I’ve always found loaf cakes to be a real comfort. They’re not necessarily the most fanciful or stylish cake you can have but more often than not, they are straightforward and reliable. Just a gentle pour of icing to glaze or a quick dusting of icing sugar is enough to finish off a humble but inviting loaf. Easy enough to bring together on a weeknight but still special enough for a little weekend celebration, this loaf cake has been one I’ve turned to multiple times.
The toasty caramel notes from the brown butter, along with the light tang from the yoghurt gives a crumb that has just the right density and buttery warmth. Pistachios are one of my favourite nuts to bake with and they not only add a pop of colour to the glazed surface but also bring some welcome texture and moistness.
Makes: 1 loaf
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45-55 minutes
Photography & Styling: Benjamina Ebuehi
150g unsalted butter
200g plain flour
185g caster sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
150g natural yoghurt
2 large eggs
30g any neutral oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g ground pistachios, plus extra to top
150g icing sugar
3-4 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4 and grease and line a 900g loaf tin.
To make the brown butter, add the butter to a small saucepan over a medium heat. Let the butter melt and bubble up, stirring occasionally. The butter is ready once you start to smell a nutty aroma and the colour has changed to deep golden. Pour the butter into a small bowl, along with all the brown bits (these are the milk solids) and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Whisk the yoghurt, eggs, oil and vanilla together in a bowl or jug. Pour in the cooled melted butter and whisk until combined. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the ground pistachios and pour the batter into the prepared tin.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the tin before removing to cool completely.
To make the glaze, mix together the icing sugar, water and vanilla until you have a thick but pourable consistency. Pour the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Sprinkle some ground pistachios on top and let the icing set before slicing.
Benji’s blog Carrot & Crumb has got you for all your baking needs. Her churros are one of our favourite recipes, but there’s so many more you’re going to want to add to your list. Trust us.