Lovely Lemon Yogurt Cake

lemon cake

This week I was sent an advance copy of Odette William’s new book, Simple Cake. It is a beautiful book filled with all kinds of (wait for it) simple cakes, and after flipping through the pages I was immediately inspired to head to the kitchen and bake. I decided on this Lovely Lemon Cake with Nana’s Simple Glaze; we have been buried in piles and piles of snow here in Minnesota, and a bright lemon cake seemed just right for perking up our spirits. It was like a tiny spark of sunshine in our small, cloudy kitchen, and made the perfect afternoon school snack (and then breakfast the next morning). 

Other cake recipes you may enjoy: Lemon Poppyseed Bunt Cake, Cardamom Pound Cake, Triple Ginger Coffeecake, and Grand Marnier Orange Cake. 


A few things:

*Over the Rhine has a new album coming out this month. I have been listening to the first song, Los Lunas, on repeat for days. 

*I started watching The Good Place, and am totally hooked. I have been told I should also be listening to this podcast that goes a long with it. 

*I have an Amazon Store Front now – it’s a place to find all my favorite cookbooks, kitchen equipment, books I’m reading, and the like. You can find it here if you are interested. 

*I want to make these Popovers from Zoebakes

*I’ve been reading Dreyer’s English this month. 

lemon cake

lemon cake

Lovely Lemon Yogurt Cake
From Simple Cake by Odette Williams

Makes one 9 by 2-inch round cake, or one 9 by 5-inch loaf cake.

2 cups (290g) all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup (180ml) grapeseed oil or any mild-flavored oil (I used canola oil)
1 cup (230g) plain Greek full-fat yogurt
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
1/3 cup (80ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

Nana’s Simple Glaze
1 cup (115g) confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the cake
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan with butter, line the bottom with a round of parchment paper, and then grease the paper.

Place a large sifter or a sieve in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and sift.

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, yogurt, zest, lemon juice, and sugar until combined.

Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 35-45 minutes until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake bounces back when lightly pressed. Remove the cake and let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges to gently release the cake from the sides of the pan. Turn it out onto a wire rack and cool completely, removing the parchment paper. Dust generously with confectioner’s sugar, or top with Nana’s Simple Glaze.

For the Glaze
Sift the confectioner’s sugar into a small mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the sugar and add the butter and the lemon juice. Stir together until smooth. If you prefer a runnier consistency, add a bit more lemon juice (or water). 

  • Reply
    Monday, November 9, 2020 at 7:09 am

    I made this last night according to the recipe but it lacks flavor and it is not the golden color shown in the photos despite the fact that I left it in the oven a bit longer. However, it was cooked through and it was either live with the bland color or over bake it. * I added poppy seeds to mine and the flavor goes well but it is still a boring cake.
    Wonder what went wrong???

  • Reply
    Karolina Kale
    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 8:28 am

    The cake remains raw when baked for more than 50 minutes. Too sour.

  • Reply
    Niyatee Ravipati
    Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    I have your vanilla bean baking book and wanted to try the lemon loaf from it but I don’t have sour cream, please let me know if I can substitute anything for it ?

  • Reply
    Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 1:37 am

    One of the finest writing I have read so far!

  • Reply
    Monday, May 20, 2019 at 12:26 am

    lemon cake is always a yes for me! 😉 what a wonderful recipe with amazing photos! thank you for sharing with us! I hope you will have a great day!

  • Reply
    Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    This is a wonderful recipe. I am now pursueded by my taste buds to purchase the Kindle book! Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 1:09 pm

      *persueded (yikes!)

  • Reply
    Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Hi, I tried your lemon cake recipe and it was delicious! A friend had given me fresh lemons from someone’s yard and she had sour cream she couldn’t use. Then I saw this recipe. I substituted the sour cream for the yogurt and that went well. Tasty!! And the glaze was nice and set with a shine. Will definitely make it again.
    Nice blog as well….

  • Reply
    Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    The photos are fantastic and the cake looks divine!!! I will be making this soon. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Riz | Chocolates & Chai
    Friday, March 8, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    (Oh! But also, I’ve totally been craving lemon cake recently! Hence I’m here drooling.)

  • Reply
    Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    This looks so simple and tasty! I’m making it in a cake tin today! How long is the baking time for a loaf?

  • Reply
    Friday, March 1, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    I made this cake and it came out with lots of air bubbles. Do you know what I’ve done wrong?

    • Reply
      Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Grap the cake pan by the edges and rap it down forcefully on the counter a few times, then stick it in the oven. That will force the air out.

  • Reply
    Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Is there any chance “Green” yogurt is supposed to be “Greek” yogurt? Thank you for the clarification 🙂

    • Reply
      Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 10:40 pm

      Yes! It is Greek yogurt, sorry about that!! I fixed it in the post. 🙂

      • Reply
        Riz | Chocolates & Chai
        Friday, March 8, 2019 at 4:42 pm

        …TBH, I was really excited at the chance to finally use some of that green yogurt that’s been sitting on my counter these past six years.

        Way to crush my dreams, Sarah! 😛

  • Reply
    Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    This cake looks so delicious! I love lemon and yogurt combo!

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