Why This Recipe Works
Popular throughout Spain and France, this simple cake exists in many forms—with or without citrus; glazed, drenched in syrup, dusted with confectioners’ sugar, or unadorned; baked in a cake pan, baking dish, loaf pan, or Bundt pan—but the basic recipe is the same: Extra-virgin olive oil and yogurt are combined with eggs, sugar, flour, and leavener (usually baking powder and sometimes baking soda) to create a moist, delicate cake with a slightly coarse crumb and a subtly tangy, mildly fruity aroma. We tested our way through numerous versions and found we preferred our cake without citrus in the batter to enable the subtle aroma of the olive oil to shine through. We tested a range of yogurt types and found that the most traditional—plain whole-milk yogurt—yielded the best results; the crusts and crumbs of cakes made with Greek yogurt were too thick and dense, and cakes made with low-fat yogurts were too dry and crumbly. We preferred the graceful form of the Bundt pan and found that an easy-to-make lemon glaze (with a touch of tangy yogurt) was enough to transform this modest everyday cake into an elegant dessert.
Serve with fresh fruit or dried fruit compote, or simply enjoy with tea or coffee. For the best flavor, be sure to use high-quality extra-virgin olive oil here.
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1¼ cups (8¾ ounces) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2–3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt
2 cups (8 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. In separate large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs together until sugar is mostly dissolved and mixture is pale and frothy, about 1 minute. Whisk in oil and yogurt until combined. Using rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until combined and no dry flour remains.
2. Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and gently tap pan on counter to settle batter. Bake until cake is golden brown and wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
3. FOR THE LEMON GLAZE: Whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice, yogurt, and confectioners’ sugar together in bowl until smooth, adding more lemon juice gradually as needed until glaze is thick but still pourable (mixture should leave faint trail across bottom of mixing bowl when drizzled from whisk). Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then gently turn cake out onto wire rack. Drizzle half of glaze over warm cake and let cool for 1 hour. Drizzle remaining glaze over cake and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Serve.
Nutrition Facts: 520 calories, 26g fat, 4g saturated fat, 65mg cholesterol, 67g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 1g fiber, 340mg sodium