Sometimes you come across a recipe that, with the first bite, becomes an instant classic. A few years ago, I discovered a recipe for yogurt cake on Molly Wizenberg’s blog, Orangette, and it has become one of our family’s favorite desserts. The crazy thing about yogurt cake is that, unlike most favorite desserts, it is completely unassuming. I can count the number of ingredients on two hands, it takes less than 10 minutes to put together, it doesn’t dirty a ton of dishes, and it doesn’t have a zillion components (or even three, for that matter). It is simple in every way, and tastes good and wholesome and satisfying.
I’ve tried a few variations with the flavor of the cake, always keeping the base recipe the same, and have been thrilled every time. Lemon, grapefruit, orange–all delicious. This morning I finally tried a variation I’ve been thinking about for months: blood orange. This was actually my first time using blood oranges (although I do have a lot of experience drinking blood orange soda, which is crazy-good in its own right), and I was really gobsmacked by how lovely they are. Their deep, rusty zest gave a beautiful speckle to the cake batter, and the dark coral-colored juice made the most lovely pink glaze. I was planning on putting the piece I photographed back so it could be saved for dessert tonight, but I had to eat it. I just had to!
for the cake:
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I don’t use fat free, but you can if you want to)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
the zest of 2 blood oranges
1/2 cup oil (I use extra light olive oil)
for the glaze:
1/4 cup blood orange juice
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ round cake pan or a springform bundt pan. In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, and eggs. Add flour, baking powder, and zest, and whisk until just combined. Add oil and whisk until batter is completely smooth. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack. While cake is cooling, combine blood orange juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. When cake is completely cool, place it on a serving platter and drizzle with glaze. You might not use all of the glaze, but that’s up to you! Serves 6-8