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Kristen Hortenbach's Famous Blood Orange Yogurt Cake

(recipe, Molly O'Neill)

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Kristen Hortenbach was teaching math to middle schoolers when her love affair with cooking and baking began to consume her life — and her substantial capacity for precision. Her blog, Picky Cook, has since garnered serious devotees, and her blood-orange cake has all but a cult following. "I had made a grapefruit yogurt cake that came out very well, and like most recipes that work well, I always want to use the same idea with slight variations," she says. "I thought that the blood orange would taste amazing — and it's so stinkin' pretty that I can barely resist this variation, though grapefruit and lemon are delicious in this cake as well."


    1. 1½ cups all-purpose flour
    2. 2 tsp. baking powder
    3. ½ tsp. kosher salt
    4. 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (Greek-style)
    5. 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
    6. 3 extra-large eggs
    7. Zest of 3 blood oranges (about 1 tablespoon)
    8. ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
    9. ½ cup vegetable oil
    10. ⅓ cup freshly squeezed blood-orange juice
    1. 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed blood-orange juice (I use a little less, about 1½ tablespoons)
    2. 1 cup confectioner's sugar


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8½-by-4¼-by-2½-inch glass loaf pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour it and set aside.
    2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    3. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, blood-orange zest, and vanilla.
    4. With a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients a little at a time, stirring between each addition. Fold in the vegetable oil, making sure it's all incorporated.
    5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
    6. Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium heat, cook ⅓ cup blood-orange juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
    7. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a knife to loosen the edges and turn out into a rack. While the cake is still warm, pour the mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Let cool.
    8. To make the glaze, combine the blood-orange juice with the confectioner's sugar and use a spoon to drip the glaze over the cake.