Here we are with September nearly escaping me before I shared a single recipe. This month has seen me cross the threshold of a fifth year married to a wonderful man, my twenty-ninth year on this earth and a week-long staycation to celebrate both. All month, Nathan and I have been seeing so many friends; dinners, breweries, board games, brunches, day trips, happy hour, church, cooking together. With new friends and dear old friends, our days and hearts have been so full.
More recently, I’ve spent the past week kicking a brutal cold/flu virus — that always seems to really signal the beginning of Autumn, sadly, doesn’t it? Many folks at work are ill, and I imagine schoolchildren are facing the same. We all need a little something to keep our spirits up.
Though I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, every now and then a piece of cake reminds us what is good in life. A slice of this orangey treat makes morning coffee a novelty, brings an evening meal to succinct finish, or gives a dinner party something to linger over as conversations wind and weave.
I love this tender loaf cake with the fragrant spice of cardamom, which brings to mind notes of chai tea, speckled throughout with flecks of bright orange zest. It’s perfect for gifting to friends, sharing with coworkers, surprising a set of new parents. The recipe is from a favorite blogger of mine (and brand-new mom!) Emily at Five and Spice. Her recipes never fail to please and I trust her implicitly. While my cake doesn’t look nearly as pretty as hers, I had to share this treat that we have enjoyed on so many occasions. Every time I bake a loaf, I’m reminded of simple comforts.
Baking weather has finally arrived in the Northwest, blowing in with more than 2 inches of rain in two days this weekend and gusting winds to boot. I couldn’t be more pleased to switch on the oven (as long as the power stays on). Enjoy!
Orange Cardamom Yogurt Cake
Recipe from Five and Spice
yields 1 loaf (which is why I always double it)
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of one orange
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F with rack in the center. Grease a loaf pan, then cut a sling of parchment to fit into the bottom and come up two sides. Grease the parchment inside the pan as well, and dust flour over everything, tapping to release excess flour.
In a medium bowl, rub the orange zest into the sugar with your fingers to release the oils and fragrance. Add flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt and whisk together.
Measure the yogurt into a glass 2-cup measuring cup with the olive oil, then whisk in eggs and vanilla (or use a bowl, but I like keeping the number of dirty dishes down). Fold yogurt mixture into dry ingredients just until combined, gently. Pour into prepared pan, smooth the top a bit and bake 45 – 55 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick tested in the center comes out cleanly.
Let the cake cook in the pan for 15 minutes or so, then lift out using the parchment paper sling and allow to cool on a rack on its side (to avoid deflation). Enjoy!