The ring cake with yogurt (ciambella) is a typical cake with a circular shape and a hole in the middle. The classic one with coarse sugar on top is from Bologna (the Emilia-Romagna region’s capital city) and is linked to the traditions of the local farmers. There is no village feast or banquet that does not end with a slice of ciambella dunked in wine. Nowadays each region has a different variation of this classic version, for example with a chocolate icing or chopped hazelnuts on top. For many years my mother prepared this delicious ring-shape cake for our breakfast. My kids love it too! It is wonderful dipped into warm milk (the way we Italians drink milk, never COLD!) or caffè latte. I love it with my morning cappuccino. The addition of yogurt and lemon zest provides a lighter taste and an inviting flavor.
Ciambella is a must-have for any lover of gourmet sweets. You may have heard the word ciambella in a sentence that has nothing to do with food: “Non tutte le ciambelle riescono con il buco” – Literally: Not all ciambelle come out with a hole in the middle! This may be referred to the fact that in the past the ciambella shape was not perfectly regular, therefore we should not get depressed if something does not work as planned. A similar English idiom might be “win some, lose some.”
CIAMBELLA ALLO YOGURT (RING CAKE WITH YOGURT)
Preparation Time: 1 ½ hrs Baking time: 50-60 minutes
170 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
210 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
400 g (about 3 cups) Italian flour tipo 00 or pastry flour
15 g (3 teaspoons) baking powder
250 g (1 cup) plain yogurt
Grated zest of one organic lemon
3-4 tablespoons whole milk
1 pinch salt
1 pinch baking soda
Coarse sugar to decorate
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Set aside
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter. Gradually beat in the sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one by one mixing thoroughly to incorporate
- Add the yogurt and lemon zest
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter cream, then add the milk
- Butter and flour a 24 cm (about 10 in) spring-form ciambella or Bundt pan. Pour the cake mixture into the pan, and sprinkle some coarse sugar on top, covering the entire surface
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the cake is done. Test by inserting a wooden stick into the cake. It should come out dry
- Let it rest for 10 minutes on a wire rack
- Unclip the side band and remove the cake from the pan turning it over twice so the sugar is on top. Serve cool.
Note: You can store the ciambella in a cake container for about two days … if there is any left! In my household it barely lasts a day. -Paola
This sounds wonderful. I can not wait to try it. It would be perfect to share with neighbors who drop by to exchange holiday greetings. I love seeing other’s family favorites. Thanks, Paola!
Passion and Cooking says
Thanks Adri, good suggestion! Paola
I also like making cakes with yogurt, it adds a ton of moisture without all the fat. They are easier to digest and perfect for breakfast! lately, I have been loving the denser texture of Greek yogurt!
Passion and Cooking says
I love yougurt and use it a lot in my recipes. Thanks for the suggestion. I will try the ciambella with Greek yougurt. Paola