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lemon yogurt cake

These cakes are simple, yummy little shots of lemon -- sweet, moist and perfectly breakfast-able.

It's a Barefoot Contessa recipe without the butter. Instead, she's using yogurt, which makes for a light (yet moist) crumb. 

It's an easy recipe, too. No mixer required. The most I had to do was zest two lemons and poke some holes in the cakes for the simple syrup.

Did I mention these cakes are moist?

They're moist. And delicious. With coffee.

Lemon Yogurt Cake

from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt (I used low-fat vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional)

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray a 9x5 loaf pan, a 24-cup mini-muffin pan or a 12-cup regular-sized muffin pan. (My batch made 24 minis and 3 regular-sized cupcakes.)

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into small bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla until blended.

Slowly whisk the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture. Fold the vegetable oil into the batter with a spatula until thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan or muffin cups. For loaf, bake for 45 to 50 minutes. For regular-sized cupcakes, bake for about 23 to 25 minutes. For mini-cupcakes, bake for about 15 minutes. Cake tester inserted into center of cake should come out clean.

While the cake is baking, combine 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Carefully place each cake upside-down on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is warm, poke the bottom of each cake all over with a toothpick. Pour the lemon-sugar syrup over the cake slowly and allow to soak for about 10 minutes.

Turn each cake over. Using the syrup that ran off the cake from the first soak, brush/drizzle the syrup over the top of the cake. Allow to cool completely. 

For the glaze, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over each cake.

Note: This cake is great in loaf form and as cupcakes. I love them both ways. 

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Reader Comments (8)

I made this for a playdate the other day and it was a big hit. Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNaoko

me again! I am loving all your recipes and have a list! This looks perfect to take to Sunday School! Question, how full did you fill the mini muffin tins? Thanks!


May 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercheryl

Hi Cheryl - glad to hear it! You should fill the cups almost to the top (see second photo in the post above the recipe). Thanks!

May 18, 2012 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

Made them last night, they were perfect and easy! Thanks so much!


May 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercheryl

Made a loaf today my husband and I loved it! I added a 1/2 tsp. of Lemon olive oil to give it more lemon taste. Thanks for the recipe. ~

May 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

Cool! Glad to hear it!

May 26, 2013 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

Made these yesterday as mini muffins. Made 43 mini muffins all together. Very easy and everyone loves them!

Can't wait to try the sweet and salty granola. Thanks!


March 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarlene

Awesome to hear, Marlene! Let me know what you think of the granola bars! :)

April 1, 2014 | Registered Commenterblackjack bakehouse

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