orange cranberry pound cake

I’ve noticed that a hot shower feels 100x better than normal when I come inside after a cold and sweaty run, a bag of pretzel sticks tastes amazing when I’m ravenously hungry, and my bed is the most comfortable place in the world after a busy day.  

Actually the last one’s always true… no matter what I did that day.

 What I am trying to say is, contrast makes everything more awesome. 

This adorable pound cake plays upon this awesome concept of contrast.  Sure, a sweet vanilla pound cake is always yummy — but it can get a little boring after the third bite.  This pound cake is the perfect yin-yang balance of tart, zesty, and sweet. (i.e. not boring)

This cake never gets boring because it totally nails the “contrasty” thing.  Fresh cranberries are super tart.  Oranges are fresh and citrusy.  Pound cake is rich and sweet.  Mingle all of these friends together and you have the perfect, totally-not-boring, pound cake.  Pound cake perfection.

This is a great counter-top cake.  You know, the kind of cake to just put on the counter top looking all pretty, and as people walk in and out of the house — mom, dad, the dog walker etc., the cake slowly gets nibbled away.   

And when the glaze hardens and gets all nice and crackly…  Ugh.  I just wanna pour it on everything. 

glaaaaaaaaze

With love,
Erica

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup vanilla yogurt/plain yogurt/or sour cream
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
zest of one large orange
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup frozen cranberries
1/3 cup orange juice

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat
the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a loaf pan.  

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a larger
bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, orange zest, and
vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With
a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter.  Fold in the cranberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake
for about 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

While the cake is in the oven, cook the 1/3 cup orange juice
and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and
the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it
to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  While the cake is still warm, pour the orange-sugar
mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

Once cool, carefully remove from the pan.  For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake. 

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lemon yogurt pound cake

This simple cake embodies summer — from its energizing citrus-y aroma to its fabulous, vibrant yellow color. Unlike a traditional pound cake, this cake does not have butter — but personally, I like the fruity, exotic notes of olive oil and the tang from Greek yogurt (although this might not be the cake for you pound cake purists!).

Just like a wheel of Gouda or a pair of jeans, this cake actually gets better with age. It is delicious straight from the oven, but it is out-of-this-world after sitting on the counter for a few days. Time really lets the succulent lemon syrup sink in, making the loaf super rich and super moist. So, if you can resist, keep this loaf on the counter for a day or two, and then indulge — the wait is worth it!

This would be a perfect easy, elegant dessert for a brunch, served with berries and whipped cream — or even better all by itself with a nice cup of tea. This loaf freezes up beautifully, so luscious, velvety lemon-y goodness can always be at your fingertips.
With love,
Erica

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan (either regular or mini). Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. (35 minutes for mini loaf, 50 minutes for regular loaf)
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe on the Food Network

everyday apple upside down cake

There are few flavors I love more than cinnamon and apples. This weekend, the local farmer’s market was full of fresh apples — nearly every stand carrying bushels and bushels of crisp, juicy goodness.  This everyday cake is not overly sweet, nor overly fancy. It is perfect for a snack or tea with friends — and is absolutely luscious with notes of olive oil (tinting the cake a rich yellow color), walnuts (adding a savory crunch) and Greek yogurt (giving it a nice tang). It has a rich aroma of cinnamon and vanilla, and a lovely light texture. I love the apple pattern on the top, and the surprise of popping it upside down out of the pan is so much fun. Plus, as an added bonus, this cake has absolutely no butter, but still tastes succulent and rich — with the added health bonuses of good quality olive oil, walnuts (full of omega-3s!), and hunger-fighting Greek yogurt! Have your cake and eat it too!

With love,
Erica


 Inspired by La Tartine Gourmande

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3 apples
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons (for apples)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (One individual container will do)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup minus 1 Tablespoon good quality, fruity olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons almond flour

Preheat the oven at 350 F. Spray a 9 inch cake pan — preferably non stick.
Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast them (about 5 to 7 minutes). Remove and cool them; chop coarsely and set aside.
Wash the apples and slice them finely (either do halves or wholes, depending on the design you want on your cake — I did a mix of the two).
In a non-stick frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons butter on medium heat, and add the apple slices with the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Toss well and cook for about 4 minutes, or until slightly tender.
Arrange the apple slices at the bottom of the mold (this is going to be the pretty top of your cake).
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt with the sugar. Add the vanilla seeds, and mix well. Add the eggs, and then the olive oil.
Finish with the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nuts.
Pour this batter over the apples and bake the cake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the blade of a knife inserted in the cake comes out dry. Let the cake cool and then unmold on a rack. Enjoy!