This has to be the cake I’ve made most often lately. If you have been following me on Instagram, you may have already seen my lemon yogurt cake with several variations. I make this plain, just lemon and yogurt which then get a fancy dress up. I have also used blood orange instead of lemon once and used a naturally pink blood orange glaze on top, that was the prettiest! My favorite version is this one, with blueberries.
What I love most about this cake is that it is not at all too sweet…just the right amount of sweetness to get your taste buds happy. The lemon(juice and zest) and the yogurt adds a tang that cuts through the richness. I love to stuff them with chock full of blueberries so you get a juicy burst with every mouthful.
If that description got you excited already, then you are at the right place. I am finally adding this recipe to the blog but this time I am using LifewayKefir lemon flavored whole milk kefir (#sponsored) instead of yogurt. The same great taste but with a fantastic new twist.
What is Kefir?
Well, I am sure this is already a part of some of your diets. But for those who don’t know, it is a tart and tangy cultured dairy drink packed with protein, calcium, and live and active probiotic cultures. So it is just like yogurt but in liquid form. I think this texture exactly matches that of drinking yogurt (good old school days)
The kefir adds a nice tang to this cake which blends perfectly with the lemon. And did you know that lifewaykefir has flavored kefir. YES! there are so many flavors that there is one for everyone out there!
For this recipe you can use either the plain kefir or the lemon flavored kefir, like I’m doing here. Lemon flavored kefir adds extra lemon flavor! Also it is perfect to make the glaze that goes on top of these cakes. If using plain, may be add zest of half a lemon extra! You can always taste the batter and decide. Everyone likes it differently so you do you!
I just love the flavor of lemon kefir! I drink it straight out of the bottle. Its like drinking a lemon tart..so good. But what is even better is that in a moist cake! It is an easy one bowl cake so less washing up to do. Follow the simple steps below and you are in for a tasty treat!
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Start by pre-heating the oven to 350 °F. By the time you mix everything, the oven will be ready.
Measure and prepare all your ingredients before you jump in. I know I said it’s a one bowl recipe. You need one bowl to mix everything but it makes life so much easier when you add them in a certain order.
At the end you should get a smooth lump free batter!
Toss the blueberries with 1-2 tablespoons of flour (or cornflour/corn starch) Remove the excess flour and set aside. Doing this will stop the berries sinking to the bottom while baking.
If using frozen berries, you don’t need to flour them. just use straight from the freezer. Using frozen fruit may extend the baking time as it will chill the batter. So test towards the end of the bake!
So this is the order to mix the batter;
Mix kefir, sugar and zest and whisk until incorporated. then add the eggs, all at once is fine and whisk until eggs disappear. Then add the oil and whisk in fast circular motions to incorporate oil. Do not beat like you do with omelet. As soon as you see a emulsified mixture, stop stirring. Add the lemon juice and mix.
Mix the flour and baking powder together and it into this mixture. Stir in circular motions using a whisk until you get a smooth batter.
You can use a food processor and a blender for this too. Just don’t over beat. Too much air will make the cake rise too much and overflow the cake pan.
This is the consistency we are looking for. It is not as thick as a normal butter cake. It is close to a thick pancake batter! The longer you sit the batter the thicker it will get.
I usually let it sit for about 15 minutes. A slightly thicker batter bakes well and rise well.
You can also refrigerate this batter in a air-tight container for about 2-3 days and bake straight out of the fridge. Baking time may extend.
Let the batter sit and prepare the tray. You can use cooking spay (any good brand that you trust) or follow the old fashioned butter & flour technique.
I prefer butter and flour as it always releases the cakes without a fuss and gives the sides of the cakes a nice brown color!
Make sure to use a good quality ban that heats evenly.
Don’t have a loaf pan? use a cupcake tray or a muffin tray.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. I usually transfer the batter to a measuring cup or a just with a spout for easy and mess free distribution.
Fill only about 3/4 of the cavity. This batter will make 8 cakes. They will rise right to the top during the bake.
And now add the blueberries. You can add them to the batter but by doing this, you can make sure that every cake gets an even amount of berries.
Place some on the top, and slightly push one or two so berries are evenly distributed across. Do not overdo the berries as it may affect the texture. Berries has a lot of water and they burst while baking.
I won’t go beyond 8. If they are huge berries, 5 per cake is ample.
Now these are ready to be baked.
Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Always check the cakes at the 25 minutes mark. If a cake tester inserted comes out clean they are done!
If you are baking in a large muffin tray, they may need an extra 5 to 10 minutes.
Baked cakes will be risen to the top (slightly domed in the center) with slightly browned edges.
Remove from the oven, leave on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before unmolding.
Use a small offset spatula or a flat butter knife to help lift the cake. they are delicate so take extra care. If you great the pan correctly, they should just fall off the pan.
Once you unmold the cakes, let then cool completely before storing away or decorating with the glaze.
Making the glaze is really simple. you don’t even need to measure. Start by adding roughly about a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of the kefir at a time and stir until you get a thick but spreadable glaze.
If you like more tang, add a few drops of lemon juice and adjust with more powdered sugar.
This graze can be stored in the fridge in an air-tight container for several days.
Once the cakes are cooled, decorate with the glaze and more blueberries. The glaze is thick but it will drip down the sides but will set eventually.
If you don’t want a drip, thicken the glaze by adding more powdered sugar. Then you can spread it like icing just on the tops!
Decorate only the once you serve. The glaze may absorb to the cake over time so once decorated they can’t be stored for more than a few hours.