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Lemon Yogurt Cake

January 21, 2008

So there’s the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That’s fine and good, and while I won’t turn down a glass of ice-cold homemade lemonade, I prefer to make lemon desserts with the lemons life gives me.

This cake is yet another knockout from Ina Garten; it’s super-moist and tart-sweet — great for dessert, great as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, it would be pretty good for breakfast too! So when life gives you lemons, why not make lemon yogurt cake?

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa at Home.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar, divided
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

for the glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 2/3 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

While the cake is cooking, heat the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and place it on a cooling rack with a baking sheet, parchment paper, or foil underneath (to catch the drips.) While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

When the cake has cooled, make the glaze: combine the confectioners sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake; it will dribble down the sides and that’s just fine.

Makes 1 loaf.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2008 10:34 pm

    My Aunt makes a wonderful yogurt cake but I think the addition of lemon would brighten it up even more! This looks delicious!

  2. January 29, 2008 10:44 pm

    Your Lemon Yogurt Cake looks beautiful!

  3. January 29, 2008 10:55 pm

    brilynn and Tarah, thanks! The lemon does indeed brighten it up, and the yogurt keeps it really moist. We love it!

  4. Angie permalink
    January 30, 2008 12:56 am

    I’ve made this cake before and it is absolutely amazing!

  5. January 30, 2008 5:42 am

    What wouldn’t I give to have a slice of this beauty right now… 🙂

  6. January 30, 2008 9:03 am

    I love Ina!! Pure genius. I got that cookbook for the holidays and I’ve been waiting for a good time to make this cake. You may have just inspired me. 🙂

  7. January 30, 2008 4:38 pm

    There’s something so wonderfully bright and fresh about lemon desserts, isn’t there? This looks and sounds delicious, and the yogurt helps lighten it up, I’m sure! I make a lemon flaxseed cake I bet you’d enjoy with a similar drizzled lemon sugar frosting.

  8. JEP permalink
    January 30, 2008 8:35 pm

    I’ll add a good dose of poppy seeds!

  9. January 30, 2008 9:45 pm

    Angie – glad to hear I have company in loving this cake. 🙂
    Patricia – you and me both!
    Maxine – I am a huge Ina fan too; every recipe I’ve tried of hers has been fantastic. Definitely give the cake a shot!
    Terry B – your lemon flaxseed cake looks delicious; I’ll have to give that a try.
    JEP – poppy seeds would be a great addition!

  10. June 21, 2008 5:18 pm

    thats gonna taste good!!!

  11. April 29, 2009 11:08 am

    This looks great, I’m making this later this week!

  12. Aziza permalink
    June 4, 2009 12:53 pm

    Dear Amy
    Thank you so much for this lovely cake. I made it a few days ago. It is very moist, bright, and lemony very yamiiii. my family is crazy about it.

  13. gricel permalink
    September 4, 2009 12:32 pm


  14. gricel permalink
    September 4, 2009 12:42 pm

    Hallo!! I’am writting from Argentina, from El Bolsòn, Patagonia.
    I was looking for some good lemon cake.
    I liked that kind of ingredients. then, I’m going to make this cake and see what happens with the results.
    thank you.

  15. January 11, 2012 10:49 am

    definitely gonna bake this cake tomorrow since i have a tub of yoghurt in the fridge dat has to be clear =)

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