A Yogurt Cake — That’s Almost All Yogurt
I’ve made many a yogurt cake — but never one that was nearly all yogurt and only a smidge of flour.
This “Yogurt Cake” is so different.
Rather than yogurt being a mere supporting ingredient to give the cake extra moistness, it is the star here in abundance, creating a light, fluffy texture almost like an airy, crustless cheesecake.
The recipe is from “Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean” (Ten Speed Press, 2021), of which I received a review copy.
The incomparable cookbook writer, who was born in Egypt and now lives in the United Kingdom, has been chronicling Middle Eastern cuisines for decades, and educating all of our palates along the way.
Her latest cookbook showcases the classics she loves to prepare for friends and family, which are imbued with the flavors of Provence, Cairo, Sicily, Morocco and beyond.
Take a taste of everything from “Gazpacho Andaluz,” “Spicy Bulgur and Nut Salad,” and “Spiced Saffron Rice” to “Octopus in Red Wine and Potato Salad,” “Chicken in a Spicy Honey Sauce Buried in Vermicelli,” and “Apple Parfait with Calvados.”
This batter for this Turkish yogurt cake includes a whopping 1 2/3 cups whole milk Greek yogurt, 4 eggs (with the whites whipped separately), sugar, lemon juice and zest, and all of 3 tablespoons flour. Yup, that’s it.
As it bakes, it will rise like a souffle, before settling down again. Roden instructs to bake it until it is only lightly browned. But I took it slightly beyond that, only because I like the caramelized taste. Feel free to do you, though.
This is definitely more cheesecake-like than cake-like. Think a Japanese cheesecake, only much more moist and more egg-y in texture. All that yogurt gives it a very bright and tangy taste, too.
No wonder it’s a treat that Roden says she and her family make all the time.
(Serves 6 to 8)
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups whole-milk Greek yogurt
Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round nonstick cake pan with a removable bottom.
Using an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
In another bowl, using the same mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale. Add the flour, yogurt, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat to a homogeneous cream.
Gently fold the egg whites into the yogurt mixture and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is lightly browned — watch it carefully for the last few minutes of cooking so that it doesn’t brown too much. The cake will puff up like a souffle and then subside. Let cool a little before lifting it out onto a serving plate.
Serve the cake warm or cold.
For garnishing: For a beautiful accompaniment to the yogurt cake, briefly rinse 1 pound strawberries, hull, and cut them in half through the stem end, then sprinkle with 5 tablespoons superfine sugar and the juice of 1/2 lemon and let sit for 1 hour before serving.
From “Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean” by Claudia Roden
More Yogurt Love: Greek Yogurt Sorbet by Janet Fletcher
And: Greek Yogurt Cake