The Hummingbird Bakery might just be one of few places that can make me smile at cupcakes. Their displays are always filled with pastel variations of their classic vanilla cupcake, and their OCD friendly stationery (boxes and stickers – that’s stationery right?) neatly wraps my individual cake portion or cupcake. They do an amazing gingerbread cupcake in the autumn, and their founder Tarek Malouf happens to write fabulous cookbooks. This orange, almond and yogurt loaf is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days.
In Cake Days, there’s a recipe for every kind of day, from Valentine’s Day right through to Christmas. This recipe was actually nestled away under the ‘summer afternoon tea’ section, but the sun was shining on the day I made it this week, so I see no reason it can’t be the centre piece on your Easter banquet table this Sunday.
This cake is clearly not for those allergic to nuts. I may have overdone it with the sprinkle of flaked almonds, but the cake itself contains ground almonds too. I love love love cakes that contain ground almonds or polenta, as the resulting cake much lighter than those made with flour alone. I’ve come to realise that substitution of flour for ground almonds or polenta always seems to be paired with citrus, and this cake is no exception. This recipe asks for the orange zest to be creamed with the butter and sugar, so all the fragrant oils from the orange peel are well infused into the cake from the start.
190g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
190g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
190g caster sugar
3 large eggs
60g ground almonds
1/4 tsp salt
25g plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla essene
10g flaked almonds
a 8.5 x 17.5cm loaf tin with 7.5cm sides
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas Mark 3, then grease the loaf tin with butter and dust with flour.
Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, orange zest and sugar until the mixture is soft and fluffy – at least 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula every now and then to ensure the eggs and butter are properly mixed in.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Tip the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in two batches and whisk together on a low speed until just incorporated then mix in the yogurt and vanilla essence.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the sponge is firm on top and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the loaf to cool a little before turning it out of the tin on to a wire rack to cool completely for serving.