Lemon Yogurt Cake

This lemon yogurt cake was an impulse the other day that ended with scrumptious results.

Wyatt said we should make lemon cake. You should know that I am incredibly susceptible to dessert suggestions. So we pulled some cookbooks off the shelf, and one of us looked at cake recipes while the other one looked at nothing in particular. In the end, “we” settled on a Barefoot Contessa  recipe. I replaced one of the eggs with applesauce, used greek in place of regular yogurt, and increased the amount of zest. But this is really her recipe… and I am happy to make it, and even happier to eat it!

It is awesomesauce!

Lemon Yogurt Cake Recipe



  • 1 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest (plus a little extra for finishing the cake)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice


  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Step 1
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and dump the flour, baking powder, and salt into a fine strainer or sifter.
dry ingredients pre-sifting
Step 2
Work everything through until you're left with a fluffy mound of dry mix.
sifted "dry mix"
Step 3
Now add the yogurt, 1c. of the sugar, eggs, zest, vanilla, and applesauce into the bowl of your mixer.
yogurt cake wet ingredients
Step 4
I only had strawberry flavored applesauce in the fridge btw. I thought it might change the color of the cake slightly, but it didn't seem to affect it at all.

Whisk together until thoroughly combined.
lemon yogurt cake wet ingredients
Step 5
Slowly add in your dry mix while whisking on low.
adding dry mix into wet ingredients
Step 6
Take a break once all of the dry mix has been added to give the sides of the bowl a good scrape.
bowl-scraping time!!
Step 7
Once you're left with a creamy dreamy batter, pour in the vegetable oil.
yogurt cake batter with oil
Step 8
I'll go ahead and say it for you... "Eeewwww!" But if Ina says it's so, well then it's so people... trust in the Contessa!

Ok, so once you've collected yourself from the shock of what a half a cup of oil dump on top of cake batter looks like... gently fold the oil in. You'll end up with a velvety batter that doesn't look oily in the least!
Lemon Yogurt Cake Batter
Step 9
So maybe I'm paranoid, or maybe I just do everything the Barefoot Contessa tells me... but I not only greased the loaf pan, but also laid parchment in the bottom. Either way it worked beautifully, so I'm wholeheartedly endorsing the practice.
greased and lined loaf pan
Step 10
Evenly spread the cake batter into the pan, and bake 50-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the lemon juice over the extra 1/3 c. sugar in a small saucepan.
making lemon syrup
Step 11
Heat over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves and the whole thing bubbles. Then pull it off the heat and wait on your cake.

I'm sorry I didn't get a shot of the finished syrup. I got distracted with my "helper" pulling out a bowl, sugar, chocolate syrup, and chocolate chips to make a "secret recipe".
Making "secret recipe"
Step 12
That is a milk frother in case you were wondering.

Anyway, your cake will officially be done when a cake tester in the center comes out mostly clean.
testing Lemon Yogurt Cake
Step 13
While the cake is still hot pour the lemon syrup all over the top.
Lemon Yogurt Cake
Step 14
Now just walk away. Seriously... leave it alone, and just walk away while the syrup seeps into the spongy cake.

Once you're sure the cake is completely cooled, transfer it onto the plate of your choice.
cooled Lemon Yogurt Cake
Step 15
The glaze is super simple.

Powdered sugar and lemon juice join forces in a bowl...
powdered sugar and lemon juice
Step 16
to become a sweet force to be reckoned with.
Lemon Glaze
Step 17
Pour the glaze over the cake, then sprinkle over the reserved zest.
Lemon Yogurt Cake
Step 18
This cake is dense, moist, and just all around yummy.
Lemon Yogurt Cake
Step 19
I dare you not to love this.
1 reply
  1. DeeDee Morado
    DeeDee Morado says:

    This souns good but I will probably triple the lemon juice used plus add lemon extract–we like our lemon desserts so tart your face puckers!!


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