Imagine waking up to the smell of maple permeating from all corners of the room. It’s faint enough to not overwhelm you but strong enough to conceal the slow-cooked curry next door. As you roll out of bed and greet the morning (a bit bouncier than usual, of course, as maple is a wonderful incentive to start the day), you smile because you know good things are on the horizon. The sun seems shinier, the birds sound chirpier, and the whole day already feels sweeter. That’s life inside a pancake, my friends. And it is awesome.
“It’s like we’re living in a pancake.” Those were the exact words uttered in our house at that magical moment when the smell of what was baking escaped the oven and reached our senses. It’s been a while since I’ve been so excited to try something based on smell alone.
But that’s how baking is supposed to be, right? It’s the smell that draws you in; it’s the flavor that makes you stay. Luckily, this maple yogurt pound cake lives up to its fragrant hype.
I suppose I should also note how super simple the recipe is. A bit of sifting and stirring is all it takes. And so long as you butter your loaf pan liberally to avoid any pesky stick-the-the-sideness, it’s sure to emerge golden and lovely.
And it’s so, so delicious. Actually, I baked this pound cake two days in a row last week, not because I botched the recipe the first time but because it’s totally true what they say: Once you’ve lived inside a pancake, it’s hard to imagine living anywhere else (or something like that).
Maple Yogurt Pound Cake
Adapted just slightly from Rivka, Food52.com
• ½ cup grade B maple syrup
• ¾ cups plain yogurt (I used regular yogurt, but Greek would work, too.)
• ¼ cup sugar
• 3 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• zest from ½ lemon or orange (I’ve tried both ways and honestly liked it equally.)
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ½ cup canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8 ½-by-4 ½-by-2 ½-inch metal loaf pan.
Mix together the syrup, yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla and lemon or orange zest until well combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking power, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir gently to incorporate. Add the oil, and gently fold it into the batter until it’s completely absorbed.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan, place the pan on a baking sheet in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center just comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.
What’s your favorite breakfast to wake up to? Are there any recipes that have won you over with their scent alone? Do tell!