French Grandmother's Lemon Yogurt Cake
With Christmas just four days away, I'm soaking up all the season has to offer in these last few days. Over the weekend I wrapped all the presents so the tree looks festive and ready. Yesterday I whipped up a batch of gingerbread cookies. Now today I'm going to plan my favorite part of Christmas: breakfast. My Christmas day is a busy one where we spend the day on the road visiting all of our family. Nick and I manage to carve out a little bit of time for just us two by getting up extra early to open presents and have breakfast together. This year I'm planning on baking a sweet lemon and yogurt cake known as French Grandmother's cake.
Since I've started my Around the World in 28 Cakes series, I've found I'm drawn to something citrus-y and perfect for breakfast. This French Grandmother's cake fits the bill. It's super simple to whip up with a few ingredients in your pantry. It's also just sweet enough, thanks to a lemon glaze, that you could also serve it for dessert. That's if you can wait that long.
This simple cake is known in France as Gateaux de Mamie, which translated means Granny's Cake. It's a cake that French grandmothers are known for, made with tangy lemon zest and yogurt. This may be an exaggeration but one bite feels like you're sitting in a farmhouse kitchen in Provence with your French Granny bustling around the stove. This cake is exactly why I wanted to bake 28 international cakes: to feel like you're on vacation with every bite.
Christmas breakfast will not be the first time I'm making this cake; I baked one up for the Philly Bloggers' Holiday Brunch last Sunday. I want to say I get nervous about making something I've never made before. But even though I'm a planner who likes predictability, I am constantly searching out something new to bake. Thankfully it was a big hit and made me confident it would be the perfect breakfast cake this holiday season.
Now usually when I bake a cake, I skip fancy things like "frosting" or "glaze". For this recipe do not skip the lemon glaze! It is what makes this cake truly amazing, moist, and delicious. It also keeps you from being wasteful since you can zest your lemon AND squeeze it into the glaze. Just make sure you really whip the glaze and allow the confectioner's sugar to dissolve into the juice. It should be a thick liquid, kind of like a syrup. When you brush it onto the cake, it should spread easily and drip down the sides. Since I made the cake the evening before the brunch, I was back and forth about adding the glaze in the morning or at night. I am SO glad I did it that night. It gave it time to soak into the cake and make it even more moist and tender.
This lemon yogurt cake is my tenth cake in my Around the World cake series and each one is better than the last. Maybe it's because I'm getting better as a baker or maybe I'm just finding better recipes. Either way this is such a fun (and delicious) project and I hope you're enjoying it as much as me! Now have a very merry and scrumptious Christmas breakfast!