Lemoncello Yogurt Cake

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A  basic  one bowl yogurt cake jazzed up with lemoncello!If you’ve been reading food blogs for a while, this recipe will not be a revelation. With the popularity of Clotilde Dusoulier’s blog Chocolate and Zucchini, “yogurt cake” became a phenomenon and the blog sphere is now  full of variations on this easy and tasty cake.

So, you might be wondering “what in the world is it doing on A Communal Table?” and muttering to yourself “been there, done that. Yawn”.

But, there is a “method to the madness” as they say…so stay with me here.

Shortly before my trip to France, the May edition of Bon Appetit appeared in my mailbox – and it was, of course about Paris! Naturally, I had to drop  everything and read it cover to cover – heaven forbid I miss some crucial piece of information!! And what should appear in the recipe section?  You guessed it, a recipe for a French Yogurt Cake!!   I glanced through the recipe and decided that I would try Bon Appetit’s version when I got home – even though I love (and have made more times than I can count) Dusoulier’s version, I was curious to try Bon Appetit ‘s recipe.

Needless to say, both cakes are similar but what intrigued me the most about the Bon Appetit version was the twist they put on it. Their version is flavored with lemon (and you know how I feel about lemons!!)  but instead of just adding lemon zest to the batter, you actually work the zest into the sugar first.

It was one of those “a ha” moments… you know, the one’s when you feel a bit stupid as in “why didn’t this ever occur to me???” yet grateful that it  finally has, even if you didn’t think of it yourself.

And yes, it does make a difference… that saying ” the devil is in the details” is true.  This is one of those “little details” that has all kinds of applications… and has spurred a flurry of variations and ideas my head which I can’t wait to experiment with… while I snack on  little bites of this Lemoncello Yogurt Cake….


Lemoncello Yogurt Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I made two small changes to the Bon Appetit recipe - I substituted 1 Tbsp. lemoncello for the vanilla and increased the lemon zest from 1 Tbsp. to the zest of a whole lemon.
Serves: l loaf
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup plain greek yogurt (I used 2% Fage yogurt)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. lemoncello (optional)
  1. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 4 loaf pan and set aside. Place the sugar in a medium bowl. Zest the lemon over the sugar. With a spoon, stir the lemon zest into the sugar and continue to stir until the sugar is moist. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine. In a large bowl combine the yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs and lemoncello if using. Stir in the sugar.Fold the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a rack.




  1. says

    Great post Nancy and love the photo. Yeah, you and me and lemons. Made me think of an old recipe I have for an orange yogurt cake. I’ll have to dig it out of the archives. I love yogurt too, and the moistness and tang it gives when you bake with it. That was a great issue of BA and perfect timing for you!

    I’m going to be experimenting with an old cherry torte recipe this weekend and looking to replace some of the butter with yogurt. Make a healthier version. We’ll see how that comes out. Thanks again! Sounds delish!

  2. says

    This is exactly the cake I’ve been looking for, for a quick, delicious way to use up some Greek yogurt! I love it – the crumb looks so moist and wonderful! This one is a keeper! I was thinking of using Tuaca in it :)

  3. says

    Oh I love love your version!!!! The addition of Greek yogurt, and of course the lemoncello have to make it pretty fantastic:-) Hugs, Terra

  4. Madonna says

    Years ago I read that this cake is based on the yogurt container, which is or was a half cup measure. It was called a grand-mère cake because this is the first cake the children were taught to make. Three containers of flour, two of sugar, one of oil or butter, one of yogurt, plus the leavening/flavorings. This is the cake my grand-mère served us as a child, but only in the last couple years did I realize this.

    My two-cents for making this cake is to use grapeseed oil. It makes the cake so much lighter, and I hear grapeseed is good for you. I keep one in the freezer at all times just in case company drops by and I have something delicious to serve them. My neighbor just gave me another huge bucket of lemons, so needless to say it is all things lemon at my house.

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