Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marmalade French Yogurt Cake

Here's the thing about European kitchens- they're small.  And I don't mean just the square footage.  Every single thing in my kitchen seems to be made for smaller people.  Or people who don't eat.  Or cook.  Or bake. 

I knew it going into the move and did what I thought was my best to prepare myself- including leaving a good 1/3 of my gear behind knowing I wouldn't be able to fit it anywhere.  But the reality of a situation is often times far beyond what you anticipate.  Perhaps I'm a spoiled American girl used to her super-sized appliances.  Sigh.  Unpacking the last of my kitchen boxes yesterday made me realize how "American" my expectations still are.  I simply have to learn to eat and shop like the Europeans who I know must eat because I constantly see them toting around their shopping baskets to and from the markets.  I just don't know how they fit all their groceries into their kitchens.  Maybe I need to do some spying into my neighbors' cabinets and fridges.  It may help me gain some valuable insight into how to survive the next three years with my sanity intact.

I would guess that a basic rule of European kitchens is not to waste anything.  Space is not wasted nor are the supplies packed into the tiny cupboards and fridges.  In the spirit of wasting nothing (including the giant container of Greek yogurt that I bought without thinking about just where on Earth I was going to store said huge tub), I came up with this cake.  The idea was borne from both my frustration over not having anywhere to store my yogurt and from a wonderful find at the bottom of a box I was unpacking- a jar of marmalade from my former life as an Etsy jam seller.  Full disclosure: I don't like marmalade at all.  I'm not a fan of the bitter notes of citrus peel.  But there was no way I was letting this one go unused.  It was the last of a batch that was made from the gorgeous trees in my California backyard, a mix of orange, honey tangerine and Meyer lemon.  Not only is the jar getting close to it's expiration date, the nostalgia was just too much for me to ignore.

I've made a cake paring citrus with olive oil before and I enjoyed the combination.  This time around I decided that I wanted something a bit more simple.  Seeing as how I have no mixer or room for several bowls on my counter, any recipe that makes use of a single bowl and a spatula is just about perfect for me these days.  It's light, moist and not too sweet.  In other words, a cake tailor made for tea time, breakfast or a midnight snack that is just as good the day it's made as it is three days later.  Even my kiddos, professed marmalade haters just like me, LOVE this cake.  I still have 2/3 of a jar left of my precious marmalade and that giant tub of yogurt shoved into a corner of my tiny fridge.  Which means that I have just enough to honor my little one's request for more cake!

Marmalade French Yogurt Cake
Makes 1 standard sized loaf.  Adapted from Bon Apetit Magazine.
For the printable recipe, click here.

This is the sort of cake you can throw together at the drop of a hat, requires no special skills or equipment, and makes you seem like a baking genius.  Who could ask for anything more?  I used non-fat Greek yogurt and a full bodied olive oil for my cake and it turned out beautifully moist and light in flavor.  It's one of those "use what you have" sort of recipes.  One caveat-be sure to use a good quality marmalade as its flavor will make all of the difference.  This cake will last for several days wrapped well or for a few months in the freezer.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1/4 cup marmalade
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a standard sized loaf pan (or spray with non-stick spray).

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and baking powder.  Stir in the eggs, marmalade, yogurt and olive oil.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and even out the the top.  Sprinkle 1 tsp sugar over the top.  Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it but free of wet batter.  Cool the cake in the pan until it is just warm to the touch, then remove the cake from the pan and place it on a wire rack to finish cooling. 


  1. I need to follow your blog more closely now that I'm also working with a smaller kitchen. It's difficult having a "large galley" by boating standards, yet, small kitchen by my standards. At least I'm only cooking for two people -- not three boys.

  2. This looks so delightfully delicious (and moist). You are a trooper! Not sure if I could make such an adjustment. I guess we do what we have to.