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Simple Lemon Yogurt Cake (Dairy Free!)

I first made a version of this lemon yogurt cake by Ina Garten over 10 years ago and STILL remember it. It’s seriously that good! I’ve been craving this cake lately, but because I’ve been dairy-free while breastfeeding, I’ve had to do a little adapting to the recipe. With a few ingredient swaps, I think I came up with something pretty awesome! Perhaps even better than the original.

Whether you need to eat dairy free or not, give this version a try! My husband couldn’t believe how good it turned out with my substitutions (he’s usually wary!). It was spongy, moist, with a good crust and a slight tang–everything a lemon cake is supposed to be.

For future note: this is a fantastic cake to bring to dinner parties and gatherings since it’s delicious and tastes great at room temperature.

Now that it’s springtime and getting closer to those hotter summer months, a lemon cake is the perfect recipe to enjoy outside on a beautiful day. It’s great served with coffee for a patio brunch or after an al fresco dinner party. This cake just calls for fresh air and sunny weather! And if you’re still waiting on warm weather to arrive in your state, maybe this will help usher some warm vibes your way!

Simple Lemon Yogurt CakeSimple Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe

Simple Lemon Yogurt Cake

Ingredients

Depending on how big your slices are, you could potentially serve anywhere from 4-10 people with this recipe. Tommy and I can go through half of it in one sitting, if I’m totally honest. 🙂

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain dairy-free yogurt (I used the Kite Hill brand)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (which takes about 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Lemon Sugar Drizzle Ingredients

This is totally optional but highly recommended. If you want that extra lemon flavor, I LOVE adding a little lemon-sugar mixture to drizzle on top of this cake.

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup sugar

Instructions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2

Grease and flour a loaf pan (I used a 9×5)

Step 3

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup sugar in a small bowl.

Step 4

In another large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.

Step 5

Pour the lemon-sugar and slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Step 6

With a rubber spatula, fold the coconut oil into the batter until fully incorporated. Don’t overmix!

Step 7

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Step 8

While your lemon cake is baking, combine the 1/3 cup lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small pan. Heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

Step 9

When the cake is done, carefully place the pan on a baking rack over a sheet pan.

Step 10

Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Poke 10-15 on the top with the toothpick.

Step 11

While the cake is still warm (but not HOT), pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in.

Step 12

Serve warm, cold, or let it cool completely and serve at room temperature. It’s amazing at all temperatures. Just make sure to store leftovers in an airtight container. Leftovers can stay on the counter for up to two days but after that, store it in the fridge for up to a week. Our leftovers never last more than 2 days, 3 max since we both love this recipe so much!

Dairy-free Simple Lemon Yogurt Cake easy spring summer cake recipe

Lemon Cake Topping Ideas

Lemon Glaze

Similar to the lemon sugar mixture, you can create a lemon glaze to drizzle on top of your lemon cake –if you love the lemon flavor, that is. Just use 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (or more for desired consistency), and 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Easy!

Chocolate Syrup

If you like chocolate and fruit flavors, then you just might love a little chocolate syrup drizzle on top of your lemon cake.

Powdered Sugar

Since this cake isn’t too sugary, you might be looking to add a little extra on top. Powdered sugar works perfectly, it’s easy, and most everyone has a package of it in their pantry.

Fruits

Since it is a fruit cake, who’s to say a little extra fruit on top is a bad thing? I’ve tried some fresh berries on top of this cake myself and it’s delicious. Highly recommend, especially if you love fruits like I do!

Whipped Cream

I’ve heard of people adding a little whipped on top of their lemon cake. I’m personally not a fan. I think the flavors are a little off, but I’ve heard some people rave about it so I thought I’d go ahead and include it on the list.

Cake Variations

Sugar

I used granulated white sugar for this recipe, but I don’t see why coconut sugar wouldn’t work here. It might make the color slightly darker though.

Yogurt

I use the dairy free Kite Hill yogurt brand made with almonds, but any others should work fine. It doesn’t matter if it’s cashew, almond, or whatever type of yogurt they can make nowadays. I would NOT recommend using flavored yogurt in this recipe, though. Buy plain and preferably unsweetened dairy-free yogurt if possible.

Not Dairy Free

Don’t need it dairy free? Just use regular plain greek yogurt (unsweetened and unflavored) in the recipe!

Gluten free

I haven’t tried this with gluten-free flours, but if you do, let me know how it turns out.

Oil

You could also sub avocado oil in place of the coconut oil, but I prefer coconut. The coconut flavor doesn’t come through as strongly as you might think. I don’t taste coconut at all. I haven’t tried olive oil in this, but I imagine that might have a pretty strong taste. If you use it, I’d opt for the lightest olive oil you can find.

 

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Simple Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe

Simple Lemon Yogurt Cake (Dairy-Free)

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  • Author: Teri from A Foodie Stays Fit

Description

Depending on how big your slices are, you could potentially serve anywhere from 4-10 people with this recipe. Tommy and I can go through half of it in one sitting if I am totally honest. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain dairy-free yogurt (I used the Kite Hill brand)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (which takes about 2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a loaf pan (I used a 9×5)
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  5. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  6. With a rubber spatula, fold the coconut oil into the batter until fully incorporated.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. While your lemon cake is baking, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
  9. When the cake is done, carefully place it on a baking rack over a sheet pan.
  10. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Poke 10-15 on the top with the toothpick.
  11. While the cake is still warm (but not HOT), pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in.
  12. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold. It’s amazing at all temperatures. Just make sure to store leftovers in an airtight container. Leftovers can stay on the counter for up to two days but after that, store it in the fridge for up to a week. Our leftovers never last more than 2 days, 3 max since we both love this recipe so much!

 

If you tried and liked this recipe, let me know in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Erika
    at

    Made this cake for Mother’s Day! Such a fresh, light dessert! And bonus that it’s dairy-free! Look forward to making it more this spring/summer!

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