A simple, not overly sweet orange loaf cake that tastes great with strawberries and stays moist for several days.
Last year I filled one of the 4' x 8' raised beds in my kitchen garden with 30 Cavendish strawberry plants, and after diligently snipping off every blossom and runner that appeared during the summer (because no berries the first year means bigger and healthier plants the next), nestling the plants under a protective bed of hay in fall, dreaming of glistening strawberries throughout the winter, and happily monitoring the flourishing plants come spring, I was finally rewarded with a juicy and jewel-like harvest that began the end of May.
I savored the first strawberries of the season while standing in the garden, and it doesn't get much better than that—unless you happen to have a nice orange yogurt cake, some freshly whipped cream, or a scoop of French vanilla ice cream (or all three!) handy.
A slice of this moist, not overly sweet cake is delicious by itself, but it goes particularly well with strawberries, and it also tastes divine with blueberries.
Sadly, most strawberries today don't even taste like strawberries. They've been manipulated and modified to look big and pretty and travel well, with flavor barely a consideration.
In order to find a good strawberry you must look to your own or a generous friend's garden, a small U-Pick farm, or a farmers' market. And organically grown is a must.
Commercially grown strawberries are #2 on the Environmental Working Groups list of most contaminated produce (apples are #1), and years ago I read that in one laboratory test a single commercially cultivated strawberry was found to contain residue from 22 different toxic chemicals. That's so sad it doesn't even seem possible.
Oranges are #31 on EWG's list, and since the skin of citrus fruits often contains lots of toxic chemical residues, it's best to seek out organic fruits when using the zest in recipes.
Freshly picked strawberries with a side of homemade cake for breakfast.
Susan's Easy Orange Yogurt Cake
Makes one 9"x5" or 10"x5" loaf — inspired by this recipe on Pinch My Salt
**Click here to print this recipe**
This is the kind of simple recipe I love to have in my collection. It mixes up quickly, can be eaten plain or gussied up, and stays moist for several days. Like most baked goods it also freezes beautifully—and can be easily sliced when frozen. It tastes even better the second day.
One of the nicest things about cake recipes is that there are basically an endless number of them; change one or two things and you'll often end up with an entirely different dessert. You could certainly make a lemon version of this, and I'm thinking about a combination of lemon and lime, or maybe even lemon, lime, and orange. A Meyer lemon yogurt cake would probably be delightful.
Good baking pans make all the difference. I love my Chicago Metallic 10-inch commercial loaf pans and my heavy gauge 9"x5" USA Pan. Both pans are also great for baking sandwich breads, such as my popular Farmhouse White.
3/4 cup (1½ sticks/6 ounces) organic butter, softened
1¼ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup organic orange juice
2 Tablespoons finely chopped or grated organic orange zest (I use a vegetable peeler & a sharp knife)
2 cups organic all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (make sure it's fresh!)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup organic orange juice (strained if freshly squeezed)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer (I use a hand held mixer) to cream until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add the eggs, vanilla, yogurt, orange juice, and orange zest and beat 1 minute.
4. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well.
5. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9"x5" or 10"x5" loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Ovens vary, so start checking for doneness after about 45 minutes. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes and then carefully remove it from the pan.
6. If desired, combine the orange juice and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves, then spoon or brush it over the cake. Slice and serve, preferably the next day if you can wait that long, plain or piled high with fresh strawberries and whipped cream and/or ice cream. This cake will keep at room temperature for 3 days or can be frozen.
Related Strawberry Posts:
Growing and Enjoying Strawberries
5/21/06: A Beautiful Breakfast!
5/27/06: The Turtles vs. Me, Cary, and Bear
10/28/07: Growing Strawberries & Preparing Your Bed for Winter
Garden Journal 5/28/08: Successfully Growing Strawberries!
More Farmgirl Fare cake and quick bread recipes:
100% Whole Wheat Coconut Zucchini Bread
Heavenly Lemon Coconut Quick Bread
Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread
Quick Chocolate Emergency Loaf Cake
Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet & savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index. Enjoy!
© FarmgirlFare.com, the sweet and juicy foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, & photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and every freshly picked berry is a cause for celebration (and cake).