I desperately needed to take a break from writing this (kind of) depressing paper about the death penalty, so I want to talk about a happier time and place where there is cake. Here is the thing about me: I don’t like cupcakes that much (gasp!) because I think they are too cutesy and flimsy and the frosting-to-cake ratio makes the whole shebang too sweet. I personally and strongly believe that when you crave a cakey dessert, then go for the cake! I mean, unless there is none around and there are only cupcakes. I can understand that.

Anyhow, this cake that I am bringing to you (not literally, sorry!) is a very simple but still divine cake. As an average college student, I don’t own an electric mixer so I had to be creative and looked for cakes that do not require mixers. This is a simple cake that is moistened by yogurt and oil with its flavors elevated by the hint of lemon from the lemon zest. I didn’t stop there though. This is a birthday cake for a friend! A friend of mine brilliantly suggested white chocolate ganache to put this cake over the top. I got the fancy white chocolate bar from Weshop with bits of vanilla bean in it, which brings more depth to the flavor and aroma. No worries though if budget is a bit tight, white chocolate chips would suffice for this cake.

Lemon Cake with White Chocolate Ganache

Lemon Cake
From Orangette

½ cup plain yogurt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
½ cup canola oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and lemon zest, mixing to just combine. Add the oil and stir to incorporate.

  3. Pour and scrape the batter into a buttered 9-inch round cake pan (after buttering, I sometimes line the bottom with a round of wax or parchment paper, and then I butter that too).

  4. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. I overbaked mine a little, so I think it’s a good idea to start checking at around the 20-25 minute mark.

  5. Cool cake on a rack for about 20 minutes. Turn it out of the pan to cool completely.

White Chocolate Ganache

3.5 oz white chocolate
½ cup heavy cream (more or less)


  1. Roughly chop the white chocolate bar to the same size pieces; set them in a heatproof bowl.

  2. Heat the heavy cream until barely boiling. Pour on top of the white chocolate.

  3. Stir the white chocolate until they are blended together and the ganache looks creamy.

Enjoy this very simple cake that packs complex and deep flavors!
- Veronica