Lemon Yoghurt Cake

Anyone who knows me knows I love lemons. Lemon juice, lemonade, lemon cupcakes…yum. But this is THE best Lemon cake, or rather Lemon Yoghurt Cake recipe ever. Thanks to Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa! I do love Ina’s recipes, she makes it so easy, no need for a measuring scales, just your set of measuring spoons and cups and you’re set to go.

Last Sunday night, I was due to do a lot of mundane things around the house. Tidy my bedroom. Catch up on washing. Do some ironing. But instead, I got distracted and thought of something better to occupy my time with. Some baking.

Here’s the recipe for this lemon yoghurt cake. For the diet conscious, a loaf pan should yield around 12 slices, so that’s approximately 290 calories per slice. But I promise you, it’s worth it! For the price conscious, by my calculations, this cake costs a bargain €3.88 to make. Now that beats any shop bought cake!


1 1/2 cups cream plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup natural yoghurt (I used Glenisk)
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (usually 2 good-sized lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I actually ran out of vegetable, so substituted with sunflower and it was perfect)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze:

1 cup icing sugar (I didn’t have icing sugar, so substituted with castor – worked just fine)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. You will need a loaf pan for this recipe. Grease the tin with butter, then line the bottom of the tin with parchment paper. Again, grease the parchment paper and lightly dust the inside of the tin with flour.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into bowl 1. In bowl 2, whisk the yoghurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla together. Slowly and carefully whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Fold the vegetable oil into the batter. You need to make sure the oil is well incorporated into the batter at this stage, that there is no excess oil floating on top of the batter. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for about 50 mins. My oven is particularly powerful for some reason – I had to turn temperature down to 170 and it cooked in 40 mins.

Test to make sure the cake is cooked. Dip a skewer or the back of a clean knife into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

Meanwhile, cook 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. Carefully place on a baking rack over a baking tray. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

Now, make yourself a large cup of tea, or coffee, whichever your preference. Cut a large slice of the cake and enjoy 🙂

I don’t have that much of a sweet tooth. I love baking and making desserts, but given the choice between savory and sweet, I choose savory every time. I like to have something for friends and family when they call over. This lemon cake is perfect. I slice the cake into portions. Separate the slices with parchment paper and store in a Tupperware container in my freezer. When I have visitors calling over, easy peasy, defrost a couple of slices and voille! 🙂

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