Lemon Yogurt Cake

Today I’m really excited to share one of my favorite cake recipes. The two cake recipes that show up at my house every few weeks would be this cake and my sour cream banana bread. They are both quick breads and do not require a ton of prep time, which is why I love them. I can easily have the batter whipped up and in the oven in less than 15 minutes, unlike most cakes that require more time and effort, and a stand or hand mixer. All you need is a couple bowls, and a whisk to mix this batter up. I also love these two recipes because I can convert the recipe into mini loaves, so we can keep some at home and share the rest.

I stumbled across this recipe watching Ina Garten on Food network a couple years ago, and I am ever grateful for her MAD baking skills. Her recipes never let me down. Her friends seem to have a ball at her beautiful home in the Hamptons, and her recipes are always flavorful yet approachable.I often comment that if she’s ever looking for a new dinner buddy, I’m game! I have considered sending her a message to let her know this, but I figure that might come across as a little weird and blow my chances 😦 I guess I might have to stop at hoping. Sorry for the detour… back to the recipe.

There are a few slight differences in my recipe and execution. I use Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt, because I like the thicker consistency.   As far as the pan size goes, this time as I mentioned, I am using mini loaf pans. I have a silicone pan that makes 6 mini loaves so I double this recipe and it fits it perfectly. The mini loaves cook in 30 minutes.She uses an 81/2 by 41/2 by 21/2 inch pan, but I have used a 9 by 5 inch pan and it worked out great too. Just cut the cooking time down slightly. I also skip the lemon sugar syrup that she pours over the cake while it’s still warm. I like it less sweet, but that is totally a personal preference. If you want to go all the way with Ina’s recipe, follow this.

Here we go…..


1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Sugar

3 large eggs

1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil


1 Cup Confectioners’ sugar

2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your loaf pan (she uses an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan).

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another larger bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. In 3 batches, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Using a spatula, fold in the oil into the batter. Make sure it’s all incorporated.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a tooth pick in the center comes out clean.  Place on a cooling rack (with a cookie sheet under it).

4. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice for the glaze and pour over the cooled cake.

This is a variation I made a few months ago with a cup of fresh blueberries. YUM! I think raspberries would also work really well. It took an extra 10 min of cook time because of the moisture in the fruit.

Devotion For the Day:

Stepping into the water:
My devotional reading the other morning was from Joshua 3 and 4. I’m just now getting to the point in Joshua where the Israelites were all set to enter Canaan. Their beloved Moses had died, and Joshua was the new appointed leader. After the designated time of mourning for Moses has passed (30 days), Joshua is instructed by God that it is time for the Israelites to pack their belongings and go and occupy their promised land.
I can imagine all the excitement at their camp, as well as the anxiety. Was this really happening? All this generation of Israelites had ever known was wandering in the wilderness, since all the men and women who had left Egypt (except for Caleb and Joshua) had died in the wilderness due to their stubbornness and disobedience. To make things even more interesting, they now have a new leader. A ROOKIE! They had seen Moses perform all kinds of miracles, but could this Joshua do the same ? Was God really with Joshua?
God instructed that the Levites walk a half mile ahead of the group, carrying the ark of the covenant. The final descent has began. Now you know it’s not a coincidence that once they get to the Jordan River, they find the banks overflowing. It was harvest season, and the river is at it’s highest point. I like to see this moment as the final test, because God gives a simple, but powerful instruction. Have the Levites step into the Jordan, and He will cut off the water up stream. Note how God doesn’t say to stand on the river banks and He will cut off the water. They had to STEP into the water for Him to perform this miracle. It was an active step of faith. They had to do their part, all the while trusting that God was going to do His part, and not let them get swept away by the water. How God works!
This passage was such a challenge to me today. When God calls us to do something, we need to trust Him and step into the water. Canaan was ahead, but the Israelites could not reach it until the Levites took that step into the raging waters. The best part? God kept His end of the deal! He ALWAYS does. Joshua 3:15-16 NIV
15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.


3 thoughts on “Lemon Yogurt Cake

    1. Hi Karen. I’m so glad you found my blog. I love Ina recipes. I had always been intimidated by baking until I started using her fool proof revipes. Pass my love to the family. It’s been a while.

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