The Food52 Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs (the foodie brains behind the Food52 blog) is our January Cookbook of the Month! It is a phenomenal collection of winning recipes from their weekly contests, starring the best of the best in a community of home cooks.

Very cool, and very tasty!

Maple Yogurt Pound Cake


By Rivka ? Makes 1 cake

A&M: This pound cake drops the pounds of butter and sugar in favor of oil and maple syrup, creating a springy texture and glistening, shellacked exterior. The oil folded into the batter at the end was a new technique to us; we hold it responsible for the cake’s sweet, crackly crust. Rivka’s choice of Grade B maple syrup means that the maple aroma and flavor are pervasive without being cloying. The end result is moist and flavorful enough on its own, but fresh whipped cream and strawberries never hurt.


  • 1?2 cup Grade B maple syrup

  • 3 ?4 cup yogurt, preferably not nonfat

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1?4 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1?2 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 11?2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1?4 teaspoon salt

  • 1?2 cup vegetable oil


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Generously butter a 9 × 5 × 3-inch metal loaf pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir just to incorporate. Add the oil and fold gently until the oil is absorbed into the batter. Make sure not to over mix the batter.

3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet in the oven and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Cut around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out onto the rack, then turn it upright on the rack and cool completely.

Tips and Techniques

Rivka: “The cake is extremely moist; unless eating it just out of the oven, toast your slice to get some contrast between the crust and innards. Really make sure to pull the cake out of the oven right when it’s done. If it stays in longer, it’ll dry out a bit.”

About the Cook

Rivka Friedman is a healthcare consultant and food blogger in Washington, D.C. You can find her recipe for Rhubarb Curd Shortbread on page 367.

Her favorite recipe from a cookbook: “Olive Oil and Sherry Pound Cake from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert.

Her top cooking tip: “Freeze coffee into ice cubes so that iced coffee doesn’t get diluted as the ice melts.”

Her top entertaining tip: “Homemade pickles—I like a mix of green tomatoes, green beans, and maybe even sour cherries—makes an easy, elegant summer appetizer.”

Here’s her blog: Not Derby Pie.

What the Community Said

Bevi: “I have made this a number of times and always get the same response: delicious! Over Xmas I made the cake for my mom—a dyed-in- the-wool Vermonter. She was so happy.”

vvvanessa: “I have this cooling on the windowsill and even though it just came out of the oven six minutes ago, I couldn’t wait to taste it. It’s great! I love that it isn’t too sweet, and the texture is amazing—so moist and tender! Congrats and thanks for a great recipe!”

Excerpted from The Food52 Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs (Morrow). Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Read our review of this book.

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