David Lebovitz’s Lemon Yogurt Cake

Making David Lebovitz’s Lemon Yogurt Cake was a no-brainer for me. I love lemon. The recipe looked very easy. So I made the cake.

This is the easiest, most low maintenance cake I have ever made. The batter is mixed by hand (no mixer required!), and you don’t need to worry about keeping things even and pretty with the glaze. You don’t even have to refrigerate it! It’s almost criminal how something so easy could be so delicious.

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While I am usually very strict about following recipes to a T when making them for the first time, I did make some minor changes to David’s original recipe. Because whole milk yogurt wasn’t available at Rizal Dairy Farms, I used low fat yogurt, with David’s express approval, of course. I also tweaked the glaze a little bit because I only had one cup of powdered sugar left. I didn’t reduce the lemon juice in proportion to the reduction in sugar, so my final glaze was 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice (versus the proportional 2). I also nixed the apricot-cherry compote because, I don’t even know where to find fresh apricots in Manila. Even if I did, I don’t want to spend more than the cost of the actual cake on apricots and cherries.

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If my miserliness was detrimental to my final product, I really couldn’t tell. Compote or not, low-fat yogurt and all, the cake was wonderful. The cake itself  was very moist and soft. The crumb was on the heavier side but without being too dense. David hit the sweet spot for the strength of the lemon flavor: enough to both please the citrus-mad (like myself) and not turn off (and possibly convert) those who are not a fan of it.

My tweaked glaze was a bright, more pronounced burst of lemon, and I loved it against the more subdued flavor of the cake. But even if you don’t like your citrus as strongly as I do (I do use one calamansi per siomai), do consider making the glaze as directed as the flavor will mellow out over one or two days as the glaze seeps into the cake.

The one downside to this cake (if you could actually call it a downside) is that you might be asked to make it more than once in a 7-day period, like I was. I made one on Monday, and had to make one again on Sunday, as the people who’ve gotten to try it (and some who’ve only heard of how good it was) kept asking about when I was making it again. And really, with something as easy and good as this, I really had no choice but to oblige.

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