lemony yoghurt cake

I’ve made this cake twice in the last five days. I might even make it for a third time tonight. It’s disappeared quickly – a sliver for breakfast with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of granola; a nibble when I get home from work in the evenings; a slightly more substantial chunk, scattered with pomegranate seeds, after we’ve eaten dinner.

It’s a good cake for this middle stretch of January when, if I’m honest, I have a fairly limited enthusiasm for doing anything other than hibernating under my duvet with a good book (or, the latest series of The Bridge).




lemony yoghurt cake

lemony yoghurt cake

It’s wholesome without feeling “healthy” (ugh) and full of all of my favourite things. It’s a simple cake requiring nothing more than a bit of a stir and some folding.  It bakes for a while, developing a golden brown crust which gaves way to squidgy delight underneath.

It’s lightly lemony (hence the name) without being too assertive; it’s comforting and familiar.  I used a combination of ground almonds and brown rice flour to keep it gluten free – you could use plain flour, like the original recipe, or your favourite gluten free flour blend. The almonds help to contribute to the aforementioned squidginess so using flour will give the whole thing a bit more structure which you may, or may not, prefer.

lemony yoghurt cake

Yield: Serves 8

This is my absolute favourite kind of cake - it's dense without being too heavy, rounded in flavour and stays sticky and moist (sorry) for several days thanks to the winning combination of ground almonds, olive oil and greek yoghurt. The lemon flavour is pretty subtle so add a little more zest if you want.


  • 125g (1 1/4 cups) ground almonds
  • 40g (1/3 cup) brown rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 225g (1 cup) unrefined caster/granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 180g (3/4 cup) greek yoghurt
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Lightly whisk together the almonds, rice flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Smush the sugar and lemon zest together (like you're making pastry) and then mix in the yoghurt, olive oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and pour the batter into the loaf tin.
  3. Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes until the cake is golden brown and risen. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing and transferring to a wire rack. The cake may sink a little because of all the moisture but that's no bad thing at all.


Adapted from this French Yoghurt Cake from Bon Appetit with a little inspiration from this rhubarb, lemon and almond cake from My Darling Lemon Thyme.

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79 Responses to "lemony yoghurt cake {gluten free}"
  1. Joanne says:

    Lemony treats are definitely what is keeping me going these days! Such a great idea to slather a slice of this with pom arils! Another one of my life jackets in this cold haze.

  2. This looks absolutely delicious! These are my favourite cakes too, light and delicately flavoured. The only problem with cakes like this for me is I eat way too much!

  3. zita fox says:

    I’ve always been intrigued by yoghurt cakes and haven’t yet eaten one or made one…. i think ill try this one though… sounds really yummy.

    • kathryn says:

      i like yoghurt cakes because they’re sturdy but never dry; it makes them very moreish! thank you for your comment zita : )

  4. Teffy says:

    Ooo that looks so delicious!!
    I have never used almond or rice flour, but my gluten intolerant friend would appreciate it if I tried!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  5. Why is it that I just want to stuff my face with anything you share on your blog?!
    I don’t think I’ve ever incorporated yogurt into any of my recipes…I usually use sour cream. But adding Greek yogurt is very clever.
    Another question: where do you buy the flours (like the rice flour) you use for baking? Online? Whole Foods? They’re quite hard to get hold of where I live.

    • kathryn says:

      You can buy a lot of them in Whole Foods, I’ve also got a grocery store at the end of my road which stocks a few. otherwise I tend to get them from Ocado or Waitrose – I work near Canary Wharf and they have a pretty good stock of different types.

  6. Kezia says:

    I love yogurt/almond cakes – I find they always seem to have just the right amount of heaviness without being stodgy. And the picture at the top has reminded me that I really must take advantage of pomegranates being in season before it’s too late!

  7. Mmmmm…. I have some greek yogurt in my fridge…

  8. Caz says:

    I love a simple yoghurt cake and lemon is the perfect flavour to brighten up a grey January. It’s so nice to have a cake you can throw together quickly. The fact it’s gluten free is a real bonus for me. I can’t wait to try it.

  9. Sophia says:

    I love the combination of ground nuts, rice flour and olive oil – makes such wonderfully moist cakes with a bit of bite – this cake looks and sounds wonderful. Coincidentally I have been snacking on a similar cake this week (pistachios, olive oil and rice flour, with orange zest and green pepper for a bit of freshness) and it does go down rather too easily. And yes, having a cake around to snack on definitely helps deal with this rather long and grey January!

  10. Lemon yoghurt cakes are my fav. Love that you cooked yours in a loaf tin :-)

  11. You always make the prettiest quick-cakes!! This looks perfect!

  12. I really love these kinds of cakes…it’s so easy to take a nibble here and there and before you know it they are gone! This one looks lovely and lemon is a definite must this time of year.

  13. Sasha says:

    This is my favorite kind of cake too. I’d take a moist (eek), dense tea-style cake over a frosted one any day.

  14. I can see why this cake would go so quickly, as it definitely would in our house, too. And I’m with you on the lack of enthusiasm during the winter… it’s tough to get through, but I would do it just to make this yummy cake.

  15. Ahhh, lemon! My favorite kind of cake ever. I’m going to put my meyer lemons to work and try this this weekend. Love!

  16. Damn this looks delicious. love little cakes that require not too much effort. Seriously, I have got to make this.

  17. alexandra says:

    oh, a favorite flavor + type of treat of mine! simple + delicious over fancy + overly sweet any day for me.

  18. Lemon and yogurt, such a great combo! Might try your recipe this weekend, I would love to wake up to a sweet breakfast :)

  19. Linda Bailey says:

    Vanilla paste?
    How or where to purchase

    • kathryn says:

      Hi Linda, vanilla paste is a sort of hybrid of a vanilla pod and extract. It contains all the seeds and you can use it instead of extract – it has a bit more of an intense vanilla flavour. I buy it in the supermarket (I’m not sure if you’re in the UK or not) but if not, you can just sub extract in.

  20. Erika says:

    Love this.. anything lemony and I’m sold. I’ve never used brown rice flour but now I definitely need to, if only to make this cake.

  21. Love the idea of healthier cakes like this that you can take a slice of to work with you and not feel too bad about eating every day for a week. Love both yoghurt and oil in cakes, too. Makes them so nicely moist.

  22. I love adding yoghurt and ground almonds to cakes – extra moistness (yes, it’s a good word when it comes to cake!) and richness whilst also being good for you. This cake looks amazing and the fact that you’ve gone through two 8 servings cakes in 5 days is testament to that fact – did you have guests or did you each eat 3 slices a day? I’m hoping the latter, I would! :-)

  23. Love the simple recipe and even more so that it’s a cake that’s perfect for breakfast :)

  24. Skye says:

    Oh my goodness, isn’t The Bridge just completely and utterly addictive-ly amazing???
    And this cake looks pretty damned good too… LOVE yogurt cake.

  25. Cupcake Girl says:

    That looks lush! something about these cold wet days makes me want lovely lemony sunshiny things. I can imagine that it was super moist yum!

  26. Angharad says:

    I think I’ve got more recipes for lemon cakes on my blog than any other. I just adore them. And it’s a great time of year for citrus! Lovely.

  27. Brown rice flour?! Interesting. I brought some back from the US and have used it in a few things (combined with other stuff, like you did) and was surprised that it actually tasted good. I’m intrigued how it tastes along with lemon! Such an interesting combination. :)

  28. I love recipes that you just want to make over and over and over again! This looks so perfect, K!!! xo

  29. I love recipes that you just want to make over and over and over again! This looks so perfect, K!!!xo

  30. wow, this must be a real winner if you’ve made it so much! now i want to make a couple loaves of this!! it sounds so fresh and delicious!

  31. I can completely empathise with hibernating taking precedence over getting out he mixing bowls! I finally switched the oven back on for a spot of baking this weekend after a slight lull in proceedings following hectic pre Christmas baking – it was lovely easing myself back in gently with a few simple bakes (bread rolls, walnut muffins).

  32. Sanaa Voss says:

    I love”baking healthy” for my toddlers so I was really happy when I stumbled upon your blog.
    I love anything lemony and this recipe’s ingredients sound like a great mix to me, except the sugar part. Have you ever tried a recipe without sugar or substituting it with honey or else?
    Ps: Thank you for mentioning the grams as well!

    • kathryn says:

      Hi Sanaa, thanks for your comment! I’ve made quite a few things with honey rather than sugar like this cake. It does use butter, rather than olive oil, because I’m always a bit wary of using honey/olive oil together as it tends to do odd things to the cake batter. If you wanted to make the buckwheat cake without butter though, I think coconut oil might work. In this cake, you really need to sugar to cut through the butter to help create a structure in the cake. I hope that helps!

  33. This looks so moist and soft, I just want to take a big bite (and come back for many more). Has to smell amazing too!

  34. Angela says:

    Could you just add extra almond flour in replace of the rice flour?

    • kathryn says:

      Hi Angela, I haven’t tried this cake with just almond flour. My gut is that it wouldn’t really work because it would be too moist and the cake wouldn’t have enough structure. When I’ve made cakes with all almond flour before, I’ve used the method of whipping up the eggs until light and frothy to counteract that. Let me know if you try it and it works though!

  35. Greg Urbano says:

    delicious recipe capture perfectly in your photos!

  36. Liz says:

    Your blog looks absolutely lovely, Kathryn! :) Really classy and fun.

    And I must make this recipe. I love lemon cakes too!

    Hope youre doing good. Take care. xo

  37. Angela says:

    Thanks Kathryn. I only asked, because I didn’t know if I could find the brown rice flour easily. But I found some. I plan on making this soon!

  38. I wish I had a slice of this right now!! This lemony cake is stunning…

  39. Kate says:

    I really prefer cakes like this to dry layered cakes. Lemon and yogurt are just marvelous together, too.

  40. Aurica says:

    hhmmm, yummy, yummy..loooooks so delightful, delicious and creamy, a good dessert

  41. Julia says:

    This is amazing! I tried it the other day and it was so darn good. Your blog always makes me craving either cake or cookies. Not surprising I guess. x

  42. Ashley says:

    I am loving the sound of this! It looks so dense + moist in the best way possible!

  43. Melissa says:

    I just made this cake and it tastes delicious but mine was far too moist and is still raw in the middle but cooked on the outside, such a shame!! I think next time I would go for a bit more flour to soak up moisture and give a bit more height to the cake.

    :) Love your recipes!

    Melissa XX

    • kathryn says:

      Hi Melissa, thanks for your feedback. I’ve definitely never had a problem with it being raw in the middle – it stays squidgy but is definitely cooked. Flour – especially gluten free flour – can be temperamental though and will absorb a different amount of liquid on any given day especially if it’s been as wet where you are as it has been here! As it has been raining her for what seems like months, I’ll test it again at the weekend with a little more flour to see if that still works out and update the recipe accordingly. Thank you again for letting me know : )

  44. Kathleen says:

    Do you think that it would be OK to use agave syrup in place of the sugar?

    • kathryn says:

      Hi Kathleen, I think you would probably be okay using a liquid sweetener here although it’s quite a moist/wet cake as it is so you may want to up the flour a little to counteract the additional liquid from the agave. Let me know how you get on!

  45. Elissa Fuchs says:

    Made this yesterday. I didn’t have brown rice flour so I substituted coconut and AP flour ( I do not suffer from celiac disease). I used turbinado sugar combined with the lemon zest & “smooshed” together the smell was beautiful. I also subbed Redwood Hill vanilla goat-milk yogurt and used vanilla extract. It came out so amazingly delicious I had to take a double take when I saw that between me and my husband I have less then half a loaf (but I had more than he did). Tonight I will try a little chocolate sauce over the top.

  46. veronica says:

    BEST CAKE EVER!!!!!!! It doesn’t last a few minutes though :( ha ha

  47. Teri says:

    I wanted to try this recipe because you seemed pretty casual about substitutions and so many gluten free recipes aren’t. I used coconut flour and tapioca flour instead of the almond meal because that’s what I had. So delicious! The whole family loved it and it was so quick to make. I’ll be making this a lot! Thanks for a great recipe.

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