Lemon Blueberry Cake

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Lately I’ve been having fantasies about moving to a small town in a different state. Somewhere like Oklahoma or North Carolina. Somewhere where, at least in my idealized view of the place, life is a bit easier than here in New York.

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Whenever I think of living in a small town, I undoubtedly think about one of my favorite TV shows, Gilmore Girls. I think about the Dragonfly Inn and all of the delicious creations Sookie made.

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This lemon blueberry cake seems like the type of thing that would appear on the Dragonfly Inn’s menu. This cake has a small town charm to it. The lemon makes this cake bright and sunny, just as I imagine small town people to be. And baking with fresh fruit always reminds me of how satisfying it must be to bake with fruit you’ve grown or picked yourself. I imagine that, if I lived in a small town, I’d have a small garden and the luxury of picking seasonal fruit from nearby farms.

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Of course much of this is my romanticizing small town life. I’m sure there are just as many, albeit different, challenges to everyday life as there are in other places. But for some reason, this cake just seems to be the perfect thing to be eaten while sitting on a porch on a warm spring afternoon, talking to your neighbors about how pretty the flowers are this time of year.

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Wherever you may eat this cake from, I do hope you make it, as it has all the right flavors to match this sunny, spring weather. I tried to ramp up the health factor of this cake by using nonfat yogurt, decreasing the amount of sweetener, and substituting coconut oil for the vegetable oil, but other moisture, sugar, and fat stand-ins would work just fine.

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This cake was just the thing I needed on this early May afternoon, unwinding on my couch after a long walk this morning and catching up with a friend on the phone (who just happened to be sitting on the porch of her new home down south!) I may not be in Stars Hollow, but this cake makes me feel just a little bit closer.

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Lemon Blueberry Cake

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

–       3 eggs

–       1 cup Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)

–       zest and juice of two lemons

–       2/3 cup agave syrup

–       ½ tsp. almond extract

–       ½ cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for preparing the pan

–       1 ½ cups flour plus one tablespoon, plus more for preparing the pan

–       2 tsp. baking powder

–       1 tsp. salt

–       1 pint fresh blueberries

–       1 tbs. turbinado sugar

Whisk all of the wet ingredients until incorporated. Add the 1 ½ cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until combined. The batter will be very thick, but should still be moist. In a separate bowl, combine the blueberries and 1 tbs. flour. Stir until blueberries are coated, and fold blueberries into the batter. Coat a loaf pan (or any type of pan, really) with coconut oil and flour, and add batter to prepared pan. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top of the batter, and bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Almond Citrus Cake

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Happy Easter! I was hoping to get this recipe up before today, but alas, so life goes.

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I actually made this cake last week for Passover since the almond flour makes it perfectly Kosher for the holiday. After tasting it, I knew it would be a great Easter dessert, too.

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As I was discussing with a co-worker recently, lemon is one of those ingredients that just screams springtime. Now that it actually feels like spring in New York, I’m more than a little excited to start cooking with fresher and lighter ingredients.

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This almond citrus cake is a perfect way to celebrate spring’s arrival. The combination of lemon and orange in this cake is just right, with the two fruits working in harmony to create a delicious citrus flavor. The addition of orange zest and a slight reduction of sugar from the original recipe really helped to make this cake bright and not overly sweet.

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You can certainly use the original flours — hazelnut and quinoa — that The New York Times recipe suggests, but I love almond flour. (It’s also what I had on hand.) I really recommend the addition of almond extract if you decide to use almond flour to bring out the sweet and nutty flavor.

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On first inspection, this cake resembles corn bread. But upon tasting it, you’ll see that even though the cake is a little crumbly, it is also incredibly moist from the olive oil and light from the egg whites.

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This cake was a big hit at Passover, and I imagine it would go over just as well at an Easter brunch or as a sweet finish to any spring or summer meal.    Happy Spring!

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Almond Citrus Cake 

Adapted from The New York Times

–       4 eggs, separated

–       2/3 cup sugar in the raw, plus 2 tbs.

–       2 lemons, zested and juiced

–       1 orange, zested and juiced

–       ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for coating the pan

–       1 tsp. almond extract

–       1 ½ cups almond flour

–       ¼ tsp. salt

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow. Beat in the zest and juices, olive oil, and almond extract. Mix in the almond flour and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter in three batches. Pour batter into an 8 or 9-inch springform pan brushed with olive oil. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before removing from the springform pan.