I’ve had this cake in my recipe book for so long I can’t remember where I ever found it. I often make it when I need to bake something quick and easy, when I have excess lemons to use or a touch of leftover yoghurt. It keeps well although in my house it normally doesn’t last long enough to find out.
Over the years I’ve adjusted the recipe little, just reducing the sugar in the cake a touch as a reaction to modern trends, and you can use any kind of “cultured dairy”, plain unsweetened yoghurt, sour cream or creme fraiche. The tangier the better though, to go with the tangy lemons.
It’s best to pour hot syrup over a hot cake, otherwise it can go a little soggy.
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup yoghurt (or sour cream) – (I love The Collective Straight Up plain unsweetened, its tangy but not bitter and nice and creamy)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use ricebran but something light with little flavour will do)
zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons, how convienent!!)
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of your tin (20cm round, 20x30cm sheet cake tin, or a loaf tin) with baking paper.
In a bowl sift the dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk together wet ingredients and lemon zest. Combine the two bowls, gently mixing to incorporate together. Don’t beat too much or you will end up with bubbles in the cake.
Pour into cake tin and bake in centre of oven for 40-45 mins until a skewer comes out clean. (If baking in a slice/sheet cake tin, this will be a shorter time, 25-30 minutes but just keep an eye on it.).
While cake is cooking heat sugar and lemon juice to make a syrup. If you have extra lemon zest or juice it won’t hurt to add them to the pan.
Remove cake from the oven and poke holes with a skewer all over the cake. Place on a board or plate to catch any stray syrup, and pour hot lemon syrup over the cake trying to keep it even (but if you don’t manage to, the soggy syrupy bits are the best!).
Lovely hot or cold, served with extra yoghurt or cream or if you’re being really extravagant, some cheeky marscapone. Or just eat by itself if there’s any left.