Recipe for Yogurt Cake (Yaourtopita, Yogurt Tatlisi)

By Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Helene Siegel, Cesare Casella, Jack Bishop, Tom Lacalamita, Heather Dismore, Martin Yan, Dede Wilson, Joan H. Moravek, Kristin Eddy

This wonderfully moist cake (called yaourtopita in Greece and yogurt tatlisi in Turkey) tastes even better when served the day after it’s made. It was probably first created by some farm wife to take advantage of an abundance of ingredients such as fresh eggs, homemade yogurt, honey from hives strategically positioned near nut and citrus trees, and the lemons that grow under the hot — and at times, brutal — Mediterranean sun.

Yogurt cake with a lemon drizzle.

Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Craig McCausland

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 50 to 55 minutes

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

3⁄4 cup (1-1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

Grated zest of 1 lemon

5 eggs, separated

1 cup plain yogurt

2-1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

1-1⁄2 cups water

3 tablespoons honey

4 small strips lemon peel

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8- to 9-inch tube pan.

  2. Beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light in color and fluffy.

  3. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yogurt and mix until well combined.

  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Fold into the butter mixture. Stiruntil well combined.

  5. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold into the batter.

  6. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.

    Bake on the center rack for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden and tests done when a toothpick is inserted.

  7. While the cake bakes, prepare the syrup by combining the sugar, water, and honey in a small saucepan.

    Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lemon peel. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Add the lemon juice.

  8. Remove the baked cake from the oven. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Invert the cake on a serving plate.

  9. Slowly spoon the syrup evenly over the entire cake. Let the cake cool to room temperature before serving.