Beware, scents of French toast will fill your kitchen and have you daydreaming of a lazy day in sweatpants. In other words, I would never ever recommend making this on a Monday morning... unless your boss is totally kosher with the idea of you skipping work to nibble on breakfast and catch up on your DVR's contents for the whole day. When I originally spotted this recipe over at Not Derby Pie over a month ago, I knew it would be a perfect breakfast and munch-on-the-rest-of-the-day snack. I did not, however, realize that categorizing this treat would prove to be much more difficult than the entire baking process.
While the recipe refers to this as a pound cake, I'd have to politely disagree. It's neither as sweet as a cake (don't you hate breakfast breads or muffins that try to be cakes and cupcakes?), nor does it contain any butter at all, a key ingredient in any pound cake. And calling it a bread doesn't do it any justice either -- it's so much more moist than any bread I can think of and has a fluffier and lighter texture. I settled on calling it a loaf, as the vague nature of that word lets the descriptors "maple" and "yogurt" do the explaining that is sure to induce drooling. And boy, do the maple and the yogurt talk up a storm in this loaf. Whilst in the oven, my kitchen smelled as if there were a French toast fairy cooking up a late-night breakfast just for me. It took every ounce of willpower I had not to slice into this right away. I mean, it was intended for a gift and though it's the thought that counts, I can't imagine a half-eaten loaf of maple goodness would have the same effect as an untarnished one. It also helped that I had just taken a batch of oh-so-chewy chocolate chip cookies out of the oven, so I was able to focus my sweet tooth on those.
A few notes: I omitted the lemon zest after reading a few comments that said the lemon flavor clashed with the maple flavor. I also used vanilla yogurt since it was already in my fridge, but I'm sure plain would suffice. And this cake is so moist that it's on the verge of fork-worthy. Words of caution: Don't try to put a slice of this in a traditional upright toaster -- it will fall apart. (I may or may not have learned this the hard way and had to mourn the loss of half of a slice first thing in the morning.) But a broiler or toaster oven may do the trick. Let me know if you have any success with either.
Maple Yogurt Cake
1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff, I had Grade A on hand)
3/4 cup yogurt (I used low fat vanilla)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil (I used canola, but vegetable will do)
Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Grease an 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together syrup, yogurt, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients (it will be clumpy, don't worry). Add oil to mixture and gently stir until oil is uniformly mixed into the batter.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan and place in the center of a baking sheet. Bake until cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Cool cake in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Run a paring knife around the edges of the pan to loosen cake. Carefully turn cake out onto rack and cool right side up completely. Store at room temperature wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days.
Want to make that slice of breadcake in the morning even more delectable? Slather with butter... mmmm, butter. If it's an after dinner palate cleanser you're looking for, try topping with berries, a scoop of ice cream, or hey, how about maple syrup!