Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Cake

lemon yogurt olive oil cake

Sometimes life calls for cake, no occasion or reason required. Maybe just the fact that it’s still winter is enough. Or it’s raining. Perhaps you’re in a good mood, or a blue mood. Or, if you’re me, you just need any which way NOT to do the thing you should be doing. Whatever your “why”, I recommend you bake a lemon yogurt olive oil cake.

About Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Cake

An olive oil cake like this one has become a go-to when I’m having people over for dinner. It’s flexible and easy to make, Plus, with no frosting or filling involved, it’s on the lighter side of the cake spectrum. You can do it with any citrus you like — Meyer lemon, lime, grapefruit, blood orange, mandarin, you name it. While made with good ingredients — whole-grain flour, yogurt, and olive oil — the cake still manages to taste undeniably of dessert.

a slice of cake topped with strawberries

What type of Olive Oil to Use?

While most of us grew up baking cakes with butter and vegetable oil, the Italians have been using olive oil for generations. The upside is the richness and flavor that comes with olive oil, not to mention its superior health benefits. That said, when choosing an olive oil for this cake, I recommend steering clear of really peppery varieties. Just give your oil a taste before you add it to the batter, making sure it’s not too grassy in flavor.

Can I Make this Cake Ahead of Time?

I do think this cake holds up exceptionally well for several days. If you want to bake it a day ahead, wrap it in plastic and keep on the counter. It’s pretty sturdy, so it travels well, too, say if you’re ferrying it to a potluck or dropping it off to a friend (lucky friend!).

close up of olive oil cake with strawberries on top

When to Serve Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Cake

This is an any time kind of cake as far as I’m concerned. Indeed, I’ve been shaving thin slices to enjoy with my afternoon tea for the past few days. Here are a few other ideas:

  • Serve for dessert with fresh berries, frozen berries warmed on the stoves, or sliced citrus fruits. Add a dollop of whipped cream or yogurt whipped cream on the side.
  • Enjoy as part of a brunch spread with lightly sweetened Greek yogurt and favorite fruits.
  • Cut into thin slices and set out as part of an afternoon tea.
  • Divide it in half or in thirds, wrap well, and drop off to your favorite people.

If you’re a fan of Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Cake, consider:

Lemon Yogurt Ice Box Cake

Rustic Italian Apple Cake

Mini Chocolate Olive Oil Cakes

Easy Persimmon Pudding Cake

close up of lemon yogurt olive oil cake
5 from 1 vote

Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Cake

A simple, lightly sweetened and tender cake that's terrific with fresh fruit and whipped cream. Make it a day ahead, if desired, since it holds up well overnight.

Course Brunch, Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 to 10 servings
Calories 374 kcal
Author Katie Morford


  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour (alternatively, use white whole-wheat flour)
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 cups fresh or frozen defrosted berries of any variety (slice strawberries, if using)
  • Optional for serving: lightly sweetened yogurt or whipped cream or yogurt whipped cream (see notes)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9-inch round springform pan (or standard cake pan). Lightly coat with flour. Tap out excess flour.

  2. In a medium bowl, use a fork to whisk together the whole-wheat pastry flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl beat the eggs and sugar until pale and billowy, about 2 minutes on high with an electric mixe. Add the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest and beat until smooth and blended, another 30 seconds.

  4. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth with no obvious lumps or streaks of flour, another 30 seconds.
  5. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake just until the top doesn’t make a dent when gently pressed and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, 40 to 45 minutes.

  6. Let cool for about 20 minutes before releasing the spring form pan (if using a standard cake pan, run a knife along the edge, invert the cake, and set it right-side-up).

  7. Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar. Cut into slices and serve with berries and optional cream/yogurt

Recipe Notes

Whip 1 cup heavy cream with a few tablespoons sugar. Gently fold in 1 cup plain Greek yogurt. Chill until ready to serve. 

Much gratitude to my intern Hannah Zimmerman of Bite Size Studio for the lovely photos


03.09.2023 at12:28 PM #

Cynthia Jones

Oh Katie, I’m not sure whether to kiss you or curse you – that cake is too good! I made it this morning and now I want to eat the whole thing! It came out of the oven looking pale on top but the powdered sugar took care of that. I put some defrosted little organic blueberries on my slice, but honestly, this cake is so moist and delicious that it needs nothing on top in my opinion. Perfect to share with someone over for coffee or tea, or have all to oneself. 🙂

03.09.2023 at12:28 PM #

Katie Morford

Ah, honestly your comment makes my day. And that’s exactly what I had in mind with this cake. Thank you for taking the time!

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