Our yogurt cake with raisins and warm spices is a simple cake recipe.
I love simple, every day cake recipes like this one – cakes that are full of wonderful flavors, but easy to make.
This cake recipe matches that description perfectly. It’s so easy.
This light cake with raisins and cinnamon is a perfect take along for school and work lunches, picnics and snacking.
If you are a raisin lover like I am, you will be happy to see this recipe for a raisin cake, one that isn’t a dense coffee cake. It’s light, flavored just slightly with orange zest and has a welcome touch of cinnamon.
If you don’t like raisins, no problem. This cake would be equally delicious if you substitute dried cranberries for the raisins. Even dried blueberries or chopped dried apricots would be fantastic.
As always, if you stick to the basic cake recipe, you can get creative with the add-ins.
The addition of yogurt makes the cake very tender and moist. Dairy products like yogurt and buttermilk are wonderful additions to cakes, muffins and pancakes.
Those of you who are newer bakers may not be familiar with orange zest or how to create it.
The “zest” of an orange (or any citrus fruit) is the outer, colored part of the rind. You can use a fine grater or micro plane grater to remove just the colored part of the rind. The white pith is bitter and won’t add a nice flavor to your cake, so always stop grating the orange before you reach the white inner layer of peel.
You can see from the image below that you just want the colored part of the rind.
To zest the orange, simply hold it against the grater and grate, being sure to move the orange as you continue to grate, so you only end up with the orange zest and not the white pith.
It’s easiest to grate the orange while it’s whole.
Creaming the Butter and Sugar Together
Creaming the butter and sugar together is another important part of making sure you end up with a light cake. All “creaming” means is mixing the butter and sugar together well. If you have an electric mixer, it works well. Just mix it together until the butter/sugar mixture becomes a paler yellow color. You are looking for a paler shade of yellow than the butter was before you started.
If you don’t have an electric mixer, just cream the butter and sugar together with a spoon or fork. Really make sure it is well incorporated and the color changes to the light yellow I mentioned above. You’ll find that the more you pay attention to small things, like creaming butter and sugar together, the lighter your cakes will be.
Sifting the Flour
Now to the flour. You can tell this is cake originates from an old fashioned recipe that I adjusted, because it calls for the flour to be sifted before it is added as part of the cake batter.
Again, newer bakers may not be familiar with sifting and why it’s a good idea. Sifting flour just passes it through a mesh that aerates the flour and results in a lighter cake (or muffin or whatever you are baking). It’s always a good idea to sift the flour before you use it to bake with, but certainly not necessary. Most recipes don’t even call for it any more.
My suggestion – If you have a sifter, use it. If you don’t and you love baking, invest a few dollars in a sifter. You will have it for years and it will pay for itself over and over again in light textured cakes and muffins.
Here is an example of a sifter found on Amazon:
Other than that, this is a very easy cake to put together. It’s a smaller cake. It goes into a 9″x9″ square baking pan. The original recipe didn’t call for icing and I would leave it plain or sprinkle a bit of icing sugar over the top of the cake, but I have included an optional orange glaze after the recipe if you prefer that. It really is delicious with the glaze. I just prefer the lower sugar content without it.
Have fun with this easy cake recipe. I hope you enjoy it.
Yogurt Cake with Raisins
- Electric Mixer (optional)
- 9"x9" baking pan
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Using an electric mixer if you have one, cream the butter and sugar together well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour with the baking powder, orange zest and salt and add the mixture gradually to the butter mixture.
- Combine the yogurt and baking soda and add to butter a few tablespoons at a time, along with the vanilla. Add the raisins, spices and walnuts and mix just until they are well combined in the cake batter.
- Pour the batter into a 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes.
- Makes 9 to 12 servings.
Optional Orange GlazeThis recipe doesn't call for icing, but a light glaze would be very nice on top. If you want to make a glaze for the cake, use icing sugar, enough orange juice to moisten it and a drop of almond flavoring (optional). Make the mixture thin enough that you can drizzle the icing on top of the cake. You don't need much as it's a small cake. I would start with 1/4 cup of icing sugar.
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