This Lemon Yogurt Cake is an easy quick bread made with yogurt (Greek or regular) and lots of fresh lemon zest, and it’s ready in under an hour.

Lemon Yogurt Cake with some slices cut off the loaf, surrounded by fresh strawberries and a lemon.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredient notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. Lemon Yogurt Cake Recipe

Ingredient notes

  • Baking powder: Instead of yeast, quick breads such as loaf breads, muffins, biscuits, and scones use chemical leavening agents, in this case baking powder (baking soda is another example).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Move an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in batches, whisking to incorporate after each addition. Fold in oil and stir carefully until uniformly combined.
  3. Pour into prepared pan.Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few crumbs attached, about 50-60 minutes. The cake should be fragrant and spring back when pressed lightly. Remove from oven and cool in pan 10 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest (if using) until smooth.
  5. Using a sharp knife, slice around the inside of the cake pan to loosen the cake. Flip out onto a large plate. Slowly drizzle glaze over the top. Cool cake completely. The glaze will harden in 20 to 30 minutes.
Lemon Yogurt Cake with some slices cut off the loaf, surrounded by fresh strawberries and a lemon.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: 1 loaf cake makes about 8 slices.
  • Storage: Store covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • Order of operations: The lemon glaze can be made while the cake is baking. Leave the glaze at room temperature. 
  • More glaze: To make a second glaze for the loaf cake (in addition to the one outlined above), whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 cup powdered sugar. Drizzle over cooled cake.
  • Blueberries: You can add 6 ounces fresh or 1 cup frozen blueberries to make a Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Cake. If using frozen blueberries, leave them frozen right up until the moment you are going to stir them in. Then, fold them in with as few strokes as possible. If you do see some residual purple streaks in the batter, they likely won’t bake up that way. In my experience, the cake looks the same as one made with fresh blueberries.

More luscious lemon desserts

Lemon Yogurt Cake with some slices cut off the loaf, surrounded by fresh strawberries and a lemon.

Lemon Yogurt Cake

This Lemon Yogurt Cake is an easy quick bread made with yogurt (Greek or regular) and lots of fresh lemon zest, and it’s ready in under an hour.
5 from 9 votes
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 470

Ingredients 

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (see note 1)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

For the powdered sugar icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

Instructions 

  • Move an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup sugar, yogurt, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients in batches, whisking to incorporate after each addition. Fold in oil and stir carefully until uniformly combined. Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few crumbs attached, about 50-60 minutes. The cake should be fragrant and spring back when pressed lightly. Remove from oven and cool in pan 10 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest (if using) until smooth.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice around the inside of the cake pan to loosen the cake. Flip out onto a large plate. Slowly drizzle glaze over the top. Cool cake completely. The glaze will harden in 20 to 30 minutes.

Notes

  1. Baking powder: Instead of yeast, quick breads such as loaf breads, muffins, biscuits, and scones use chemical leavening agents, in this case baking powder (baking soda is another example).
  2. Yield: 1 loaf cake makes about 8 slices.
  3. Storage: Store covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  4. Order of operations: The lemon glaze can be made while the cake is baking. Leave the glaze at room temperature. 
  5. More glaze: To make a second glaze for the loaf cake (in addition to the one outlined above), whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 cup powdered sugar. Drizzle over cooled cake.
  6. Blueberries: You can add 6 ounces fresh or 1 cup frozen blueberries to make a Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Cake. If using frozen blueberries, leave them frozen right up until the moment you are going to stir them in. Then, fold them in with as few strokes as possible. If you do see some residual purple streaks in the batter, they likely won’t bake up that way. In my experience, the cake looks the same as one made with fresh blueberries.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 470kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 6gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 225mgPotassium: 114mgFiber: 1gSugar: 56gVitamin A: 150IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 114mgIron: 2mg
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Comments

  1. Hey There. I found your blog just now. This is a really well presented. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.

  2. You officially decided my Easter dessert! Thank you for that and for the Limencello replacement suggestion. I’ve tried and tried to give Limencello a chance but we have agreed to disagree. :)

    1. Thank you, Sarah! I think it’s great to know what you like and don’t like. Makes these things so much easier! Happy Easter and thanks again. :)

    1. Hi Judy! I think it would probably be okay. Homemade whipped cream usually lasts 2-3 days in the fridge. What I would do is keep the whipped cream in a separate container (and also keep the berries separate) and assemble it when you need it. So store everything in the fridge separately. That would be your best bet. If you need to assemble it 2 days in advance for some reason, I’d at least keep the berries aside. I hope this helps! Thanks for your question.

  3. One more suggestion: Get an instant-read thermometer and measure the internal temperature of your baked goods into the center in several places – depending on the moisture of the batter used, toothpicks or straws don’t always work well. Digital thermometers are inexpensive and, for me, indispensable. I use either CIA, Taylor or ThermoWorks products. Since all oven’s are not created equal, check the commonly used temperatures of your oven with a GOOD thermometer. 200° (if you bake cheesecake low and slow like I do) 225°, 250°, 275°, 325°, 350°, 375°, 400°, 425° and 450°. See if your settings are really correct and at least eliminate one variable.5 stars

  4. Hey all you bakers out there here’s what I’ve learned: This may not be a new fact but with some ovens, you may have to turn the item half-way thru baking to ensure even cooking throughout. Get a GOOD oven thermometer and put it inside close to your item to ensure you’re baking at the the correct temperature.

    I bake gluten-free and it’s touchy but leaving it in a cooling oven for an additional 15 – 20 minutes will ofttimes finish the inside without over baking it. Not enough lemon taste? Add more lemon – I’ve found that citrus taste, like chili heat, diminishes somewhat with cooking heat. Everybody’s idea of “right” is different and it takes playing with a recipe to make it work for you. Anyone who does not play with a recipe while making it, is missing out on all the fun of DIY. Adjusting seasonings will seldom ruin it. Taste before throwing it into the oven. Gosh, it’s what, $1.00 worth of ingredients, and electricity at most plus an hour of time? A teaspoon or two here or there won’t make a spit of difference in the finish, unless it’s a delicate French recipe. Remember that, depending on the sensitivity of your tastebuds, the yogurt will somewhat overpower the sweet-tart of the lemon-sugar . That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. :-)5 stars

    1. If this is an application to be a the Food Editor on my site, consider yourself hired! LOL! But seriously, everything you say is spot-on. As always. Thanks for contributing your genius.

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