Lemon yogurt cake

This wonderfully tart lemon yogurt cake contains no butter or oil and does not require a mixer! You’ll want to snack on this cake all day long!

Addie and I have a weekly girls’ night. It probably isn’t what you think. We don’t go to the nail salon or rent a movie. Instead, we go to the library. She and I have been going since she was about 2 years old. We know all the librarians in the children’s wing and attended the weekly story time for 3 years.

One day, she exclaimed, “Mommy. I don’t want to go to story time any more. I’m too big.” I had warned the librarian that this day was imminent, but it came sooner than expected. She and I stopped attending story time a few months before she began kindergarten. Addie was a full-blown reader at that point.

The librarian was very fond of my daughter and said that of all the children that have attended story time, Addie is the first ‘graduate’ who fully learned how to read during their stint in the Wednesday evening program. Despite not attending the weekly story times, Addie and I have continued to go to the library on Wednesday nights to borrow books. She is now avidly into chapter books.

I almost forgot that the library also contained books for adults, and that collection included cook books. I had wanted to borrow a slow cooker book but wasn’t able to find it. I found an Ina Garten cook book instead and this recipe jumped out at me.

The yogurt cake, as Ina claims, is originally adapted from Dorie Greenspan but made healthier since it contains no oil or butter. It’s wonderfully lemony and tart, and the lemon glaze make it extra special.

I’m looking forward to borrowing more cook books from the library since my kitchen is already overflowing with some of my own!

Lemon yogurt cake

This wonderfully tart lemon yogurt cake contains no butter or oil and does not require a mixer! You'll want to snack on this cake all day long!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bread, Breakfast, Cake
Servings: 12
Author: Eva Bakes



  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 and 1/3 cups sugar divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (from 2 lemons)


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon optional


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a standard 9"x5" loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together the yogurt, 1 cup of the sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla until well blended. Transfer this to the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until a few dry streaks remain. Add in the applesauce and mix until just incorporated. It will be a bit clumpy, and that is OK.
  • Transfer the batter to your prepared loaf pan and bake in your preheated oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Turn the oven off and allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar with the 1/3 cup of lemon juice over the stovetop in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  • Once the cake has cooled slightly, pour the lemon juice/sugar mixture on top of the cake and allow it to soak in. Allow the cake to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the glaze. Mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together. Once the cake is cool, pour the glaze over the top. Slice and serve.


Cake should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days. It can also be frozen and thawed.
Source: Slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

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