First things first. Are you on Snapchat? I am. For the longest time, dismissed it as an app that teenagers use to send scandalous photos to one another. Apparently that’s not all it’s good for, though! I’ve gotten hooked on other bloggers’ behind-the-scenes Snapchat “stories” lately.
I’ve been following Gaby (whatsgabycookin) and Lindsay and Bjork (pinchofyum) on their travel adventures, keeping up with Dana and John (minimalistbaker) and their general shenanigans and caught glimpses of Ali and her pup/our pal Henry (gimmesomeoven) during their weekend at the lake. I also saw what happened when Jessica (howsweeteats) used liquid dish soap in her dishwasher yesterday. Oh my.
You can find us on Snapchat over at cookieandkate! Consider it a Cookie cam. Now you can watch her fly up the ladder to steal my food while I’m trying to photograph it. I’ll show you what happens when I pull out a treat and tell her to “roll over,” too. (Spoiler: somersaults.) I’ve been throwing in some behind-the-scenes cooking experiments, too.
All this is to say, please follow us! Send me snaps of your Cookie and Kate cooking, too. I would love that.
Now then, let’s talk cake. This very lemony blueberry cake is the perfect sweet treat to bring to your Fourth of July celebrations. It’s basically a lightened-up pound cake. Instead of being made with the traditional one-to-one ratio of butter, all-purpose flour and sugar (one pound each!), it’s made with yogurt, olive oil, whole wheat flour and a reasonable amount of sugar.
The cake is really easy to mix up by hand. Rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar brings out tons of lemon flavor, and a simple lemon-honey glaze added while the cake it still warm adds an extra burst of lemon flavor that seeps all the way down to the blueberries at the bottom. Blueberries seemed like a festive choice, but you could definitely substitute raspberries or chopped strawberries. Or hey, try a mix of the three!
- 1½ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 2 medium lemons, preferably organic, to be zested and juiced
- 1 cup sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
- ¾ cup plain whole-milk (full fat) yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 3 extra-large eggs
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, do not defrost!)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Optional accompaniments: coconut whipped cream or regular whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter and flour a 8½ by 4¼ by 2½-inch loaf pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Pour the sugar into a separate medium-sized mixing bowl. Grate all the zest from the lemons. Rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is yellow and fragrant. Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla to the sugar mixture. Whisk well, until the ingredients are combined.
- When the mixture is well blended, gently whisk in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Switch to a spatula and fold in the oil, making sure it's all incorporated. The batter will be shiny. In a separate bowl, toss the blueberries with about one teaspoon flour (this will help prevent them from sinking while the cake bakes.) Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the top is golden and the sides just start to pull away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons lemon juice and two teaspoons honey just long enough for you to whisk the honey into the juice. You can do this in your smallest saucepan over medium-low heat or in brief bursts in the microwave. Once the honey is mixed in, taste it—it should be pleasantly tart. If it's too sour, mix in more honey. Using a pastry brush, brush the lemon-honey glaze on top of the warm cake. Repeat until you have no more liquid left.
- Run a knife between the cake and the sides of the pan to loosen. Unmold the cake by placing a large plate or cutting board upside down over the loaf pan and carefully turning it over. Turn the cake back onto a flat surface to cool completely. Then slice and serve!
Change it up: Feel free to skip the blueberries altogether (just reduce the baking time by 5 minutes). Or you can substitute raspberries, blackberries or sliced strawberries for the blueberries.