together the yogurt and honey in a small bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract.

Add flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the yogurt and beginning and ending with the flour.

Transfer the batter to a prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and invert the cake, lift off the pan bottom and let the cake cool completely.

Slice the cake and serve plain, sprinkled with sugar, or with the topping of your choice, such as walnuts or cherries.

From “Made Hungry Cravings” by Lucinda Scala Quinn

More Recipes Using Yogurt: Yogurt and Spinach Dip in the Persian Manner

And: Strawberry Shortcakes with Greek Yogurt

And: Cinnamon-Apple Yogurt Muffins

And: Sweet Potato and Cumin Soup with Feta Yogurt