February 21, 2013

Now for the orange version...orange yogurt loaf cake

Without further ado, I went straight ahead and made an orange version of the lemon yogurt loaf cake.  There are some great, sweet, navel oranges at the market right now so it's a good time to cook/bake with this ingredient.
I'll keep this short and simple since it is essentially the same recipe as the original lemon version.  For its orange counterpart here, I used the zest of 2 oranges in the loaf.  To make the orange-sugar syrup that goes on top of the baked yogurt loaf, I sweetened 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice to taste.  My orange was pretty sweet and I ended up using 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar for the syrup. 
The orange yogurt loaf was delicious and I would absolutely make it again, like I would the lemon loaf as well.  I thought I would have a clear favorite between the two flavors but I honestly like them both.  I would say the lemon loaf is probably the "flashier" of the two; the lemon syrup (1/3 cups of lemon juice to the same amount of sugar) provides a really strong punch of sweetened lemon flavor.  The orange is a bit more subtle - in part because it's less sweet from the smaller amount of sugar in the syrup.  For me, subtlety is not a bad thing and I really like that purity of flavor. 

I'm reluctant to pick favorites or call something "my favorite" anyway unless I've tried it many, many times and know it's a proven entity.  For now, I'm grateful to have found two great, lighter, yogurt loaf cake recipes and plenty of uses for any extra yogurt around the house!  For everyday, I may lean more towards this orange loaf.  For making a bigger impression and for lemon fanatics, the lemon loaf would not disappoint!

Please take a look at the previous lemon yogurt loaf cake post for a little more details on this cake.

For this orange version, I still used 1/3 cup of canola instead of 1/2 cup.  I had mistakenly used the lower amount in the lemon cake and found it to be enough because the syrup that gets poured over the baked (and still warm) cake moistens it tremendously

I still think 1/3 cup of the oil is enough.  You could go with 1/2 cup of oil here for this orange cake since the syrup is less sweet and the orange packs less punch than the lemon-sugar syrup does but it's really plenty moist.  It's really up to you...if you're not sure, it's always safest to go with the original written recipe and see how you like it first.
Just a few other notes, I used the zest of two oranges but for 1/3 cup of orange juice, one orange might be enough.  One orange gave me exactly 1/3 cup of juice in this particular case.  Taste the fresh juice and sweeten the syrup to taste, starting with a tablespoon or two of sugar first.  Once the sugar melts as you're heating the mixture, taste again with a clean spoon and add a bit more sugar if necessary.

To apply the orange-syrup, I poke a few holes around the loaf with my cake tester.  I'm not sure that makes much of an impact but I can't resist poking the edges where the syrup is less likely to soak right through.  Use a spoon to gently pour a little of the syrup at a time over the cake so that it's evenly distributed and gets absorbed into the cake as much as possible.  The center will naturally be "wetter" than the edges of the loaf.  

I love the subtle, floral citrus flavor of orange!   


Orange Yogurt Loaf Cake
Adapted from the Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe in Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

- Makes one loaf -

For loaf cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt, well-stirred and at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 extra-large eggs (I used large)
Zest of 2 oranges
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/3 cup of canola oil following my "accident" with the lemon yogurt loaf cake)  

For orange-sugar syrup:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1-2 oranges)
Sugar, to taste (depends on sweetness of oranges; I used 2 1/2 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan (you can also use a 9 x 5 x 3 inch pan).  Line the bottom with parchment; grease and flour the pan (or use baking spray).

In a medium-size bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Place the cup of sugar in a large bowl and zest the oranges directly over it.  Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until you have a fragrant and slightly moistened mixture.  Whisk in the yogurt, eggs, and vanilla until well blended.  Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet.  With a rubber spatula, fold the oil into the batter until thoroughly incorporated.  Pour batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top.

Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. 

When the cake is nearly done, cook the 1/3 cup of orange juice and enough sugar to sweeten (start low and taste to adjust) in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.  Set aside.

Remove cake from the oven and allow it to cool 10 minutes before carefully (the pan will be hot) removing it from the pan and discarding the parchment paper.  Invert cake back onto a wire rack.  Set the rack over a sheet pan.  While the cake is still warm, pour the orange-sugar syrup over the cake (I use a spoon), allowing it to soak in.  Cool cake completely.


  1. This cake looks delicious! That crack on the top and the golden color is really beautiful. And citrus flavored things are my favorite, so i'm definitely going to have to try either this or the lemon loaf.

  2. That crack is very convenient - it lets the citrus-sugar syrup seep right through so that the cake is literally damp in the center. I have a good number of uses for leftover yogurt now! Thanks and I hope you try and like it! : )

  3. Love all the citrus in this! What a perfect spring-time loaf.

  4. Natalie, I wish it was Spring already! We're so ready.

  5. This bread is GORGEOUS! Especially with that pretty crack down the middle of the loaf. I love citrus flavored desserts, especially breads and muffins. :) Come on spring, hurry up!

  6. Thanks, Sally! It's amazing what a little zest does for everything! I'm so glad so many citrus fruits are in season right now while we wait for Spring to come. : )



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