I recently worked with Nounos Creamery using their incredible Greek-style yogurt (and it’s locally made in Long Island, NY) into my recipes.
Several weeks ago, it was prime cherry season and I wanted to bake a cake instead of baking a pie. (Trust me, I am not opposed to making pie but it was sweltering in my kitchen and the all butter pie crust won’t survive a few minutes of rolling.) I am a fan of Yossy Arefi of Apt. 2B’s book Sweeter Off the Vine and stumbled on her recipe using cherries and poppy seeds. The addition of Nounos’ tangy yogurt added a subtle tang to the cake and worked with the fruity acidity of the cherries. It’s a quick cake to whip up which is always a plus for my busy schedule.
Poppy Seed Cherry Yogurt Cake
1/4 cup (35g) flour
2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats, rolled
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or cardamom
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter salted or unsalted, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
grated zest of 2 large lemons
1/2 cup (125ml) neutral vegetable oil such as canola or grapeseed
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (225g) plain whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups (210g) pitted cherries sweet or sour (fresh or frozen)
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Butter a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan, dust with flour, and tap out any excess.
2. Make the streusel by mixing the 1/4 cup flour, oats, brown sugar, poppy seeds, cinnamon or cardamom and salt in a small bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to break the butter into small pieces, until the streusel is in small bits. Set aside.
3. To make the cake, whisk the flour, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt together in a small bowl.
4. In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together very well with your fingers, encouraging the lemon oil to saturate the sugar. Whisk in the oil, eggs, yogurt and lemon juice. Add the flour mixture all at once, stirring with a rubber spatula until it’s almost completely incorporated. Fold in half of the cherries and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
5. Dot the remaining cherries over the top and sprinkle with streusel. Bake the cake until golden brown on top and it feels set in the center, about 45 to 50 minutes. Mine took closer to the 50 minute mark, and several readers noted theirs took up to 70 minutes. (You can insert a toothpick in the center to check for doneness as well. When it comes out clean of crumbs, the cake is done.)
6. Let the cake cool on a wire rack. When cool, run a knife along the outside of the cake to help it release from the pan and tip the cake out of the pan.