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Two moist pieces of lemon cake fresh from loaf pan cut and iced.
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4.5 from 4 votes

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Moist, fresh, and simply delicious! This Lemon Yogurt Cake is a must-have treat that is simple to make and sure to please. With a few simple variations you can transform this recipe into a dessert fit for any occasion.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 9 -10
Calories: 306kcal



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Lemon Syrup

  • cup sugar
  • cup lemon juice freshly squeezed


  • 1 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream or ½ and ½
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • ¼ tsp vanilla



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a standard loaf pan (8½ x 4¼ x 2½-inch) with non-stick baking spray.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Lemon Syrup

  • While the cake is baking, microwave the lemon juice and sugar in a microwave safe bowl for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. The syrup is finished when the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is translucent.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Use a fork or wooden skewer to poke holes ¾ of the way down the cake. Leaving the cake in the loaf pan, pour on the lemon syrup and allow it to soak. Cool completely in the pan.


  • While the cake is cooling, combine the glaze ingredients and mix until smooth. Once the cake is cooled completely, remove it from the pan and place on a cooling wrack over a sheet pan. Pour the glaze on top, allowing it to drip down the sides (the sheet pan will catch the drips).


Tips & Tricks
  • Use room temperature ingredients, specifically the eggs and yogurt. It helps them to fully incorporate into the batter and helps the cake rise evenly. 
  • Use whole-milk yogurt instead of fat free or reduced. The extra fat makes the cake more moist.
  • Zest the lemons before you juice them… it is enormously easier. 
  • Make the most of the syrup to add the most moisture and lemon flavor. Don’t skip poking holes in the cake because this helps the cake absorb the syrup more evenly. Also I leave the cake in the loaf pan when pouring on the syrup. That way not a single drop is wasted.
  • If you are doubling the recipe, be very careful to not over mix the batter. Over mixing will make the cake tough and dense instead of tender and fluffy.
Mini Loaf Pan Instructions - makes approximately 3 
Prepare cake batter as directed and pour into prepared mini loaf pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Continue with the syrup step.  
Mini Bundt Cake Instructions - makes approximately 18 (using this pan)
Prepare cake batter as directed and fill mini bundts using a medium cookie scoop (mine is approximately 2¾ inch). Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Continue with the syrup step. 
How to Store Lemon Yogurt Cake
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
How to Freeze Lemon Yogurt Cake
Bake the cake, complete the syrup step, and cool completely. Wrap tightly or place in airtight container and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter for several hours. Prepare glaze fresh and pour onto thawed cake. 


Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg