Strawberry Basil Yogurt Cake

I have a pretty glass bottle with a spout that I use for olive oil. We buy the large gallon jugs of it at BJs and then decant it into the smaller bottle for cooking. It saves money and the spout on the bottle makes drizzling easier.

Eugene is the one in charge of refilling the bottle. The gallon jug is heavy and the neck on the glass bottle is narrow so I typically end up sloshing oil all over the place when I try to do it. This afternoon, he got home from the gym and was making himself a protein shake while I fixed dinner. I asked him to please refill the oil bottle, which was nearly empty.

"I will," he said. "But not now." And continued working on his shake.

I needed it now, so I pulled out the gallon, pulled the spout off the glass jar and took down a measuring cup.

"No! You don't need that," he said as soon as he saw what I was doing. He took the bottles away from me and refilled the jar, showing me how he could do it without the assistance of additional measuring cups or funnels.

"See," he said. "I just did that. Like a boss!"

I stood back and smiled. "Who's the boss?" I asked.

"I am," he replied.

"Really? Because it seems that I'm the one who got you to do what I wanted..."

"No," he replied indignantly. "I did it because I saw you were about to do it wrong. You didn't know I would step in."

"Or did I?" I asked, smiling.

******

That story has nothing to do with this cake. There isn't even any olive oil in this recipe.

I just wanted to share that story. I'm sure you understand why.

But back to the matter at hand! This Strawberry Basil Yogurt Cake is so lovely!

When I made it, I was in one of those moods where I wanted to make something just a little bit different. I went through ideas in my head as I browsed the contents of my pantry and fridge, and this just seemed to happen.

Strawberry and basil are so great together; I paired them up previously in this Strawberry Basil Shortcake, but I think this recipe is even more fun.

You start off by grinding up basil leaves with sugar to release all the oils. This acts as the flavor base of the cake, but also lends the whole thing a lovely pale green hue. You can sort of see it in the photos, right? It's not an off-putting green; just very delicate. Pastel.

I love that the cake is moist and not super sweet. It's a good breakfast cake or a good afternoon cake.


I'm obviously into those lately.

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Strawberry Basil Yogurt Cake Recipe

Ingredients
1/3 loosely packed cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest
1 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced in half
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar ("sugar in the raw")

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8" square baking pan or a 9" round springform pan. In a food processor or blender, combine the basil, lemon zest, and sugar. Process 2 minutes, or until the basil is completely ground and worked into the sugar (the sugar should turn a pale green).

Combine the basil sugar and butter in a mixer and cream until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until incorporated, about 3 more minutes. Beat in the yogurt, cream, and lemon juice.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Mix into the dry ingredients, stirring just until fully incorporated. Pour into prepared baking pan and smooth the top.

Arrange the halved berries on top of the cake, cut-side down. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake 30-35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar, if desired.



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