Saturday night was one of those disheartening times when all I wanted to do was just curl up in bed and cry, burned out as I was with work, familial demands, my currently non-existent social life, and life in general. Definitely not a good state to be in!
So, I went to sleep and, come morning, I decided to channel all my rage into baking what has to be one of my best cakes yet: a lemon-mango gateau yaourt. Plus, it was a timely thing to bake: it was my father’s 63rd birthday and I figured he’d appreciate the gesture.
The cake is similar to the Sky at Dusk cake I made for my sister’s birthday last August, only this one was a lovely pale yellow as opposed to the dark purple original. Nevertheless, let me assure you that this cake is gorgeously lemony, fragrant, and there are little tidbits of sweet mango to let you know that summer’s here. The lemon cheesecake frosting is similar to the filling for my lemon-blueberry shortcakes and adds a salty-sweet counterpoint. I suppose a generous ladling of rich ganache would also go over well if you aren’t in the mood for cream cheese, though.
Summer Morning Birthday Cake
- 1 small container mango or peach yogurt + enough milk to make 1 cup
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon lemon flavoring or finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Grease and flour one 9″ x 13″ rectangular cake tin; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees / Gas Mark 4.
Cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the lemon flavoring and stir until the mixture is well-blended. Sift in half the flour and pour in half the yogurt mix; stir well. Add the remaining flour and yogurt mix; mix well. Combine the vinegar and baking soda and stir into the batter until well combined.
Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for thirty minutes.
Modified Lemon Cheesecake Frosting
- 1/2 cup (half a 225g block) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon extract
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar or granulated Splenda
Mix all ingredients until well combined. Spread frosting evenly over the surface of the cooled cake.
Makes twelve servings.
Variation: To make a Summer Sunset Cake, replace the mango or peach yogurt with strawberry, cherry, or mixed berry yogurt and the lemon flavoring in both cake and frosting with a tablespoon of either strawberry flavoring or raspberry liqueur.