Easy Lemon Yogurt Loaf Cake

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Easy, moist, fresh, and delicious the best LEMON YOGURT LOAF. A soft, light, and sweet cake made with yogurt and lemon zest. It whips up in no time and makes for the perfect anytime treat.

It’s not overly sweet, in true Italian fashion, and full of delicious lemon flavor.

More delicious cakes you will love: Easy Italian Pear Cake (Torta di Pere) and Italian Chocolate Cake (torta al ciocolato).

Why I love this recipe

It is wonderful with or without the blueberries. This cake is a staple in our home. Since it is so easy I make it on weeknights and on a lazy weekend afternoon. It is a great cake to deliver to a friend or bring to a small gathering.

If you have an extra hour 15 minutes to whip up this cake I HIGHLY recommend doing so ASAP!

You will want this as your go to lemon cake
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Simple Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Yogurt
  • Oil or butter
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon extract
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt

Lemon Zest not Lemon Juice

Lemon zest is the flavorful, colorful portion of the rind of any citrus fruit. Scratch a lemon with your fingernail and you’ll smell an intensely citrusy aroma. That’s because the fruit’s essential oils reside in its rind.

Zesting is one of the best ways to harness all of that flavor. This dish is full of bright lemon taste without even using any juice. Lemon juice can even discolor the bright green of the asparagus. 

Equipment

Here is my favorite tool for zesting lemon:  MIRCROPLANE (I do not recommend knock off versions of this brand).

Common Cake Baking Question

Why Do Cakes Sink in the Middle?

UNDER BAKED. The most common reason why cakes sink in the middle is that they’re under baked. If a cake isn’t fully baked through, the center doesn’t have a chance to set and it will sink.

This creates a doughy, dense texture in the center of your cake layer.

TOO MUCH LEAVENING. Too much leavening agent like baking soda or powder can cause a cake to rise too high too quickly.

The gas from the leavening agents builds up and escapes before the cake bakes through in the center.

This causes the center to collapse and makes your cake layers sink in the middle. Another reason is- the leaving is expired and the cake couldn’t rise properly. 

NOT WEIGHING THE FLOUR. A gram is always a gram, but a cup is not always a cup. When in doubt measuring your ingredients by grams to ensure the correct ratios. 

OPENING THE OVEN DOOR. If the oven door is opened and slammed after it’s opened, it can cause partially baked cakes to sink in the middle.

If the center isn’t set as the oven door is slammed, it can collapse and won’t be able to rise up properly again.

Opening the oven door will also cause a draft and decrease in temperature in the inside of the oven.  

Lemon Cake Story 

Growing up my mamma would buy the round lemon cake covered with heavy sugar glaze from our local grocery store- anyone know the one I’m talking about ;)?

She bought one every week and it was always on our counter in my great grandmother’s beautiful cake plate covered with a glass cloche- which still sits on her kitchen counter today.

My friends always knew it would be there and it was the perfect after school treat. During that time my mom worked long days and didn’t have time to bake as well as cook dinner for us every evening.

The store bought cake was more than appreciated! When my mom did have time, she made this light, airy, pure lemony sweet loaf. I

t tastes 100% more fresh and made with real lemon, unlike the store bought version. I could eat a slice of this cake with a cup of afternoon tea Every. Single. Day!

Lemon cake, the best lemon cake, yummy lemon cake, lemon yogurt cake,
The best Lemon Yogurt Cake- Add a little heavy cream and it is HEAVENLY

If you love lemon cake recipes, you might enjoy this Lemon Olive Oil Cake! Another lemon recipe you will love is this Lemon Biscotti Recipe!

Add some Blueberries! 

Recently, my mamma and I started making the lemon cake with added blueberries.  They add a little pop in your mouth and create just the right juicy fruity flavor without overpowering the cake itself. Try it both ways and decide for yourself which you like best!

We also like to just pour heavy cream on top for a little creamy goodness. You could also add freshly whipped cream if you fancy that better.

I’ve served this for breakfast, as a snack, and even dessert.

This is the only Lemon Loaf Cake recipe you will ever need. Print it. Pin it. Save it and remake it. Bring to a friend. Enjoy it. Make it with Love. That’s it! 

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Light, fluffy, sweet, and lemony LEMON YOGURT CAKE

More Easy Cake Recipes:

Orange Olive Oil Honey Cake

Italian Pear Cake

Soft Italian Chocolate Cake

Poppy Seed Cake with Orange Almond Vanilla Glaze

Simple Italian Apple Cake (one bowl)

Can I Use Olive Oil Instead of Canola Oil? 

I don’t recommend doing so, as that would change the taste of the lemon loaf cake too much. If you want an orange olive oil dessert, make my Orange Olive Oil Cake recipe instead. 

Can I Make This Lemon Loaf Gluten-Free? 

I’ve had quite a few readers ask about using gluten-free flour in this Lemon Yogurt Loaf Recipe. I’ve only made the recipe as written, but readers have reported success using either Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour or Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. I can’t say for sure if using a gluten-free flour will work, but this is what readers have recommended! 

How to Make Lemon Loaf

This lemon loaf cake couldn’t be easier to make! First, whisk together the eggs and lemon zest with sugar until pale yellow. Add yogurt and extracts and mix. Then, add the dry ingredients before drizzling in the oil.

Turn the lemon loaf batter into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan and bake until the top is domed, set, and toothpick inserted in the center crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter.

This lemon loaf cake needs to cool for at least 30 minutes before enjoying! It is worth the wait.

Can I Make This Recipe in Mini Loaf Pans? 

Of course, just note that your bake time will vary depending on the size of your pans. One reader reported success making seven mini loaves and baking them at 350ºF for about 35 minutes, if that helps. However, I haven’t tried it this way.

Can I Freeze Lemon Yogurt Loaf? 

Yes, this lemon loaf freezes incredibly well. It can be frozen up to 6 months. Be sure to wrap it tight with plastic wrap and place it inside a freezer bag. If making with the blueberries, I do not recommend freezing it.

💙 MADE THIS RECIPE AND LOVED IT? 💙 Please leave a ⭐️STAR rating and COMMENT below- I love connecting with you! Tag me with your creations on Instagram and find me on Pinterest.

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LEMON YOGURT LOAF (blueberries)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews

Lovely balance of sweet and tangy makes this Lemon Loaf the only recipe you will EVER want for a Lemon Cake. Enjoy with or without the blueberries! 

  • Total Time: 70 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup whole-milk French (or Greek) yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • Optional- 1 1/2 C blueberries

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat loaf pan (9x5x3 inches, 8 cup) with vegetable oil spray. Dust with flour; tap out excess.
    2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
    3. Using your fingers, rub sugar with lemon zest in a large bowl until incorporated. Add eggs. With a mixer, mix until very foamy and pale yellow, a few minutes. 
    4. Add yogurt, lemon, and vanilla extract whisk to blend. 
    5. Fold in dry ingredients just to blend. 
    6. Add oil in last and mix until smooth and combined, about 1 minute on low speed.
    7. If adding blueberries toss and fold in now
    8. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan; smooth top. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 55–60 minutes.
    9. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto rack; let cool an additional 15. Enjoy! 

Notes

 
  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 55-60
  • Category: Sweet/ Dessert
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian/ French

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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21 Comments

  1. Delicious! We live this recipe. I did add the blueberries. I might not text time because I want to freeze it. I baked because we had friends coming to spend the night and I wanted to serve it for breakfast. After dinner our friend asked if it was for dessert or breakfast and I just said YES and served it for dessert and then again the next morning. It was enjoyed by all.






  2. Made this with blueberries and absolutely delicious. Very moist. Easy to make. My friends and family loved it. Elena’s recipes are the best.






  3. Made this with the blueberries and absolutely delicious! So moist and easy to make. Wonderful as a great gift to give to neighbors. Perfect for luncheons, teas, etc.






  4. I included fresh blueberries in this lemon loaf & dusted the top of the loaf with a whisper of sifted powdered sugar. It is absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It is a keeper for sure!






  5. This is delicious. I’ve made it a couple times. One time I even made it gluten free with Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend.






      1. Yes, you can use frozen berries. Make sure to toss them in a little flour before adding to the batter or the color will bleed and and make the batter purple :). You can use a 9 x 5 x 3 inch -8 cup- 23 x 13 x 8 cm.
        Happy Baking!

      1. Hi Karen! It is pearl sugar. It is optional and you add it before just before baking. It’s delicious with or without.
        Enjoy!