In this fruity Greek Yogurt Cake, ripe red strawberries and fresh rhubarb combine with yogurt to make an incredibly moist Spring themed bundt cake.
Rhubarb is one of my favourite Spring treats and I love creating recipes to use up my bountiful harvests. Some of our favourite recipes include Grandma’s Rhubarb Fluff (with Jello) and this great tomato free Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce which is amazing on grilled chicken and pork chops.
Strawberry Rhubarb Greek Yogurt Cake
Do you love a moist bundt bursting with loads of flavour? This cake has it all; a tender, moist crumb without being too heavy or dense and a tangy-sweet flavour that makes you crave another slice.
The classic Spring flavour combination of strawberries and rhubarb adds enough flavour for the cake to stand on its own, however the sweet pink glaze really is icing on the cake. It’s made with reduced strawberry and rhubarb juice, reinforcing everyone’s favourite flavour duo.
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Greek Yogurt
- Lemon Juice
- Vanilla Extract
Basic baking ingredients are the base of this simple recipe. Keeping a well stocked pantry with fresh baking powder, baking soda, and flour is one key to great baking. It’s a good idea to replenish them if they are over a year old.
The incredible flavour of this cake comes from fresh ripe strawberries and rhubarb. The best time to make this cake is in the Summer when the strawberries are at their finest and the rhubarb is still plentiful.
I often cut down and freeze excess rhubarb while it’s in season. It freezes well and will work in this recipe. Do not thaw it before adding to the batter.
What is Greek Yogurt?
Greek yogurt is a yogurt style that has been thoroughly strained of its whey, resulting in an extra thick product. All products labelled ‘Greek yogurt‘ are not created equally.
Real Greek yogurt has a thick consistency due to physical straining rather than the addition of gelatin. It is made using whole milk and is often referred to as ‘full fat’ so be sure to read the label before purchasing.
Please use a full fat, thick ‘Balkan’ style yogurt; either plain, vanilla, or flavoured, especially with strawberries! Feel free to decrease the sugar amount by 1/2 cup if using flavoured yogurt.
While this recipe is for a Greek yogurt cake, sour cream or even a thick crème fraîche will make great substitutions.
What Does Greek Yogurt Do in Baking?
There are many reasons why adding Greek yogurt to baking is a great idea. Firstly, it imparts a nice flavourful ‘tang‘ to the cake, giving it a nice ‘vintage’ vibe.
Secondly, you will never have a dry cake if you add yogurt to the mixture. This cake is so moist, it is really needs no glaze at all. However, the cake’s texture remains light and fluffy even with the added moisture.
Thirdly, yogurt is naturally acidic and helps to activate the baking soda (as does the lemon juice), helping to create lift and a lightness in the crumb.
Lastly, Greek yogurt is high in protein and calories but still contains fewer calories that other baking substitutions such as crème fraîche, sour cream, or mayonnaise. Sometimes it also allows the baker to reduce the amount of butter/oil slightly.
How to Prepare a Bundt Pan for Baking a Cake
The only thing worse than a gorgeous cake stuck in a pan is one in pieces on your counter. Preparing the bundt pan properly before baking is the most important thing you can do to avoid disaster.
Take a bit of butter in your hands (about 1 tsp) and rub it all around the pan, taking special care to coat any nooks and cranniess, especially around the middle of the pan. Do not use a baking spray as it will not coat the pan evenly.
Next, add a few tablespoons of flour to the bottom of the pan. Use a ’tilt, turn, and tap’ technique to move the flour around the pan. When the entire pan is coated in a light but even flour layer, discard the remaining flour. Give the pan an extra tap (over the garbage bin) to remove any excess flour while it is upside down.
How to Bake a Greek Yogurt Cake
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream the softened butter and sugar together using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Once this mixture becomes light and fluffy, add the vanilla extract.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between additions. Once the last egg has been incorporated, stop the mixer. Do not overmix.
In a medium bowl whisk the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) together, then set them aside.
Lastly, mix the room temperature Greek yogurt, oil, and lemon juice together in a large measuring cup.
Combine the three mixtures together by adding 1/3 of the dry mixture to the stand mixture while mixer is on the low setting. Pour in 1/3 of the wet mixture then add another 1/3 of the dry mixture. Repeat additions until you finish with the last amount of wet mixture. Do this quickly so as not to overmix in between each addition.
Add the chopped strawberries and cooled stewed rhubarb and mix them in by hand, until the ingredients have just come together. Do not overmix.
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cake pan, then smooth the surface slightly with a spatula. The pan should not be more than 3/4 full of batter.
How to Know When a Cake is Done Baking
A good rule of thumb when baking a cake is to let it bake for the least suggested amount of time according to the recipe. Test the cake in the center (and a few other spots) using a cake tester, toothpick, or wooden skewer.
If the tester comes out clean, (not sticky with batter) the cake is baked. If it is slightly sticky, bake for another 5 minutes then check again. A very sticky tester will require another 10-15 minutes of baking time.
Once you add baking time, keep an eye on the surface of the cake. If it is becoming quite dark, tent it slightly with a sheet of aluminum foil to protect it.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. After, twenty minutes place the wire rack over top of the cake pan and flip it over in one quick motion. You should hear a satisfying ‘thud’ as the cake hits the rack.
Help…My Bundt is Stuck!
Got a stuck bundt cake? This sometimes happens even if you have properly greased and floured the pan. Don’t worry, I got you!
Firstly, check to make sure the cake is fully baked. Most cakes will naturally pull away from the pan when they are done. If it’s fully baked…do not immediately reach for the spatula. I know you want to!
Put a clean tea towel in the sink and pour enough boiling water over the towel to make it damp (not dripping!). Place the hot, damp towel over the cake pan, taking care not to let it touch the cake. Let the cake steam for ten minutes, then try again to flip it as described above.
When all else fails, it’s spatula time. Carefully insert a flexible rubber spatula in each section of the pan between the cake and the pan edges. Do the flip. Cool completely before glazing.
The Strawberry Rhubarb Glaze
The stunning pink glaze is quite simple to make. Since the stewed rhubarb goes into the cake, you’ll need to start this step (finish it just before you want to glaze the cake) before mixing the batter.
Chop up the rhubarb using a medium dice, and add it to a small saucepan. Add 3 tablespoons of water, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove rhubarb and reserve juice in saucepan. Allow the rhubarb to cool before adding to the cake batter.
Next, place 1/2 cup strawberries to the saucepan of reserved rhubarb juice. Simmer on low for 5 minutes, remove the strawberries, then reduce the liquid until only 3 tablespoons remain.
When you are ready to glaze the cake, add confectioner’s sugar to the saucepan, stir well and add the vanilla extract. You may need to adjust the amount of confectioner’s sugar to get the consistency you want. The glaze should be slightly runny so that it spread easily, but not too runny as to become thin.
Pour glaze over cooled cake.
This cake will last for 4-5 days on the counter with a cover and freezes well.
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Greek Yogurt Cake Variations
This is one of the most versatile cake recipes. It makes a great cake base for any kind of fruit you would like to add. While I love baking it in the Spring with fresh strawberries and rhubarb, you can use any kind of berries (fresh or frozen) in this recipe.
I also think it would be fabulous with chopped mangos or dried cranberries and lemon (or orange) zest.
The glaze is optional. If you opt for a naked bundt, serve it with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, ice cream, or more Greek yogurt.