Here's the first of the promised recipes from the garden party baby shower I hosted for Jessie. I swear by this recipe for both cakes and cupcakes, and it is--overwhelmingly--the most popular/requested cake I make.
The cake I make is adapted from a loaf cake recipe by Ina Garten--the lovely Barefoot Contessa herself. All credit for the dense, moist, lemony goodness goes to Ina!
Lemon Yogurt Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter until well incorporated. Divide the batter into two 8-inch round cake pans, greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes--until it springs back with the touch of your fingers.
(For mini-cupcakes, the recipe yields 48. Fill the baking cups up to 3/4 full. Bake 15 minutes--until they spring back.)
6 T softened butter
9 oz softened cream cheese (I realize that's just over one package. I know it's annoying, but I've played around with amounts and this works best!)
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 T lemon zest (or more if you wish!)
Beat butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar with a mixer. Stir in lemon zest with a spatula (otherwise you annoyingly end up with all of the lemon zest (=all the flavor!) on your beaters).
If you are making a cake, frost between layers in addition to the top and sides. (Try this post on Taylor's old food blog for cake building tips.) For decorating Jessie's cake, I gave Taylor this picture, a handful of various citrus (orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime), and some fresh mint, and he came up with this:
For cupcakes, use a fat tip to make a little mound of frosting, then top with raspberries. Mini cupcakes are perfect because you can eat three with no guilt. They're like cupcake vitamins.
Let me know if you have any questions!
*cake photos by Stacey Morris
*cupcakes by Kensington Blue Photography