three hundred and thirty seven

Orange Blossom & Yoghurt Cake

Recipe, Words & Images by Samantha Hillman

This is a remarkably easy cake, which sounds like a bit of a cop-out, but it’s not. It’s easy in the sense that it’s uncomplicated to make (minimal dishes, no mixer), unfussy to serve (chopped pistachios make anything look ornate), and pretty much just impossible to mess up in general. It’s also good. Like, really good. Soft and floral and bright with citrus. And highly adaptable! If you don’t have orange blossom water, you can just ditch that bit entirely. If you’ve got a bunch of lemons, feel free to use lemon zest instead of (or even as well as!) the orange. We’re using two different types of fat here - butter and oil. You could technically just choose one or the other, but the combination really does give you the best of both worlds - a very crisp sugary crust on top courtesy of the butter, and a soft better-the-next-day crumb thanks to the oil.

The Cake :

dry ingredients
2 cups of self-raising flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ cups of raw granulated sugar
The zest of 1 orange
1 tsp ground cardamom

wet ingredients
2 eggs
1 cup of full fat (say it with me... FULL FAT) Greek yoghurt
3 tablespoons of orange juice
2 tsp orange blossom water
125g of butter, melted and cooled
½ cup of neutrally flavored oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees, we’re going low and slow here.
  2. Whisk all the wet ingredients together in one bowl.
  3. Sift the flour and combine with all the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour into a greased and lined 9 inch springform cake pan, or you know, whatever cake pan it is that you actually own. Bake for around 50 minutes. It could take up to an hour, depending on your oven. Check after 45 minutes anyway, just to be safe.

To serve: (we have OPTIONS here!)

Option A:
Beat 125g of room temperature cream cheese with ¾ cup of icing sugar, a dash of vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Ice when cool, and top with chopped pistachios.

Option B:
Dust the cooled cake with icing sugar. Fold whipped cream with (FULL FAT) Greek yoghurt and vanilla bean paste. Drizzle honey over the top. If you want to really go the extra mile, while the cake is in the oven do this: boil up a cup of sugar and a cup of water in a small saucepan, along with a bit of orange zest, a squeeze of orange juice and a dash of orange blossom water. Let the sugar dissolve and allow the syrup to reduce and thicken. Serve drizzled over the cake with the yoghurt cream, sprinkled with the chopped pistachios.

100% linen kitchen and tableware by IN BED
100% linen kitchen and tableware by IN BED

Samantha sets her table with IN BED 100% linen napkins in mustard and a placemat in pine. All other props are Samantha’s own.