Yiaourtopita is a very aromatic and moist Greek yogurt cake. Its texture is very soft and similar to that of a sponge cake. Much moister though due to the fact that Yiaourtopita is drizzled with a light syrup.
This yogurt cake is very aromatic with citrusy flavors of lemon and orange. It feels so light and refreshing especially when served cold. It has a hint of a tangy aftertaste because of the yogurt. So it's great to serve after a meal. But it's also great to serve with a cup of coffee or tea.
You can also add a spoonful of yogurt when you serve it along with some honey or cinnamon for an even more refreshing and protein-packed dessert.
To make Yiaourtopita you need butter, eggs, sugar, Greek yogurt, orange juice and zest, Vanilla powder or Vanillina, self-raising flour, and baking powder.
Both Vanilla and Vanillina give a light Vanilla flavor minus the caramel color in the Vanilla extract.
Type Of Greek Yogurt
To make Yiaourtopita it is best to use full-fat and strained Greek yogurt. This thick type of yogurt will make an almost creamy cake. But if you wish to use low-fat Greek yogurt you surely can. The difference will be very minor, as the cake will be slightly lighter.
Why Self-Raising Flour And Baking Powder?
If you are having this question as I did when I first came upon this on a recipe, let me tell you that yes, sometimes cakes that are made with self-raising flour do need extra leavening agents like baking powder.
This is mostly found in cake recipes that contain a good amount of fat. Because fat tends to make the batter heavy and weigh it down. In this case, both the butter and Greek yogurt contain a good amount of fat.
How To Make It Soft
First, Sift The Flour
Airy cakes require the flour to be sifted as it helps to incorporate air into the batter. Sift the flour together with the baking and set aside before you start making the cake.
Second, Cream The Butter
The first and most important step in making a really soft Yiaourtopita is to cream the butter and sugar. And I mean properly cream the butter until it turns really soft and fluffy. Instructions for this are given in the recipe below. But first I want to point out these few tips I want you to keep in mind to have the absolute best results.
- Use softened butter. Ideally, leave it at room temperature overnight.
- Cream the butter on its own for one minute before adding the sugar. It's a good kickstart to the process.
- Make sure your mixer's attachment reaches all the way to the bottom of the bowl.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl with a pastry spatula as you go. To ensure there aren't any butter lumps when you're finished.
And here's a picture of how creamed butter should look like.
Thirdly, Beat The Eggs
Once the butter is creamed add the eggs to it one at a time. And keep beating until they thicken. Just like in the picture below.
Then add the Greek yogurt, orange juice, zest, and vanilla extract. The mixture will look slightly curdled after this step but that's according to plan. (see pic below)
The acidity in orange juice also helps to make a cake airy.
Finally, Fold In The Flour
Folding in the flour instead of mixing it in ensures that a). all those delicate air bubbles we've incorporated into the mixture by doing all of the above stay into the mixture. Fierce mixing would remove most of them. b). Overmixing flour results in denser and harder baked goods.
About The Syrup
The syrup is a simple sugar syrup. So it is made with just sugar and water plus a small amount of fresh lemon juice for some extra freshness and acidity.
The syrup needs to be cooled down to room temperature before being added to the cake. While the cake needs to be hot when you add the syrup to it. The difference in temperature ensures all of the syrup gets absorbed by the cake. Which isn't much really. And once the cake is cooled and ready to be served, you won't be able to tell that syrup was added to it. You'll just be tasting a very moist cake.
SERVE IT WITH ↓
You can serve Yiaourtopita with a spoonful of Greek yogurt or whipped cream. Together with cinnamon, fresh fruit, or any jam of your preference. This lemon jam is amazing with this cake, but if strawberries are in season you may want to try it together with this gorgeous strawberry sauce.
Greek yogurt lemon cake with Anthotyro cheese is a similar cake in flavor and texture, minus the syrup. It's very delicious, soft, moist, and fragrant.
Yiaourtopita Greek Yogurt Cake with Syrup
For The Yiaourtopita Cake:
- 125 grams / 4.4 ounce butter at room temperature
- 150 grams / ⅔ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 200 grams / ¾ cup + 1 tbsp full-fat strained Greek yogurt
- 5 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- ½ orange zested
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla powder or 1 Vanilleta
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 180 grams (1 cup + 5 tbsp) self-raising flour
For The Syrup:
- 125 grams ( ½ cup) sugar
- 180 ml water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
Make The Syrup:
- First, prepare the syrup as it needs to be at room temperature when added to the cake.
- Add all of the ingredients for the syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes until it gets to a syrupy consistency. No need to stir, let the sugar dissolve on its own.
- Set aside to cool while making the cake.
Make The Yiaourtopita Cake:
- Mix together the self-raising flour and baking powder. Sift and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F.
- With the whisk attachment on, beat the butter for 1 minute until softened. Add the sugar and beat until very fluffy and creamy. It takes about 5-6 minutes over medium speed on a stand mixer. Or 8-10 minutes on a hand mixer.
- Add the eggs one at a time, waiting for a minute or two until each one is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Then keep beating over high speed until the eggs thicken.
- Turn the speed to medium again and add the Greek yogurt. Once fully combined, add the orange zest, Vanilla (or Vanilleta), and orange juice. Beat until combined and then switch off the mixer.
- Using a silicone spatula fold the flour and baking powder into the batter. In small batches about 2-3 tablespoons at a time. Don't overmix or apply much pressure as we want to keep that delicate air bubble in the batter.
- Butter and line an 8-inch (20 cm) Springform tin. Pour the cake batter and gently smoothen its surface with a spoon.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes on the lowest rack of your oven. Test the cake in the center with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.
- Place the cake tin on a large plate and ladle the cooled syrup over the cake. Don't let the cake cool as it won't absorb the syrup properly. The cake needs to be hot.
- Let the cake reach room temperature inside the tin. Then remove the ring and carefully overlap the cake over a serving plate. This helps the syrup that has sunk to the bottom of the cake to distribute more evenly.
- Cut into 8-10 pieces and serve with a spoonful of Greek yogurt if you like.
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