Serves a Crowd

XYZ Cake (X-tra Yummy Zesty Cake)

May  3, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves a whole lotta pound cake
Author Notes

One of my most favorite jobs ever was as substitute teacher at the local preschool. And one of my favorite units of the curriculum was Alphabet Snack (surprise, surprise.) The XYZ Cake always made an appearance at all the big events – Spring Tea, and the Moving Up Ceremony in particular. Some of you may have been following my Twitter and Facebook marathon pound cake endeavors recently – I’ve made an embarrassment of pound cakes, trying to adapt and perfect my recipe. I think I finally got it. Thanks go to hardlikearmour and betteirene, who guided me in the ways of pound cake. It’s a simple in appearance but problematic beast of a cake, what with all the beating found in most recipes. The greatest success I found with Rose Levy Beranbaum’s mixing technique (thx hla!), which seems counterintuitive for a pound cake-type cake, but it really works great.
Surprisingly, I’m not sick of this cake yet, and not so surprisingly, my family thinks I’m a little nutty with this latest obsession, although I’ve yet to hear any complaints among all the pound cake sampling. I guess, technically, this isn’t a pound cake at all, as it doesn’t use a pound each of flour, butter, eggs and sugar. I also use leavener, where traditional pound cakes solely rely on the power of the beaten sugar, butter and eggs to leaven the cake. So let’s call it what it is – the very delicious XYZ Cake. —mrslarkin

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use nonfat)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • Grated zest of two whole lemons
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9” or 10” tube pan. I use one with a removable bottom.
  2. Stir together the yogurt, lemon juice and eggs. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the lemon zest. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Add butter and about ½ of the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for about a minute. Batter will thicken. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add half of the remaining egg mixture, and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add remaining egg mixture and beat for about 30 seconds more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Spoon batter into the prepared tube pan and smooth the top. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes on center rack, until golden-brown. Use a bamboo skewer or cake tester to check for doneness.
  7. Cool cake in a draft-free area for 30 minutes.
  8. Run a thin-bladed knife or small offset spatula around the insides of the pan and tube. Unmold the cake from the outer pan. Run a thin-bladed knife or small offset spatula underneath the cake. Remove the cake from the pan. It helps greatly if you have an extra pair of hands as you invert the cake, remove the tube, and carefully flip the cake onto a cake plate. This is almost as much fun as flipping a frittata!
  9. Serve with fresh cut strawberries and copious amounts of whipped cream. Lemon curd would also be a nice accompaniment. Or ice cream. Or blueberry compote. Cake can be made a few days in advance. Leftovers toast up very nicely, too.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • JadeTree
  • checker
  • cookinginvictoria
  • hardlikearmour
  • drbabs

9 Reviews

JadeTree April 15, 2014
Easter cake, ahoy!
checker May 23, 2012
I have had a powerful craving for a yogurt-y, lemony something. This will be perfect.
mrslarkin May 23, 2012
I think this will definitely get the job done. Let me know if you try it, checker.
cookinginvictoria May 20, 2012
mrslarkin, I love your recipe title and headnote. I adore lemon cakes, and this recipe sounds so delicious. I intend to make this soon -- it sounds like the perfect dessert for late spring. Served with fresh strawberries and cream . . . yum!
mrslarkin May 20, 2012
thanks, civ! strawberries and cream would be just perfect. Do let us know if you make it.
hardlikearmour May 19, 2012
Yay! I'm thrilled you got this recipe worked out! It sounds deeeeelish!
mrslarkin May 19, 2012
Thanks hla! Made minis yesterday. It's pretty darn good stuff!
drbabs May 4, 2012
I am SO excited about this recipe! I've tried making lemon cakes (I love lemon.) but they come out gluey--I think because of the acid. 2 teaspoons of baking powder probably counteracts it. Thanks so much for posting the result of your experimentation!
mrslarkin May 4, 2012
Thanks drbabs. I finally got it to where the texture is fine, tight and not at all gluey - a couple like that went into the trash. The one before this I tried with more flour and and extra egg yolk - came out really good, too, but texture was coarse. Would love your feedback on this one, if you're up for it!