Greek yogourt cake with lemon

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Greek yogourt cake with lemon

A perfect snacking cake with a hint of lemon

If you’re looking for a basic, delightful, slightly tangy snacking cake, this is it. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, and nothing else required. Although fancier cakes are often welcome, sometimes you want a cake that can easily pass for breakfast and we think that this one does.

It’s always nerve-wracking exciting to allow a bundt cake to cool and to then flip the pan over and see a thing of beauty emerge. That is, if the cake comes out in one piece. No matter how delicious your cake has the potential to be, if you don’t grease your pan thoroughly and carefully, you could wind up with a bit of a disaster. Don’t believe us? You should, we speak from experience.

Greek yogourt cake with lemon

The year was 1994. It was winter, and like most Montreal winter days back then, there was plenty of snow, and the air was crisp and frigid. It was Saturday evening and a single Billie was getting ready to go out with friends for a night that would start on Crescent Street and likely end up on St. Laurent. Unknown to Billie, a married Helen had decided that for her, that Saturday evening would be one of domesticity. Having recently delivered her own little bun, a gorgeous, joyful little girl, Helen now had a bundt cake in the oven.

At approximately 9:30 pm, Billie’s doorbell rang. Odd. She was meeting her friends downtown and was not expecting company. She opened the door curiously, and came face to face with her dear, terror-stricken brother-in-law, holding her adorably oblivious niece. The conversation went something like this:

Billie: What are you doing here? I’m going out.

Brother-in-law: Can we come in?

Billie: I’m going out…and where’s Helen?

Brother-in-law: She baked a cake.

Billie: Oh….(suddenly having visions of previous baking fails at the hands of her dear sister) ….Oh….

Brother-in-law: So, can we come in?

Billie: But what actually happened?

Brother-in-law: I’m not sure. She baked a cake. Then I heard a lot of banging. And I’m not sure, but I think she threw the pan across the kitchen. She didn’t hit anyone, so that was good.

Billie: Ah. Did she use a bundt pan?

Brother-in-law: A what?

Billie: You know, a bundt pan. The circular pan with a hole in the middle.

Brother-in-law: I think so. I saw it in the garbage can, along with the cake.

Billie: Umm… yeah. So, why are you here exactly?

Brother-in-law: I figured she needed some alone time. And, I also may have asked her what she did wrong.

The moral of this story? Don’t be like Helen in the 90’s (And most definitely, don’t be like her husband). There is a reliable way to remove a cake from a bundt pan in one piece, and Helen now knows that you need to do the following:

  • Grease your pan carefully and thoroughly. We know that many recipes recommend butter, or oil and a light dusting of flour. We tend to use cooking spray, or vegetable oil applied with a paper towel all over the surface, and never dust with flour. For us, this works beautifully all the time.
  • Allow your cake to cool, but not too much. Usually, a 10 minute cooling period is just right.
  • We like to place a cooling rack over the top of the cake pan and then flip over. We then shake the pan gently back and forth to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan, and then slowly lift the pan off of the cake.

Helpful Hints

Can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil in this recipe?

You sure can! The ratio for substituting the vegetable oil with olive oil is 1:1, meaning that you would use the same amount of olive oil as the vegetable oil required. We love baking with olive oil, and in fact, most of our cake recipes use olive oil; it gives a distinct and delicious flavour, and sometimes color to your cakes or muffins. In this Greek yogourt cake with lemon however, we opt for the lighter, less pronounced flavour of the vegetable oil. If you’re looking for a citrus flavoured cake which uses olive oil, we’ve got this one for you: Olive oil cake with lemon.

I’ve never heard of vanilla powder! Can I use vanilla extract instead?

In our home growing up, the vanilla of choice was always powdered. It was actually years later that we realized that vanilla came in liquid form. We still use vanilla powder in our baking, primarily for nostalgia’s sake, but there are other benefits too. Because of its dry form, you can use powdered vanilla to flavour icing sugar if you want to use that to dust your cake, or doughnuts. You can also use it in dry mixes for muffins or cakes. And, because there is no liquid in it, powdered vanilla can be used to flavour chocolate you are tempering. If you don’t have vanilla powder, or prefer to use the extract, use double the amount of extract than we call for in the powder format.

What if I don’t have a bundt pan? Can I use a different type of baking pan?

Yes! We love using bundt pans because they are so pretty, but we recognize that not everyone has a bundt pan, and not everyone likes using them. There is always a bit of trepidation as you flip the pan over, hoping that your cake comes out unscathed. You can usually always swap out the cake pan suggested in a recipe, so long as you know the volume of the original pan recommended, and what an equivalent would be. The Joy of Baking website has a great, detailed, table of baking pan comparison. You can consult it here.

Greek yogourt cake with lemon

Do you want to see more bundt cake recipes? We’ve got these:

Orange and cranberry olive oil cake

Double chocolate zucchini cake

Marble cake

Pin this recipe if you like it!

Greek yogourt cake with lemon

Things you might need:

Hand held mixer

Bundt cake pan

Vanilla powder

Wire cooling racks

Greek yogourt cake with lemon

We love hearing from you!  If you have made our recipes, or if you have a question or comment, or simply want to say Hi!,  please leave a comment below!

Greek yogourt cake with lemon
Greek yogourt cake with lemon
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5 from 2 votes

Greek yoghurt cake with lemon

A perfect snacking cake with a hint of lemon
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: dessert, greek yoghurt, breakfast cake, cake, lemon cake,
Servings: 1 bundt cake
Author: Mia Kouppa


  • Bundt cake pan
  • Stand mixer or hand held mixer


  • 3 cups (450 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups ( 375 mL) Greek yoghurt, plain (we use 2%)
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) fresh lemon juice or 80 ml
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
  • 3/4 cup ( 180 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • icing sugar to be used for dusting cake optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease your 10-12 inch bundt pan with vegetable oil.
  • In a medium size bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set it aside.
  • In another medium size bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • In your electric stand mixer (you can also use a hand held mixer) beat the eggs with the sugar for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add in the oil, followed by the vanilla (extract or powder).
  • With your mixer speed on low, carefully add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl containing the eggs and then add the yoghurt mixture. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared bundt pan, and bake in the middle rack of your oven for 60-65 minutes. Test with a toothpick; if it comes out clean then your cake is ready. If you notice your cake is browning too much on top while baking, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil. Remember, this is a dense but moist cake and will take a full hour to bake.
  • Remove your cake from the oven and let it cool for approximately 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  • Let cool on a wire rack. Once your cake is completely cooled, dust it with icing sugar. Enjoy!


All ingredients should be at room temperature.  Eggs and yogourt should sit outside of the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour before starting to bake.  This ensures a smooth batter , and will create a fluffier cake.
The cake can be kept at room temperature for 3-4 days.  It also freezes very well; freeze your cake before dusting with icing sugar.  To serve, let sit at room temperature.

30 thoughts on “Greek yogourt cake with lemon

  1. I asked my husband what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday and he said, “You know that Greek cake that is round and has a hole in the middle? It tastes like lemon and has sugar on top?” No, I had no idea so I came here to look and it was the latest recipe! Thank you!

    1. That’s amazing Nikolia!!! We’re so happy that you came to look, and you found our cake. We hope that your husband loved it, and happy birthday to him!! One of us celebrated a birthday on the 14th 🙂 June is a great birthday month!

    1. Sorry Diane, we don’t have nutritional stats for our recipes. It’s cake, so it’s not the healthiest thing you can eat, but once in while, it’s great 🙂

  2. Poli orea!!! Love!!! 💘 Such a simple and delicate balance of flavours. Very moist cake!!! Made for the first time and turned out great! Efharisto!!!

  3. Sounds delicious. Just what I like – not too sweet or heavy.
    Can I substitute Gluten Free Flour?
    If so, how much?
    Are there any other ingredients to add?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Judi,
      We’ve not made this cake with gluten free flour, although we know many who have and they said it was delicious! We suspect that you would use as much gluten free flour as the regular flour we call for. Good luck, and happy baking!

    1. We usually use flax – for each egg we mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 2 1/2 tablespoons of water and mix. Good luck! and hope that helps 🙂

  4. Hi there, your recipe sounds great and I really want to try it. I have a question, can I use sour cream instead of Greek yoghurt? Thank you

    1. Good question Ramona, and thanks! We’ve never tried the cake with sour cream so we can’t be certain…however, there really is no reason why it wouldn’t work. Let us know if you do try it 🙂

  5. Loveleh cake!
    Is there a substitute for Greek yogurt?

    If I halve the ingredients, do I need to make changes in baking time?

    1. Hi Anahita,
      Definitely if you halve the ingredients you will have to adjust the baking time as you will be making a smaller cake. And if you don’t have Greek yogourt, another full fat yogourt would do. Happy baking!

      1. Made the Lemon Yogurt cake! Absolutely fabulous!! Thank you for sharing your story and all of the wonderful recipes.

      2. Hi Judy! You are welcome, and thank you so much for trying our recipe, and for letting us know that you enjoyed it 🙂 That makes us really happy!

    1. You’re welcome Geri! Hope you love this cake, and also that you find much to be inspired by in our Recipe List. 🙂 Happy to have you here with us!

    1. Bonjour Brun. Malheureusement, pour le moment, nous n’avons pas la capacité de traduire nos recettes et tous les conseils et informations additionnels en français. Peut-être un jour!! Ce serait génial 😉 xoxo Billie et Helen

  6. Just made this cake today, followed the recipe to a T . It’s super moist but way to lemony for my taste buds ( I used fresh lemons )

    1. Thanks for trying our recipe Nellie! So glad that you found it moist. Next time try cutting the lemon rind in half and that should make it more to your liking 🙂 xoxo Helen & Billie

  7. This is a delightfully moist, flavourful, and fluffy cake.

    Good Food (Australia) published excerpts from Kathy Tsaples, Sweet Greek: Simple Foods & Sumptuous Feasts: “Greek Easter: Recipes for thiples and lemon-yoghurt cake,” 16 March 2018. I have used her yiaourtopita recipe several times since, and it is always a big hit with family and friends. Clearly, a competitive trial with your recipe was in order.

    I’m pleased to say that both recipes produce excellent cakes. Nonetheless, your recipe has some advantages: the use of 3 eggs rather than 6; a simpler methodology not involving separating the eggs and whipping the whites by themselves; and a more pronounced lemon flavour.

    So the winner — Mia Kouppa!

    1. Yay!! We love that you enjoyed our cake Charles. So much fun that you did a “competition” between our cake and the one by Sweet Greek (we love her site!). Lots of great cake, that’s the best type of contest 🙂 xoxo Helen & Billie

  8. I was hesitant to write this review since there were positive reviews. But this recipe didn’t work for me. I did NOT do any substitutions and follow the recipe. But the batter was too tick. The cake tasted good but of course the texture was very dense after baking was complete. I think the recipe needed more wet ingredients.

    1. Hi Helen! We’re really glad that you wrote this comment / review; we appreciate feedback. We’re sorry however that you didn’t enjoy the cake as much as you expected to. This isn’t however a problem with the recipe (or your baking of it), it just happens to be a dense cake. If you’re looking for something light and fluffy, this is not the recipe for you. We do however have many desserts available on our website – if you scroll through our Recipe List you will find many cakes which are not dense; our pantespani for example, or our revani and both incredibly light and wonderful. xoxo Helen & Billie

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