Since making it for the first time in the summer of 2009, this cake has become my go-to recipe when I need (or want) to bake for something important. It's simple, dependable, and it tastes wonderful every time. I know I can make it when I'm short on time, or in an unfamiliar kitchen, or when I really, really
don't want to mess up.
So when I went to Columbus to meet my boyfriend's parents for the first time, I knew this would be the perfect thing to make for them. They loved it! They even asked me to make them another one before I left. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to do that. But I did give Matt's mom a copy of Molly Wizenburg's book, A Homemade Life.
Next time I visit, I hope we can make it together.
I usually make it in a round baking pan, but it's such an adaptable recipe that a square one works just as well. It would probably make good cupcakes, too! I'll be posting a recipe for a different lemon cake (it's my mom's' favorite kind of cake, so I'm constantly trying different variations) that has a lemonade buttercream frosting. That would go well with this, too . . . Hmm . . .
Recipe for French-Style Lemon Yogurt Cake
From A Homemade Life
by Molly Wizenburg
Makes one 9-inch round cake.
For the Cake:
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
Zest of one lemon
1/2 cup well-stirred plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
For the Lemon Syrup:
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
For the Lemon Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, sugar and eggs and mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture in with the yogurt mixture and blend. Mix in the oil and stir until well combined. The batter should be very smooth.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes and then turn out onto a cake rack or serving plate to cool.
While cake is still warm, mix together lemon syrup ingredients and spoon over cake. Let cake cool completely.
For the lemon icing, whisk together ingredients and spoon over cooled cake. Wait until icing has set, about one hour. Serve.
(If you can't wait, don't. Who cares.)
This is the most delicious American-style potato salad out there. I'm convinced.
If you haven't read Molly Wizenburg's A Homemade Life
, please go get yourself a copy! I haven't made everything from the book (yet), but that's definitely a life goal of mine. Her stories about cooking and family will warm your heart and make your mouth water, I promise.
Her father's recipe for potato salad is one of the first things I tried from the book, and it does not disappoint! My mom and I were skeptical when we read the list of ingredients (ranch dressing? really?), but just trust us. It's great.
One note--please do not try to make a "lighter version" of this recipe. I'm all about cutting calories when and where I can, but this is an all-or-nothing potato salad. If you substitute lite or non-fat or low-fat ingredients, don't blame me when this recipe doesn't blow your mind.
Finally, this potato salad tastes *way* better if you make it the day before you want to serve it. It will still be good the day of, but the flavors won't mesh as well.
Recipe for Burg's Potato Salad
From Molly Wizenburg's A Homemade Life
For the Salad:
1 3/4 lbs red waxy potatoes, scrubbed
4 large eggs
8 scallions (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
For the Dressing:
3/4 cup mayonnaise (preferably Hellman's)
4 tbsp bottled Ranch dressing (preferably Hidden Valley)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1-2 tsp caraway seeds, optional (I usually omit)
Place potatoes in a Dutch oven or large saucepan and add cold water to cover by one inch. Add a generous dash of salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender when pierced with a small, thin knife, about 15 minutes. Drain into a colander, rinse with cold water, and set aside to cool. (If you're in a hurry, stick them in the refrigerator to speed things up. The potatoes should be completely cool when you dress them.) When potatoes have cooled, slice them into rough 1-inch chunks. Smaller potatoes should be cut in half, while larger ones can be chopped into quarters or eighths. Place them in a large bowl.
Meanwhile, cook the eggs. Place them in a small saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When water begins to boil, remove them pan immediately from the heat, cover it, and let it sit for exactly 12 minutes. Immediately pour off the hot water and run plenty of cold water over the eggs. When the eggs have cooled, peel them, chop them coarsely, and add them to the bowl of potatoes. Add scallions, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt, and toss to mix.
In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, Ranch, dill, and caraway seeds. Pour dressing over potato mixture and stir evenly to coat. Taste, and adjust salt if needed.
Cover and refrigerate the night before serving.
This cake, dear readers, is a birthday cake classic. The person lucky enough to receive one of these from your kitchen for his or her birthday will thank you. So will everyone at the party.
This is not a "light" cake. (In case you were wondering, cakes aren't really supposed to be in that category to begin with.) This one is particularly rich, with a generous coating of chocolate malt frosting to round out the moist, yellow cake inside.
I made it for my best friend from college, Katie, who turned 24 on June 2nd. It may have taken me nearly two months to get this posted, but I wasn't about to forget to share it. No-way-josé.
Recipe for Yellow Cake with Chocolate Malt Frosting
From She Wears Many HatsMakes 2 9-inch round cakes.
2 3/4 cups flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup milk, divided
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup malted milk powder
7 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two nine-inch round baking pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and 3/4 cup milk to the mixture and beat until just combined.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs, remaining 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla extract together. Gradually add to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over beat.
Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.
Beat butter and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add in powdered sugar, cocoa powder and malted milk powder; lightly mix. Add in milk, one tbsp at a time, until smooth.
Note: When I frost cakes, I line the cake stand with strips of wax paper. After the frosting has set, I just pull the strips out, and the cake stand or platter is free of errant icing globs. Voila!
Two things. First, you'll notice that I'm posting a savory recipe. I know, right? I told you I eat vegetables . . . Second, I made this casserole for Mother's Day. So yes, it has been that long since I've posted anything. I've been busy.
Recipe for Swiss Chard, White Bean & Sweet Potato Gratin
Adapted from Eats Well with OthersMakes approximately 6 side-dish servings.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 bunches swiss chard, stems and leaves cut into one-inch pieces
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced 1/8th of an inch thick
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup coarsely shredded gruyere
Heat olive oil in heavy skillet on medium high heat. Sauté onion until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add chard, sprinkle with salt, and cook until chard wilts and no more moisture is in the pan. Transfer to a bowl.
Add butter and flour to skillet and whisk together to form a paste. Whisk in milk, add garlic and bring to a simmer. Boil 2 minutes, whisking. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread half the sweet potatoes along the bottom of the dish. Top with half the beans, salt and pepper, half the greens mixture, half the cheese, and half the sauce. Add another layer of sweet potatoes, beans, greens, sauce, and top with cheese.
Cover with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
I made my mom's favorite cake again! And I took a prettier picture of it that I wanted to share.