a balanced plate with room for dessert

Lightened Up Lemon Yogurt Cake


I’ve got a storm of baked goods comin’ your way. I would apologize for not posting healthier foods or main dishes, but I’m really not sorry. If you want someone to blame, you can start with Mothers’ Day. And then birthdays. Because all those occasions require baked goods. And when they all fall within a few days of each other… well, I end up pumping out a lot of goodies from my tiny kitchen.

I’ll start off with a lightened up lemon yogurt cake. I loved how light and spring-y this cake was. I’ve mentioned in the past how much I love lemons and their tartness. The next time I make this cake I will bump up the zest to 3 lemons and I’ll consider using a lemon-flavored Greek yogurt as well. I may double the glaze as well – I couldn’t get enough of that stuff! My sister liked it so much that she ate the top off a slice of the cake, leaving behind a sad naked slice. Rude 🙂

lightened up lemon yogurt cake |

Lightened Up Lemon Yogurt Cake
adapted from Ina Garten

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

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

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8.5″ loaf pan with butter. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter and flour the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir gently to combine. Mix in canola oil until combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup lemon juice in a small pan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
  6. When cake is done, let cool in pan for 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack over a sheet pan . Using a toothpick, pierce top of cake several times. Pour lemon-sugar syrup over warm cake. Allow cake to cool completely.
  7. To make the glaze: in a small bowl combine lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth. Pour over cake.

Author: Jenni

Dietitian by day and Midwest food blogger by night. Lover of whiskey, running, and all things food.

5 thoughts on “Lightened Up Lemon Yogurt Cake

  1. This is a perfect tea dish on a lazy spring day!

  2. I’ve got a ton of lemons from our tree and was just looking for something like this. Thank you!

  3. Pingback: Top 13 Recipes of 2013 |

  4. Just made it cake and the whole family loved it!! It is a keeper. I did add some poppyseeds as we love that little crunch. And I totally forgot the sugar EEK when it was in the oven for a bit I realized I forgot the sugar. So I just added a another third cup to the syrup and added another tbs of lemon juice hoping the cake would soak it all up, and it did!! The cake was sweet enough ( I am a sweet tooth) and I even think I will skip the sugar next time too. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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