They say trial and error is the best method to learn new things and perfect things. I can seriously vouch that this is the best way to learn things. I prefer to work with eggs because it is more fluffy, moist whereas eggless bakes are either too soft to handle or they are little dense. And substituting directly in place of eggs do not always give best results 😛
Egg plays a lot of roles in a cake. Firstly, it is for structure. It maintains the structure and integrity of the cake upon baking. Second function is leavening. Third function is binding. Now replacing all this needs a little understanding.
The first time I tried formulating this cake, I made the cake without aquafaba. And what exactly is aquafaba? Aqua= liquid/ water and faba= beans. Aquafaba used is the chickpea brine or the cooked chickpea water. The thing to be noted is that you should add little less water to the soaked chickpeas for cooking than usual. This will result in a viscous, slightly gluey liquid. This liquid behaves exactly like egg whites. It beats up and adds the fluffiness to the cake. If you don’t want to use that, you could substitute it with yogurt. Although, let me tell you that you will get a less fluffy cake.
Coming back to the first attempt, it tasted good but I wasn’t satisfied with the texture. Second time, I used aquafaba but did not use the foaming method of baking soda (In this baking soda is added to vinegar and once it foams, it is added to the batter). This resulted in a less moist and fluffy cake. Third time, I also incorporated the foaming mixture. This time, the texture was spot on. Super, super soft & fluffy… Maybe a bit too soft? It started collapsing when I tried to put it on my cake stand. And it also browned too much. Now how to maintain the structure? I added cornflour for the 4th attempt and it was perfect. Very soft and yet holding the shape and structure.
Look at how fluffy and moist this cake piece looks…
For the lime yogurt cake–
- Soft- unsalted butter- ½ cup/ 115 grams
- Caster sugar- ¾ cup
- Sunflower oil- 2 ½ tablespoons
- Thick curd/ yogurt- 1 cup/ 220 ml
- Lime zest- 1 tablespoon
- Lime juice- 3 tablespoons
- Baking powder- 1 ¾ teaspoon
- Cornflour- ¾ tablespoon
- Plain/ All-purpose flour- 1 ½ cup + 2 tablespoons or 205 grams
- Aquafaba/ Chickpea Brine- ¼ cup (Refer notes)
- Baking soda- 1 teaspoon
- Vinegar- 1 teaspoon
NOTES– For the lime zest, make sure you do not grate into the white part as it will yield a bitter aftertaste. If aquafaba is not available, replace it with the same amount of yogurt+ 1 1/2 tablespoon of milk, although it will yield a less fluffy cake. If using aquafaba, make sure it is viscous and thick or else it will not whip. In case it doesn’t hold the peak, whip it just before adding into the batter.
For lime whipped cream–
- Whipping cream- 100 ml
- Lime zest- 1 tablespoon
For the cake–
Grease a 22 cm tin generously with butter (Base and sides). Line the base of the tin with a disc of parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper as well. This will ensure that the cake comes out cleanly. Preheat oven to 170°C.
1) If using aquafaba, add the aquafaba to a clean, dry bowl.
2) Start whipping it using an electrical beater. It will initially start to form bubbles.
3) Continue whipping till you reach soft peaks, about 5-6 minutes.
4) The foamy mixture should form peaks when the whisk is lifted.
5) In another bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat the mixture until creamy, light and fluffy.
6) To it, add the oil and yogurt. (If not using aqua faba, add same amount of yogurt+ 1 1/2 tablespoon of milk). Beat well. At this point you will get a loose mixture.
7) Add the lime zest and juice and beat it once more. Give a quick taste and check if you can taste the lime. If not add more lime zest.
8) Sift the flour, baking powder, cornflour twice into another dry bowl. (This will ensure the cake is airy)
9) Give the aquafaba mixture a light whisk and add quarter of the mixture to the batter. Beat until combined.
10) Add quarter of the flour and again beat until combined. Repeat the process, adding the aquafaba and flour alternately. Make sure you scrape down the mixture from the sides of the bowl using a spatula. (If not using aquafaba, add the flour little by little and beat it in)
11) Add the baking soda to the vinegar and it will start to bubble. Once it foams, add it to the batter and beat it once again.
Pour it immediately into the greased tin. Spread it evenly. Give the tin a gentle tap to release the air bubbles. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 160°C and bake for a further 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Make sure you keep an eye on it to check if it is done. As keeping it for too long can dry out the moisture. If the cake is browning too much, cover the top with aluminium foil. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Then gently flip it onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the lime whipped cream.
Make sure the whipping cream and the bowl is cold. Add the whipping cream to the bowl and beat it till you get soft peaks. Add the lime zest and fold the mixture gently using a spatula. Usually whipping creams are sweet. If it isn’t, add a tablespoon of icing sugar. Chill until use.
For serving, Place the cake on the cake stand. Spread the top with the lime whipped cream and you can also grate a little lime zest on the top. To make it even more moist, you can also soak it with a small amount of dilute sugar syrup.
Enjoy a lovely slice of this eggless lime yogurt cake. I prefer to keep the cake covered outside or sliced and put into airtight containers rather than keeping it in the fridge as keeping it in the fridge destroys the texture of the cake. It is best within 2-3 days. Usually it doesn’t last that long. 😉