From Scratch : Yogurt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The helpful birthday brother blowing out the candle for her
Not sure about what to do with this
Is this right?

I know, I know.  Everyone's just made their New Year's Resolutions to eat better and lose weight and exercise.  And I totally support you!  I've made those same resolutions!  Although my idea of eating better doesn't just mean cutting fat and calories.  I have resolved to use fewer processed ingredients in our food preparation too.

For us, that means we've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen.  Our new BlendTec (thanks Mom & Dad!) has been used daily to make green smoothies for lunch, homemade roasted tomato sauce for pizza, whole wheat waffles and even strawberry ice cream.  Yum!  Michael also made up a batch of mozzarella from scratch and brewed a new beer this weekend that provided the spent grains for a couple of fantastic loaves of bread.  We're eating a bunch more fruits and veggies and we're excited about this positive change we're making.

But back to the cake...

Since Isla's 1st birthday was the day after Christmas and we didn't have a chance to celebrate with my parents, we invited them over this weekend and I wanted to make a cake for the occasion.  I was looking for something that used plain yogurt to keep it moist, and I knew cream cheese frosting was a must.

I couldn't quite find a cake that met my criteria, so I improvised my own recipe!  This might be my new favorite cake...It's so moist and dense, with a little crispiness at the edges (thanks to the butter).  And don't get me started on the cream cheese frosting!  Yum!  It was truly a decadent treat for her first birthday!

I submit for your approval, my very own Yogurt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.


For the cake:
- 2 1/4 c unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 2 cups organic cane sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz plain yogurt

For the frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 8 Tbsp butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two 8" round cake pans with parchment paper.  (I also made two mini bundt cakes out of the one batch I mixed up...your cakes will just be a little taller than mine!)  Sift together flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup butter & sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy (I used a hand mixer, but a stand mixer would work great too!).  Beat in eggs one a time, then add the vanilla.  Add about a third of the flour and combine, then a third of the yogurt, continuing in this manner until all ingredients have been just mixed together (do not overmix!)  Batter will be very stiff.

Spoon batter into prepared pans and spread out with a spatula.  (At this point, I swirled about 1/2 cup of homemade strawberry syrup through the batter to make it a strawberry cake.  Since the batter was so thick, it didn't quite 'swirl' like I was hoping it would, but it did add nice flavor.  It would probably be smarter to just mix it into the cake batter, or use a flavored yogurt.  :)  If you add a fruit syrup to your cake, the baking time will increase by 5-10 minutes).  Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown at the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely on a wire rack before assembling the layers.

For the frosting:  Beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Try not to eat it all before it gets onto the cake!

To assemble:  Spread a layer of frosting on the top of the first cake, then place the second cake on top.  Using a frosting spatula, frost around the sides and top of the cake.  Add a beautiful strawberry and some sparkly sprinkles and enjoy!

Or, if you have a talent for cake decorating, maybe you could try piping some of these beautiful rosettes that my mother in law added to the cake she made for Isla on her birthday.  (I'm definitely not that talented...I'm just lucky the whole cake is covered and there aren't too many crumbs showing ;)


I referenced this recipe as a starting point.

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