2 hours
serves 6-8
This is a fabulous cake for family or company. It's not too big, not too fussy, and it goes together easily. It's best to make it well ahead of time, for the cake itself should be completely cooled before the icing goes on, and the icing itself should have time to cool before the cake is served. It's a good keeper, and if you can keep people from nibbling a slice here and a slice there, it will last in a cake dome for 3 to 4 days.
  • FOR THE CAKE
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature OR coconut oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 2/3 cups (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (best to use whole yogurt)
  • FOR THE ICING
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch process
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar

for the cake:

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Liberally grease a 9″ round cake pan that is at least 2″ deep. (I like to use a  9-inch contour (rounded at the bottom edge) cake pan like this one.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each one. When both eggs are in, beat at high speed for 2-3 minutes. The batter will lighten in color and become fluffy.

Add to the batter the vanilla and almond extracts, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir well to combine.

Add the flour and yogurt, alternating between them. Start and end with flour: 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the yogurt, half the remaining flour, the rest of the yogurt, then the rest of the flour. Combine gently after each addition. At the end, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat briefly.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake 35-45 minutes, until it is golden brown on top, the edges begin to pull away from the pan sides, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs.

Cool in the pan 20 minutes, then turn out, upside down, onto a rack and cool completely.

 

for the icing:

Sift the sugar: yes, really, sift it. At least pass it through a sieve – it’s important that you not have any lumps.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the cocoa powder and yogurt and bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring constantly, then remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.

Work quickly now, and add the cocoa mixture to the sugar, beating until it is very smooth and glossy. Quickly pour the still-warm icing over the cooled cake, and let it drip over the sides.

For neat slices, let the icing cool completely before serving.

 

variations:

If you split the cake into two layers, and put vanilla pastry cream between the layers, this will make a dandy Boston Cream Pie. It would also be terrific to split the cake and put apricot or raspberry jam between the layers.
 

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