I recently went back to a favorite and nearly-foolproof cake recipe that I discovered a year ago. The cake relies on yogurt, olive oil, flour and eggs, and very little else. This yogurt cake, as described on TheKitchn, is the first cake many French children learn to make, which of course was the detail that convinced me: I can make this cake. The truth is, I’ve yet to mess this cake up. It rises without fail, it is forgiving of rushing around, of loud slams of the oven door, and it never sticks to the cake pan. I’ve been handing this recipe out left and right with the only alternation up to this point was the addition of fresh fruit on the top of the cake just prior to baking, and a reduction in sugar. Rachel, of Rachel Eats (and my recipe hero) has a beautiful recipe for a yogurt ciambella that I have yet to try, but would whole-heartily recommend, without even tasting it. She is that good you guys.
We bought some beautiful figs on Friday, and I spent two days trying to decide what to do with them. On Sunday I reached for the cake recipe and only once I’d already mixed the eggs, oil and yogurt did I discover we were 2 tablespoons away from being out of sugar, AND not only that, but we had only 1 cup of flour in the house. So, I did what any good secret kitchen improviser would do. I dug around for honey, whole wheat flour and almond meal, and went on with the somewhat rejiggered recipe.
The cake was denser, but still light and moist, and the sweetness wasn’t too stingy, especially when we paired the cake with fresh strawberries and whip cream.
The original and delicious yogurt cake recipe, sans alternations is here.
Almond Honey Yogurt Cake with figs (aka the accident cake that tasted intentional)
1 1/2 cups yogurt
2/3 cup olive oil
3-4 messy TBSP raw honey plus 2 TBSP raw sugar (in place of 1 1/4 cup sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour + 3/4 cup whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup almond meal (in place of 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground nutmeg
a handful of large figs, sliced lengthwise in thin slices
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan lightly with baking spray or oil, and line the bottom with parchment.
Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, sugar/honey, eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg right into the liquids and stir just until no lumps remain.
Pour the batter into the cake pan. Add sliced figs to the top of the cake, and bake for 60+ minutes, covering with foil at the end if the top is browning. When a tester comes out clean, transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Serve with fresh berries, whip cream, and dare I say, with coffee for breakfast in the morning?