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this new lightness

What a difference a week makes. I don’t know if it’s the change in the weather or what but I am feeling much more upbeat and optimistic. I should probably chalk my change in demeanor to a more fulfilling work project and my two nights of yoga class. I never thought I’d be in to yoga. Too much breathing, too many oms, etc. But there is something so heavenly about going to my hour yoga class after a long day of work. To sit, breathe, and stretch after spending 8 hours curled up in my cubicle is a relaxing and invigorating activity I plan on continuing. Plus, seeing my 66-year-old yoga teacher kick my ass with her muscles and bendability is a motivation enough.

Combine this new regime with the sudden change in weather, and you have got on happy camper here. Yesterday the temperatures reached 80 degrees. I could feel the sun on my skin, and with it the promise of summer and I couldn’t help but feel happy.

To celebrate this new lightness, I bring to you this simple yet cheerful Raspberry Yogurt Cake. I know it sounds boring and repetitive but I’ve been craving a moist, and bright cake for quite some time. Since I made this Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake, I’ve wanted to play around with using alternative dairy products besides milk and sour cream in my cakes. Greek yogurt and ricotta cheese produce a cake with a moist and light crumb and unforgettable flavor. But things such as raspberry chocolate chunk muffins and buttermilk biscuits got in the way. But all in due time, folks, all in due time.

This cake reminds me alot of the Orange Poppyseed Cake that is one of my favorites ever. Surprisingly tender, light, and sweet, it seduces everyone in its path. And the raspberries… Oh the raspberries. No other fruit looks so good in this cake. Maybe blueberries or blackberries, but even then, raspberries win over them. The purple and white batter looks like the epitome summer.

The original recipe called for plain lowfat yogurt, but plain doesn’t cut it for me. I honestly abhor plain yogurt: the texture and overall blahness makes it pretty undesirable. But mention greek yogurt, and I swear hearts will appear in my eyes. Kind of like in the cartoons when the coyote sees a sassy squirrel walk by. I am the coyote, Fage yogurt is my squirrel. I recommend using a yogurt that you like in this cake because the yogurt’s flavor will come through 100%. Meaning, if you use the boring, plain version, your cake might taste boring and plain. Consider yourself warned. 

The recipe originally said the cake should be ready by 1 hour and 10 minutes. Well, mine took longer. Way longer. More like 1 hour and 45 minutes. That being said, my oven is  a little tempermental so keep an eye on your cake once the one hour mark passes, just in case. Lastly, you could forget common sense and just toss the raspberries in the cake batter. OR. You could think ahead and realize that having big chunks of raspberries will make for messy slicing. You get what I’m saying? Chop, folks. Chop it up.

Having just laid out in thes un working on my glow (yes SPF 30 was used) I can say that winter is officially gone in California. It’s practically summer. And you know what that means! In about two weeks, I’ll be moaning and groaning, wishing for fall to come again. I seriously can’t win here.

Raspberry Yogurt Cake
Adapted from: Bon Appetit July 2008
Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
● 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour, divided
● 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
● 1/4 tsp. salt
● 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
● 1 3/4 cups sugar
● 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
● 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract, divided
● 1 tsp. finely grated orange peel
● 3 large eggs, room temperature
● 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, (I used 2% Fage Greek Yogurt)
● 2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (two 6-ounce containers), chopped in to bite sized pieces
● 1 cup powdered sugar
● 1 tablespoon (or more) water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 12-cup Bundt pan. Whisk 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy. Beat in orange juice, 1 teaspoon almond extract, and orange peel. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in yogurt.

Add dry ingredients to batter and beat just until blended.

Toss 1/2 cup flour and raspberries in large bowl. Fold berry mixture into batter. Spoon batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake cake until wooden skewer inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.

Invert cake onto plate and cool completely.

Wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature, the cake can be made one day ahead.

When you are ready to serve the cake, make the glaze: whisk powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in medium bowl. Add more water by 1/2 teaspoonfuls as needed for thick glaze. Drizzle over cake. Let stand until glaze sets.

Printable Recipe Here.

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April 20, 2009 - 6:42 am
April 20, 2009 - 6:47 am

Shelly - that cake looks so delicious and tangy… and it’s reminding me of something else I’ve had that my mother makes, but I can’t remember exactly what! ahh!

April 20, 2009 - 7:16 am

Helen - Ooh it looks delicious! The sun improves my mood so much – even though I have so much work to do in the next month I am not fretting about it as much because it’s sunny outside!

April 20, 2009 - 8:15 am

Kristin at The Kitchen Sink - This looks lovely, Amanda! I like the addition of orange juice/zest and almond. And I’m glad to hear you’ve got sunny skies and yoga and all to keep you smiling.

April 20, 2009 - 12:03 pm

snooky doodle - how nice !! The rasberries make the cake look amazing :)

April 20, 2009 - 12:10 pm

stephchows - looks and sounds delicious! bring on the spring weather!!

April 20, 2009 - 3:05 pm

whitneyinchicago - I love the purple cloth in the background. Such a pretty cake!

We had our first 70 degree sunny day on Saturday which was perfect for my long run (i’m going to ignore the potential for snow tonight). Glad you mood has perked up!

April 20, 2009 - 6:54 pm

Jodye - What a beautiful cake, I love the bursts of color from the raspberries!

April 21, 2009 - 4:19 am

Tracy - You’ve got me thinking about all kinds of Spring and Summery thoughts now! This cake looks so delicious. I love the berries throughout it. Great photos too!

April 21, 2009 - 7:18 am

Jennifer - I can imagine just as moist and light this cake is!!! Beautiful!!!

April 21, 2009 - 7:58 am

Debbie - I hope summer arrives and stays here soon. We’ve had a few warm days and this weekend promises to be nice too. But I need the sun and warm weather to keep a cheerful attitude!!! The cake looks great. I’d like to make that sometime soon…

April 21, 2009 - 2:28 pm

kickpleat - This sounds too perfect. I’ve got berries up the wazoo in my freezer, so I’m going to try this cake soon. Lovely.

April 22, 2009 - 12:41 pm

ingrid - Looks gooooood.

That’s too funny about your yoga teacher. My grandma kicked butt ’til she died at 94. Her body obviously was the same but man her mind razor sharp!
~ingrid

April 24, 2009 - 12:18 pm

cindy - this looks fantastic…i’m a big fan of fage too!

April 29, 2009 - 4:43 am

steph (whisk/spoon) - yeah, why is plain yogurt here so gross? other countries can do it right, so why can’t we? this cake looks fabulous. i love yogurt loaf cakes–so simple and good! hope you are still enjoying nice weather!

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