Light, tender, and full of lemon flavor, this lemon yogurt loaf cake with olive oil is simple to whip together. It's a cake with a lovely moist texture and with a delicious lemon flavor.
Lemon is such a great flavor to use year-round. In the summertime, it’s fresh and bright and literally the color of the sun. In the wintertime, lemons are in season and the pop of color and bright citrus flavors are a welcome distraction on cold and dark days.
This tender lemon yogurt cake is full of lemon flavor, both in the cake itself and the zesty lemon glaze. It’s extra light and tender due to the yogurt and the olive oil.
Yogurt in cake
Yogurt is a magical ingredient in cakes and baked goods. The acidity in the yogurt can help with rising but it also works to create a more tender texture in the cake.
You can use any unflavored yogurt in this lemon yogurt cake whether it be full fat or low fat, Greek yogurt (where the excess whey has been strained off), or original yogurt.
Using a thinner yogurt will result in a slightly longer baking time for the cake.
Extra virgin olive in cake
Extra-virgin olive oil is made purely from cold-pressed olives. It is stronger in flavor than standard olive oil which is a mix of cold-pressed and processed olive oil. Extra-virgin olive oil is the healthier option.
You can swap this for coconut oil or other neutral vegetable oil like canola oil or rice bran, but olive oil gives a much richer flavor.
It's rich and fragrant and perfect in this lemon olive oil yogurt cake. The use of olive oil instead of butter means there is no extra step of creaming the butter and the sugar like there is in many cake recipes. The olive oil gives an extra moist texture to the cake.
The loaf pan
The loaf pan in this recipe is a small pan measured at 8½x4½inch (21x11cm). Don't use a 9x 5-inch loaf pan or the cake will be too flat. You can also bake this in a 7inch round cake pan.
The baking time will change depending on the pan you are choosing. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
The full cake ingredients amounts for this lemon yogurt cake recipe are listed in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Here is a rundown of the ingredients you'll find in this lemon and yogurt olive oil loaf.
- All-purpose flour
- Sugar - Sugar is needed for sweetness, but there is not a huge amount in the cake, which offsets the sweet glaze.
- Eggs - For structure and binding
- Lemon - Plenty of fresh lemons, both fresh juice and zest are needed for flavor.
- Vanilla extract - for flavor
- Salt- Another flavor enhancer
- Baking Powder - For lifting in the cake
- Yogurt - Creates light and a moist crumb. You can use plain yogurt or Greek yogurt. This can be substituted for sour cream too.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Flavor and texture
- Powdered sugar
- Lemon juice and zest
Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease or line a regular 8½x4½inch (21x11cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine sugar and the lemon zest. Rub it together with your fingers to release the oils from the lemon zest. Stir in the lemon juice.
Add in the eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla and whisk them together by hand to combine them.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir it well to combine with a rubber spatula, but don't over-mix it. If using a stand mixer, mix it on low to medium speed until just combined. There may be some lumps in the batter but that's okay.
Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven for anywhere between 45-55 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when touched and a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
You'll need to assess your cake through the skewer method as opposed to relying purely on baking time as each oven is different and baking time can also differ depending on what yogurt was used (as discussed above.)
After baking, remove the loaf from the pan and let the cake cool down to room temperature on a wire rack before glazing.
Once the loaf has cooled, mix together confectioners sugar, fresh lemon juice, and a splash of milk to make a thick but pourable glaze.
Drizzle it generously over the top of the cooled cake. Enjoy a slice of this cake with your morning or afternoon coffee.
Leftover lemon yogurt cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. The un-iced lemon loaf cake can also be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
More citrus recipes
This recipe is written using grams as the main measurement.
If you don't have a scale US* cup equivalents are also included, however, using a kitchen scale to measure grams will give the best and most consistent results.*US cup sizes are smaller than metric cup sizes.
- 150g (¾ cup*) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 60ml (¼ cup) fresh lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125g (½ cup) unflavored yogurt
- 112g (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
- 220g (1 ¾ cup) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 140g (1 ¼ cups) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Splash of milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease or line an 8½x4½inch (21x11cm) loaf tin.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar and the lemon zest. Rub it together with your fingers to release the oils from the lemon zest. Stir in the lemon juice.
- Add in the eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla and whisk them together by hand to combine them.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Tip the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir it well to combine but don't over-mix it. There may be some lumps in the batter but that's okay.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 45-55 minutes until the top of the loaf springs back when touched and a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
- After baking, remove the loaf from the tin and let it cool down to room temperature before glazing.
- Once the loaf has cooled, mix together confectioners sugar, lemon juice, and a splash of milk to make a thick but pourable glaze.
- Drizzle it generously over the loaf.
*The cup sizes given are for US cups. Note that these are smaller than metric cup sizes. For best results, use grams.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 181mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 5g