Friday, January 9, 2009

Greek Yogurt and Cake

Several days ago I watched a Barefoot Contessa episode on the Food network where she made a lemon yogurt cake with blueberry sauce. I am a big fan of her recipes. They are delicious, work beautifully and are usually very straightforward. I had never tried her lemon cake from Barefoot Contessa Parties and so I thought I'd do a bake-off to see which one I liked best.

I am also a huge fan of Greek yogurt, especially the Fage brand. If you have never tried it you must. I always buy the non-fat kind. It is thick and creamy with a nice pleasant tang. When berries are plentiful I eat a dollop with fresh berries for breakfast. It is completely transformed with even the slightest drizzle of honey, but honestly I like it straight from the tub, too. It is surprisingly rich and yet so good for you! It could easily stand in for sour cream as a garnish on anything.

Anyhow, I got to work on my lemon cakes, using the Greek yogurt on the yogurt version and soon had 2 golden and fragrant loaves emerging from the oven. My kids were begging for a piece before we had let them cool. I tortured them by making them wait! Once cooled and iced we cut into them. They are both good in different ways. The original version has a very delicate crumb and a subtle lemon flavor. I threw in a teaspoon of poppy seeds just for fun. The yogurt cake was more moist and dense with a more assertive lemon flavor. My kids preferred this one, but after a few more tastes I think I prefer the original. However, my all-time favorite Lemon cake is from the original The Silver Palate Cookbook, and I haven't made that one in a while, so I think I might get that one out and give it a try again soon. I so love lemon...if nothing chocolate is available!

Turns out after all that I still had some yogurt left-over so I decided to try Ina Garten's Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe also from Barefoot Contessa Parties subbing the Greek yogurt for the sour cream. I make this cake often, and we eat it morning noon and night, so it never lasts long. We all adore it (I love the ribbon of streusel that winds its way through the moist buttery crumb, and the maple glaze on top is addicting)! It came out great with the yogurt. It's not so much that I care about making it healthier because when it comes to sweets I am all about using the real stuff- butter, sour cream, sugar....I can eat a bowl of salad later if I've over-indulged my sweet tooth. It was just fun to try something new with another ingredient I am crazy about to see how it a charm!


  1. oh how I wish I lived closer to help you decipher the better cakes!! I sure do miss your baking!!

  2. I too love Ida...but not as much as I love you!

  3. I want her kitchen so bad :)...and her styling friends!!

    I grew up on lemon yogurt cake and makes my aunt's recipe about every other weekend and it is gone in just that...and there are just 2 of us!! Will try Ina's version.