Sunday, March 4, 2012

Raspberry Yogurt Cake

We've had such a mild winter compared to the usual here in the Northeast. We've been spoiled and I have been enjoying every moment of it (except when Mother Nature decided to drop some wet and dangerous snow on us en route to the airport for a trip to sunny Florida... go figure). And now that February is history, and March is stampeding in like a lion, Spring is knocking on our door. Spring used to be my favorite season. The mild temperatures and reemergence of light jackets, skirts, and bright colors brightened my mood and energized me for the rest of the year. But when my daughter turned two, Spring reared its ugly head. Since then my Springs have been filled with itchy noses, red and puffy eyes, and constantly fighting to keep pollen out of our house so my daughter could enjoy her home as allergen-free as possible.
So, as a result of my latest dealings with Spring, my second favorite season has taken the #1 spot - Summer! The other day, I was thinking about Summer - flip-floppy, sunscreeny days, sitting lazily poolside, trips to the beach, etc. As usual, all my thoughts eventually lead to baking and I was inspired to make a light cake using berries in some manner and was pleasantly surprised when I found a large container of beautiful plump, crimson raspberries at my Costco!
What better way to dream about summer than sitting with a warm cup of coffee and a freshly baked slice of Raspberry Yogurt Cake topped with a light Cream Cheese Glaze. This cake was soft and fluffy and complemented so well by the slightly tart raspberries and creamy glaze. The yogurt in the cake added a moisture that remained for days. I think it lasted about 3 days at my house. It's great for dessert, a mid-afternoon snack, or every time you pop into the kitchen for something.. This cake would be great without any berries or with any other berry you like. And it would be just amazing topped with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream in place of the glaze! 

Raspberry Yogurt Cake
(cake adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts by Barbara Fairchild, glaze adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)

3 c all-purpose flour (divided into 2 1/2 c and 1/2 c)
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 T freshly squeezed orange juice
1 t almond extract
2 t orange zest, fine
3 large eggs, room temperature
6 oz plain yogurt (Greek yogurt works well)
12 oz washed and dried raspberries

Cream Cheese Glaze:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 t almond extract
1 T freshly squeezed orange juice
3 T milk (more, if needed)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 12- to 15-cup bundt pan. In a bowl, whisk 2 1/2 c flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (around 3 minutes). While this is working, combine the raspberries and 1/2 cup of flour. Toss together until each raspberry is completely covered in flour. This helps to keep the raspberries suspended in the cake during baking, rather than having them settle to the bottom of the pan. Set the raspberries aside. Then, to the butter and sugar mixture add the orange zest, juice, and almond extract. Mix until well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate each one before adding the next. Once the eggs are well mixed in, add the yogurt and blend until well mixed. Slowly add your dry ingredients and mix until just blended, ensuring not to overmix. Using a spatula, fold in the flour-coated raspberries to the batter.
Spoon the batter into your prepared bundt pan and smooth off the top. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes and then invert it onto a serving platter and continue to let it cool.
While the cake is baking, make your glaze.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the extract, orange juice and milk until well combined. You may add more powdered sugar or milk to thicken or thin out the sauce depending on your desired consistency. I like mine a little on the thicker side so it will coat the cake substantially for a yummy glaze to cake ratio in each bite... :) Drizzle atop your cake and serve.
Keep it refrigerated for up to 5 days.

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