Each time I find myself wanting to post a recipe here that is not jar-related, I tie myself up in knots for a moment, worrying that it is unseemly to break out from the blogging rubric I’ve set up for myself. Then I remind myself that this is my blog and I can do with it what I want. Besides, there are times when all you want a simple little loaf cake to go along side those jams and marmalades. And for those moments, this is a near-perfect treat.
I baked this one up on Sunday morning, intentionally splitting the batter unevenly between two half-sized glass loaf pans. The larger was destined for a friend who had a baby just three weeks ago and the smaller one stayed home. Una (the new mama) is the type of person I’ve always admired. She is so good about taking time for herself, even if it’s only a few moments, and, for as long as I’ve known her, has often done so in the afternoons with a slice of something sweet and a cup of coffee with milk. Goodness knows that this new baby will ruffle her previous patterns, but I felt like it was the least I could do to take her a treat that would allow her that recall those afternoon moments of calm.
The smaller loaf, the one that stayed home, was eaten up in short order as well. I left Scott alone at home with it while I was visiting Una, and when I returned, a big hunk was missing. We whittled it down to the final slice you see above before I realized I wanted to grab a picture. We split that last piece just before turning out the lights and heading to bed.
It’s a good, simple little cake that I adapted from a Dorie Greenspan recipe. I’ve dialed down the sugar a bit, wanting to ensure that it wouldn’t be cloying with the addition of jam and swapped out her lime zest for orange (I had two oranges and no limes on a Sunday morning, so I made do). I also used a bit less oil than she called for, because my yogurt was unusually runny and I didn’t want the batter to be too loose.
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 orange, zested
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- scant 1/2 cup of olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lube one large loaf pan or two small ones with butter or your favorite cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a regular old bowl if no mixer lives in your kitchen), rub the sugar and zest together until combined and fragrant. Add the yogurt, eggs, extract and olive oil and combine on low and then medium speed.
- Add the dry ingredients and combine.
- Pour into loaf pan(s) and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Use a toothpick or cake tester to determine whether the cake is cooked all the way through. Don't worry if the top darkens, it adds a delicious crunch to the cake.