I love yogurt in cakes. It gives moisture and a nice tang. So, this was inevitable. This time of year, take one stroll at any fruit market in Cyprus and you will taste the best, sweetest, firmest, juiciest cherries, bursting with freshness and flavour. I must admit it was hard for me to pit them instead of eating them all, but one has to sacrifice one’s cravings for the potential of a great cake.
You can make this cake with any other summer fruit you fancy. I even tried it with frozen berries, even sour cranberries and it still came out delicious. It’s unbelievably moist with a great aroma from the lemon zest and juicy cherries. I used self-raising flour but added a little baking soda to help it rise even more, since the yogurt makes the batter heavy. But you don’t need me to explain why I did what I did, you just need me to tell you that this cake is worth your time in the kitchen and “wasting” a cup of cherries. Well, it is.
- 165 grams unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbs lemon zest
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups self-raising flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2/3 cup full fat, Greek yogurt
- 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved (see note)
Preheat oven to 175 C. Grease a 13 x 22cm loaf pan and line it with greaseproof paper, leaving some paper hanging from the sides.
Cream butter and sugar together, in a bowl of a stand mixer, until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add zest and vanilla and beat to combine.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add about half of the flour to the mixture and beat until incorporated. Add yogurt and beat again. Add the remaining flour and beat until mixture is smooth. Don’t over beat.
Fold in the halved cherries using silicon spatula or a large spoon.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the loaf pan for 30 minutes. Remove from pan with the help of the overhanging greaseproof paper. Discard paper. Cool completely before slicing and serving.
Note: You can substitute 1 cup of any frozen berry you like. This recipe works great with frozen or fresh blueberries