Lemon Yoghurt cake is a recipe that even a child could make.
In fact, for many Italians this is the first cake they make. I love this cake. It’s delicious and it reminds me of my family in Italy.
A few years ago I took my husband and children to Italy to meet my Italian family. It was an amazing three week adventure of discovery. A discovery of wonderful family, food and beautiful places important in our family history. A time that will never be forgotten and people who touched our hearts like never before. It was here that I also discovered this Italian yoghurt cake.
About this Lemon Yoghurt Cake.
In Turin we had our first breakfast Italian style – sweet biscuits, croissants and home made yoghurt cake. Quite unlike an Australian breakfast of maybe toast and vegemite or wheatbix cereal. But embrace it we did. It was a thrill discovering different sweet biscuits, cakes and bake-at-home croissants.
Ingredients for Lemon Yoghurt cake.
The beauty of this simple yoghurt cake recipe is that the ingredients are staple pantry items in most kitchens.
- baking powder and baking soda
You can use any yoghurt even low fat yoghurt. In my recipe testing, there was no noticeable difference between full fat or low fat yoghurt. Why not even try flavoured yoghurt to add extra flavour.
Oil used in this cake should be light in flavour such as sunflower or canola. My preferred oil for this cake is light olive oil which I also use in my simple carrot cake
The vanilla baking powder used in Italy comes in a small sachet (called “bustina”) weighing 16 grams (½ ounce). It is flavoured with vanillin. However to make it easier I have substituted baking powder, a little bit of bicarbonate of soda and vanilla. If you can find and want to use the Italian baking powder, simply omit the baking powder, soda and vanilla and instead add one sachet of Italian baking powder.
Can I freeze this Lemon Yoghurt cake?
Yes, absolutely. Wrap the cooled cake well in plastic wrap and then another layer of foil to prevent freezer burn. There is no such thing as overwrapping when preparing a cake for the freezer. You need to protect the cake from freezer burn which will dry out the cake. Also it is important to wrap the cake well to be sure it doesn’t absorb any odours – nothing worse that onion flavoured lemon yoghurt cake! When you need your cake, allow to thaw still wrapped this way you will avoid condensation.
You can also freeze leftover, individual slices of cake. Again, wrap well in plastic wrap and foil and then pack into a airtight plastic container or zip lock bag. When you want to snack on slice of cake, it will thaw quickly. I usually thaw slices of unwrapped cake in the microwave on the defrost setting.
Is this a breakfast cake or a dessert cake?
This Italian Lemon Yoghurt cake is not too sweet and is perfect served for breakfast simply dusted with icing sugar. Because it is a rather sturdy but tender cake, this yoghurt cake is wonderful for dunking into tea or coffee.
While this Italian cake is ideal for breakfast, you can also serve this with an extra scoop of yoghurt or a dollop of cream and some fruit for a light dessert.
This recipe has been updated and was first published on 22 September 2013
Lemon Yoghurt Cake
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup castor sugar (superfine)
- ½ cup Greek yoghurt (full fat or low fat)
- ½ cup light olive oil
- 1 lemon, finely grated rind only (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups plain flour sifted
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and grease and flour a large bundt cake pan.
- Using an electric mixer, beat together eggs and sugar for two minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add yoghurt, oil, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat until just combined - 30 seconds.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and add to egg mixture.
- Mix well to combine for two minutes, scraping the bowl after one minute.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake in oven for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted come out clean.
- Rest the cake for 5 minutes then remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Dust with icing sugar and enjoy with a strong espresso or a milky coffee.