A Family Recipe Gone Viral: Armenian Perok Cake

I started using Reddit a few years ago and I think the site actually has a lot of entertaining and interesting content. But one thing I don't use it for is baking advice or information -- until now. More than a year ago, user u/flyGERTIfly shared a post about a family recipe for Armenian Perok Cake to the subreddit /Old_Recipes. It's a cake topped with jam and a lattice. It didn't catch my attention at the time, but then folks in the subreddit kept baking the cake and posting pictures of it. Over and over and over and over again -- in different shapes, with various styles of lattices, and all sorts of flavors of jam. The only consistent feature was that the reviews were all overwhelmingly positive. So I really thought I might really be missing out and I finally jumped on the perok bandwagon.

As you would expect for an older recipe, the list of ingredients is short and the instructions are streamlined. You cream softened butter with sugar; mix in an egg, egg yolks, vanilla, and yogurt; and incorporate flour, baking powder, and salt. You reserve a "handful" of the batter and spread the rest into a pan (I used a parchment-lined 10-inch round pan) and top it with jam. I had a lot of jams in the cabinet to pick from and decided on a jar of American Spoon Bartlett pear preserves, which has big chunks of fruit in it. The recipe does not specify a precise amount of jam, so I used the entire 9.5-ounce jar. Then I took my reserved cake batter (I weighed it and it was 120 grams); added in more flour (50 grams); rolled it out; cut it into fluted strips; and laid out a lattice on top of the jam. I brushed the lattice with a little milk before baking.
My lattice did not brown much in the oven, but I still liked the pie-like appearance of the final product. The cake was dense and had a tight crumb; it cut cleanly and the jam stayed put. I thought the cake itself tasted like a classic coffee cake. It was pleasant, but nothing particularly remarkable. I used plain whole-milk yogurt in the batter because I happened to have a quart in the fridge, but I suspect that using sour cream instead would produce a richer tasting cake. The layer of jam on top did the heavy lifting flavor-wise. While I liked the pear jam, I think that a bolder tasting jam, like maybe cherry or raspberry, would have been a better choice. The lattice seemed a bit gratuitous and didn't have much flavor, but definitely worked as a decoration.
I like this cake but I wasn't crazy about it. I'm not knocking the recipe -- it just wasn't quite my cup of tea. I appreciate and respect that this is a family recipe that u/flyGERTIfly was willing to share, and that it seems to be bringing so much enjoyment to others. If you're interested, head over to the r/Old_Recipes subreddit and you can take a look at everyone's perok cakes!

Recipe: "Armenian Perok Cake" from u/flyGERTIfly, available here.