Recipe: Tangy Lemon Yoghurt Cake with Rosemary and Raspberries

closeToday was Mothers’ Day, and we therefore planned to have afternoon tea at my brother’s house.  My sister-in-law was doing something decadently chocolatolicious, so I figured I’d complement this with a nice, tangy lemon and yoghurt cake. 

Then, of course, they had raspberries at the market, and I’m now out of vegetable oil, so I had to use extra virgin olive oil instead, and as I was getting that out, my eye fell on the dried rosemary. My mother’s name is Rosemary, rosemary goes well with lemon, the rest was inevitable…

Speaking of inevitable, I made this cake in a rose-shaped Bundt tin.  Getting it out was a nightmare wrapped in a disaster inside a very, very bad idea.  Do not do what I did!  Use a plain Bundt tin, or a plain ring tin, or, in a pinch, a perfectly ordinary round tin (just bearing in mind that it may take a little longer to cook through, because there will be nothing conducting heat in the middle).  Trust me, your life will be much easier.  And this cake is such a lovely, simple thing – why traumatise yourself by having it come out of the tin with bits missing?

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80 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs
zest and juice of two lemons (save the juice of one for the icing)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
280 g Greek yoghurt
250 g caster, white or icing sugar (basically whatever you can find in the pantry, but I don’t think brown would be ideal), plus 200 g icing sugar for the icing
200 g self-raising flour
100 g almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
125 g fresh raspberries


Now what will you do with it?

This cake is super easy, which is how I like it, so the main challenge is greasing and flouring the Bundt tin.  Frankly, if you can’t face that, a plain 24 cm tin, preferably a ring tin (because the bit in the centre conducts heat and helps the cake cook faster), would be fine.  I used my rose Bundt tin, which I will probably live to regret (the cake is still in the oven as I draft this post) (and now that it’s out, yes, I have lived to regret it.  And my uneven dispersal of the raspberries.  Oy.).

So.  Pre-heat your oven to 170°C.  Grease your tin well with either flour or olive oil and then tip some flour into it and bang it about a bit until the entire inner surface of the tin is covered in a fine white coating.

Put a nice, big bowl on the scales, and measure in 80 ml (80 g is close enough) of olive oil, the two eggs, the lemon zest and juice, the yoghurt, the rosemary and the sugar.  Mix everything together well, using a fork, because seriously, you don’t need a mixer for this, and forks go better in the dishwasher.  Even if the dishwasher happens to be your husband / girlfriend / minion of choice.

Now measure in the flour, almond meal and baking powder, and mix until everything is nice and smooth and well-combined.

Fold the raspberries in as gently as possible, then pour the batter into your prepared tin.  Do make sure the raspberries are well dispersed rather than sitting in a clump at the bottom, where they will stick to your tin and make the whole cake come out with maximum ugliness (she says, with the voice of experience).

Bake for about an hour, or until the cake passes the skewer test, and let it cool about 5-10 minutes in the tin before attempting to turn it out.

This is what happened when I turned it out.  Actually, that's a lie - it looked worse than this, but I managed to scrape some of the lost bits out of the tin and stick them back on top...

This is what happened when I turned it out. Actually, that’s a lie – it looked worse than this, but I managed to scrape some of the lost bits out of the tin and stick them back on top…

When the cake is cool, combine 200 g icing sugar with the juice of your second lemon.  This will give you a runny icing that is thicker than a syrup but certainly not spreadable.  If that isn’t what you want, feel free to thicken it, but I think this is a nice consistency for drizzling all over the cake.  So that’s what I did with it…

Serve to someone called Rosemary.  It’s only fair.



This cake is not vegan, I’m afraid, though soy yoghurt would certainly work to make it dairy-free and I think you could replace the eggs with flax-seed eggs if you tried.  Or more yoghurt…  I do think it would work quite well with gluten-free flour mix, but in that case, I’d probably make it in a plain tin, at least the first time.  Frail cakes + elaborate bundt tins = disaster and a very unhappy cook.  If you took out the raspberries and did go the gluten-free flour route, you’d have something fairly low in fructose, too.  You can also replace the almond meal with more self-raising flour (just skip the baking powder), and make this nut-free.

In terms of flavours, you could, of course, make it much plainer, with just lemon and yoghurt.  Or if you have a friend called Rose rather than one called Rosemary, you could, of course, replace the rosemary with a teaspoon or two of rosewater in the batter!  (I am now trying to think of other names that imply flowers or plants, but I’m fairly sure that Holly and Ivy are both poisonous, and I’m not sure that Violet would go well with lemon.  Maybe use orange instead?)  Lavender would also work, even though it’s unlikely to be someone’s name outside an L.M. Montgomery novel.



One year ago:        Recipe: Pudding Brownies with cream cheese and cherries
Two years ago:     Recipe: Chocolate and Chestnut Cupcakes
Show off post: Wedding Cakes!
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