I don’t believe in wasting things. If I have a large amount of something that can’t be preserved, I will do my utmost to use all of it before the product goes bad. That’s why I knew exactly what I wanted to use in my coworker’s birthday cake.
A couple weeks ago, I obtained two large containers of vanilla yogurt. I honestly forgot I had the first one until I got home with the second. I tend to be forgetful where groceries are concerned these days. I once accidentally bought three loaves of bread in the same week. Can you say French Toast?
Once I realized I had so much yogurt, I knew I had to form a plan. I like yogurt, but I don’t like it well enough to eat 64 ounces of it before it spoils. It’s more of a twice a week treat for me.
I had heard of French Yogurt Cake before and planned to make one of those for my coworker’s birthday, which would use a good portion of my surplus yogurt. When I began searching for recipes, I was dismayed to find they were all for small round cakes. We have eleven people in my office, and a little cake that is supposed to served eight simply would not do. Yes, I could double the recipe, but I don’t like to do that the first time I make something.
So, I kept digging. I looked at different recipes, observing what they had in common and how they differed. I noticed many of the recipes were for lemon blueberry cakes. While that sounded good, I had no lemons or blueberries.
Yes, the store is a short drive from my house, but if there’s one thing Aunt Alma, my wonderful great-aunt who was a fabulous cook and overall wise woman, taught me, it’s not to make special trips to the store for one or two items.
I’ll never forget her telling me, “Don’t waste the gas and time to shop for one thing. It costs too much in the long run. Make a list and shop once.”
I listened to her wisdom about that and many other things. If I don’t have an ingredient and can’t substitute something I do have for it, I don’t need to make that recipe until after my regular shopping trip unless there are extenuating circumstances. So, I took a good look at what I had on hand.
My yogurt is vanilla, and I make it a point to keep plenty of pure Mexican vanilla in my cabinet. I was raised on the stuff, and it’s the best I’ve ever used. It was really a no-brainer to decide I was making a vanilla yogurt cake.
I found a recipe that looked like it would work with a few little tweaks. I made a small cake to taste, just in case this new recipe was a flop. The result was very much like a pound cake. The cake could have been sweeter for my tastes, but I’m hopeful the birthday boy will like it. I had my husband taste test it, and he said it was good.
I baked the cake in a bunt pan and drizzled a simple vanilla glaze that I made with powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, butter, and water. I should have beat it more to make it smoother, but I’m not known for my pretty food. As long as it tastes good, I’m happy.
I took the cake to work and sought out the birthday boy who immediately cut himself a huge piece. He said he liked my vanilla yogurt cake, and I was welcome to bring it again. The other guys seemed to like it, too. I noticed a few coworkers going back for a second piece, which is a positive sign.
I had planned to share the recipe with you, but I think it still needs a little work before sharing. I tried to reach the person who posted the original recipe for permission to link to her page, but her contact link is broken. It’s an old post, so she may not be active anymore. I deviated from her recipe, so she may not want to me mention her name, anyway.
Cooking is an art, and I don’t want to mess up anyone else’s art. As for my cake, I like it well enough to keep playing with the recipe. I think a little almond extract and some baking powder would make a world of difference. Perhaps by next Christmas I’ll have something that will delight my family and friends. It gives me a fun way to use yogurt at any rate.
Have you ever made something completely new to you in order to use up a surplus in your refrigerator or pantry?
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