YOGURT CAKE (one-bowl)

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Who doesn’t love a simple and delicious yogurt cake that’s so easy to prepare and involves hardly any cleaning up? All you have to do is mix a few ingredients, all in one bowl, and bake.

The result? A moist and mouth-watering cake loaded with yogurt and with hints of lemon and fruit jam.

This cake is a must, not only is it good, low sugar, and packed with nutrients, but it’s also inexpensive and easy to make. And  you know exactly what’s inside the batter!

A knife cutting a healthy yogurt cake into slices over a white background.

Friends, this is a foolproof recipe to keep in your back pocket and perfect for any occasion. I baked it thousands of times and it always turns out lovely.

Watch how to make it

 


 

What ingredients you need

  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • All-purpose flour or spelt flour
  • Baking powder
  • Unrefined cane or regular sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vanilla essence
  • Apricot or orange jam (optional)

The ingredients for this yogurt cake are arranged on a white table.

HOW TO MAKE A YOGURT CAKE

 
  • Mix eggs and sugar in one bowl
  • Stir in vegetable oil, yogurt, lemon zest, and vanilla essence
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and add to the bowl
  • Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients until just combined

The wet ingredients and a whisk are in a glass bowl.

  • Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes.
  • Brush with warm apricot or orange jam. 
  • Enjoy!

The yogurt cake batter in a loaf pan before and after baking.

WHY CLEVER?

It’s one of the simplest healthy cake you can bake for the whole family, in no time and inexpensive: less than $ 4 (8 servings)!

Added bonus? 

It’s loaded with yogurt which is highly nutritious, low on calories, and rich in calcium, great for your bones, teeth, hair, skin, nails. I love plain yogurt and try to avoid added sugar, sweeteners, flavors, and fake fruits.

It’s low sugar. I usually choose unrefined cane sugar, less processed than white sugar, but you can use any sugar you have on hand. However, the healthiest tip is reducing the amount of added sugar, whatever it is.

When it comes to cakes, expeller-pressed canola oil (or cold-pressed olive oil) is my choice. This oil is naturally produced by mechanically squeezing (pressing) the canola seeds and it doesn’t go through an insane amount of processing with chemical solvents.

A yogurt loaf cake is cut into a few slices over a light blue background.

RECIPE TIPS & FREQUENT ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT KIND OF YOGURT CAN I USE?

Plain, low-fat, or flavored yogurt with a “pourable” consistency works well in this recipe. However, I find the real Greek yogurt is too thick and gives a denser texture.

CAN I USE GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR INSTEAD OR REGULAR FLOUR?

Yes, I tested the recipe using only rice flour and it turned out well. See notes on the recipe card.

Eggs: possibly use eggs at room temperature and make sure the yogurt is not too cold. The ingredients should be more or less at the same temperature, this is a way to avoid a curdling batter.  But if that happens, don’t worry too much and bake it anyway.

Do not overmix the batter because working flour too much can produce gluten, which creates a dense and rubbery cake.

Flavor

I love the zesty lemons, they are always in my fridge alongside my yogurt, hence if I run out of creativity or ingredients, lemon yogurt cake is what I happily end up with. But this yogurt cake is actually a blank canvas for many other delicious ingredients. You can add to this recipe dark chocolate chips, spices, orange zest or whatever you like most.

Glaze


It’s totally optional, but it’s so simple to make and I love it.
I put some apricot or orange jam into a small saucepan. I heat gently over low heat until the jam has melted, and if it looks too thick I adjust the consistency with a tiny bit of warm water. When the glaze is the consistency of runny honey, I brush the yogurt cake straight away. Easy peasy.

Leftovers

It keeps well for up 3-4 days at room temperature, in an airtight container. But do not refrigerate: refrigeration dries this cake out! It’s also freezable: wrap the cake, or slices of cake, in plastic wrap (clingfilm), store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month.

MORE EASY HEALTHY CAKES?

If you make this delicious and easy yogurt cake, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!

A knife cutting a healthy yogurt cake into slices over a white background.
Print Recipe
4.85 from 89 votes

EASY YOGURT CAKE

Mix a few cheap ingredients in one bowl and bake the easiest yogurt cake ever, so delicious, moist, with hints of lemon and fruity jam. Plus, it's low sugar and packed with yogurt.
*The recipe has been updated for more deliciousness!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: yogurt cake
Servings: 8
Calories: 287kcal
Author: Katia

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250gr) plain yogurt
  • 2 leveled cups (250gr) all-purpose flour or light spelt flour (I mixed both)
  • 1/2 cup (100gr) white or unrefined cane sugar
  • 1/2 scant cup (approx 80gr) vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla essence
  • 1-2 Lemon, zest*
  • 1 pinch salt

JAM GLAZE

  • 3 Tbsp apricot or orange jam

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F°/180C° and place the rack in the middle position.
  • Grease a 9x5x2.5 inch loaf pan with butter, cooking spray, or simply line the pan with parchment paper (in this case there's no need to grease the pan).
  • Mix eggs and sugar, then add oil, lemon zest, vanilla essence and mix again. Add yogurt (not very cold) and mix it into a smooth consistency. All in one bowl.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt together and add to the wet batter until just combined. 
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. 
  • Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 
  • You can serve it plain or brushed with some quick and easy jam glaze which adds a lovely shine and flavor.
    I glazed this cake brushing some warm orange jam on top (see notes)*. 

Video

Notes

  • Flour:  you can use white whole wheat, spelt, rice flour or all-purpose flour. Personally, I prefer mixing light spelt flour and all-purpose flour.
  • Gluten-free flour: I tested the recipe using rice flour and it turned out well. I stirred the four into the batter and mixed well until smooth, then I baked it 5 minutes longer. It had a good rise and lovely flavor. However, it might be a bit less moist than its regular version, but perfectly enjoyable and not dry.
  • Lemon flavor: add the zest of 2 large lemons if you prefer to boost the lemon flavor. 
  • Fruit glaze: put 3 tablespoons of apricot or orange jam into a small saucepan. Heat gently over low heat until the jam has melted and If it looks too thick adjust the consistency with a tiny bit of warm water. When the glaze is the consistency of runny honey, brush the yogurt cake straight away.
  • Baking the cake in a round pan rather than a loaf pan reduces the baking time (approx 30-35 minutes).
  • Keeps well for 4 days at room temperature, in an airtight container.
  • Do not refrigerate (refrigeration dries this cake out!)
  • Freezable.
NOTE: nutritional values are per serving, calculated without the jam glaze , they are estimates only.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg

336 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi! Just made this cake and I like it. I love citrus flavored cakes. I followed the directions to a T and put marmalade on top! It was tasty. I think next time I will add a bit more vanilla and try apricot jam on top or drizzle cream cheese icing. Thanks for the recipe and I will be sharing it!

    1. You’re very welcome, Sam!
      I’m so glad you liked it, thanks for sharing. x

  2. 5 stars
    Katia,

    Thank you so much for an easy, low fat, low sugar yogurt cake. Just took it out of the oven and tasted a small piece….just delicious. Can’t wait til it cools off to have it with coffee.

    1. What a lovely feedback! Thanks so much Lucy, I really appreciate! : )

    2. 5 stars
      This was a delicious recipe! I ate almost half of the cake right out of the oven with homemade raspberry jam and a scoop of sugar free vanilla ice cream on top!!! I loved it!! Thanks for sharing!! Definitely making this again cause is almost finished 😂😂

    3. That’s great, Awilda! I’m so happy it turned out delicious, thanks for your feedback. xx

  3. 3 stars
    Where did I go wrong 😑, came out very heavy and stodgy like a bread pudding , I really am trying to find the perfect yogurt sponge

    1. Unfortunately I have no idea. The recipe is pretty straightforward and has been extensively tested by me and hundreds of readers.
      Sorry if it didn’t work for you.

    2. Elayne M Sieckmann says:

      most “heaviness,” in breads and cakes. are caused by improper measure of flour,or to much mixing of batter. having a kitchen scale is priceless when measuring out flour. this recipe even has it in grams. I make my breads and cakes so much lighter after learning this the hard

    3. I agree, Elayne… a kitchen scale is the best option! x

  4. 5 stars
    Just made this recipe this morning, as I had plain yogurt about to expire. The cake turned out delicious. I added cherries and blueberries to the top of the cake for flavor as I did not have a lemon for zest. I doubled the vanilla amount too. The cake was super moist and not too sugary, which was what I was looking for. All the recipes on the food network called for like 1 1/2 cups of sugar, which is too sweet for my taste.

    1. What a wonderful feedback, Maria. I’m happy to hear it turned out delicious and not overly sweet, and love cherries and berries on top, perfect with yogurt! Thanks so much for sharing. x

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Katia,
    Thank you for this delicious recipe. It was a big hit in my house. I covered mine in lemon drizzle icing.
    So easy to make!

    1. Hi and thanks so much for sharing your feedback, I’m so pleased this yogurt cake was a hit! : )
      Have a lovely weekend. x

    2. 5 stars
      Hi Katia,
      Really loved the recipe!
      I love adding little bit of butter and jam on a slice for breakfast 🙂
      I just have a quick question – is the nutrition fact you listed per serving or for a whole loaf?
      Thanks 🙂

    3. I’m so pleased to hear that, Grace. Nutrition info is per serving.
      Thanks so much for sharing! x

  6. I was searching online to find a recipe for a yogurt cake with chocolate ganache. I’d seen a photo of one and thought it looked pretty – and the ganache would dress up a cake. Would you think that this recipe might work in a round pan and the ganache? Thank You.

    1. Hi Betty! The recipe works fine if you bake the cake in a round pan (9 inches), just make sure to test the doneness after 30 mins (35-40 minutes might be too much).
      The chocolate ganache sounds lovely. Enjoy! x

    2. can I add fruits like bananas or berries ?

      Waiting your reply thank you 🙂

    3. Hi Clara! Berries or chopped apples are perfect, but I’ve never added banana. : )

  7. 5 stars
    Soooooo good!! Made it yesterday evening and today I already made a new one to put into the freezer. It’s delicious and so simple to make. I added blueberries in both and in one of them also added chocolate chips. Will definitely be making this often! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Bobbie! I’m so pleased to read your feedback, thanks for sharing. : )

    2. Helen E Bell says:

      How would you go about making this recipe into muffins? As in cooking time…Thanks!

    3. Hello Helen, you can turn the batter into muffins, the baking time should be about 15 minutes, but it depends on the oven and the amount of batter you use for each muffin.
      Test after 13 minutes, they’re done when you insert a skewer into the center of one muffin and it comes out clean. x

  8. Hi Katia. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ve just mixed it up & put it in the oven but have a query about the amount of oil used. The recipe says 1/2 a scant cup (approx. 80 gr). Is that right? Grams seems an unusual way to measure a liquid. I’m used to using the UK cup which is 250 gm/ml as opposed to the US cup of 125 gm/ml and so thought I’d play it safe by following your recipe exactly & weight the oil but 80 gm of oil actually measures out at 1/2 a scant UK cup which would be about 105 ml. I used that amount and the batter didn’t seem loverly runny so fingers crossed. I’m interested in freezing the cake as I have a lot of lemons but thought I’d ask the question about the oil before making another one.
    Just had another thought. Instead of sugar, I used a monk fruit 1:1 sugar substitute which would make the cake even healthier.

    1. Hi Andrea, glad you’ve just made this cake!
      Re your questions: the amount of oil is correct, and I use US cup which is 240ml, so 1/2 scant cup is about 80 gr/105 ml as you said (less oil, less fat : ).
      And the batter is not very runny, it looks like the one you see in the video recipe. The cake freezes very well, not problem at all if you decide to double batch.
      I’m very interested in the sugar substitution, thanks for the tip! xx

  9. Hi Katia,
    Could I use this recipe to make a topping for an apple and blackberry cobbler or could I incorporate blackberries in this cake.
    Terry Murphy

    1. Hey Terry, I’ve never used this cake batter for a cobbler, but I use to add berries quite often and it turns out delicious.
      Cheers : )

    1. Hi Wendy! Yes, you can, but adjust the baking time accordingly (it should be between 12 and 15 minutes), it depends on the oven and the amount of batter you use for each muffin. Enjoy!

    2. Rita Buckberry says:

      5 stars
      Used homemade kefir instead of yoghurt and it was delicious

    3. That’s great, thanks so much for sharing your feedback, Rita! x

  10. would it be possible to use 1/2 cup coconut water in place of 1/2 cup oil?? would this work?

  11. 5 stars
    Very tasty. I made it as directed and used 1/2 regular flour and 1/2 spelt for a bit of added nutrition and it was quite good. When I make it again though, I plan to use all regular flour. Simply because I prefer the traditional flavour and texture.

    1. That’s brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely feedback with us.
      Have a great week. x

  12. 5 stars
    This was the simplest,easiest,most delicious and moist cake ever! My family loved it and I will be making it again.

    1. That’s fantastic, Michele!
      I’m so happy the whole family loved it, that’s such a lovely feedback, thank you. xx

  13. 5 stars
    I luv luv luv this recipe….first time I baked it exactly as is printed. second time around I got creative and added 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. im very happy with the result as it takes on a gingerbread flavour but next time will add more of the spices as it is still very mild..before baking I scattered 1/2 cup blueberries on top.. 1 question if I may, both times I’ve baked this, I’ve noticed the flour said 2 levelled cups but gives an estimate of 250g. 250g is 1 cup not 2 and my batter when adding the last cup of flour looks to be too much. the batter is not of a pouring consistency but more like a dough. is this correct??? im also wondering if I could possible use 1/2 almond flour and 1/2 oat flour??

    1. Hey Vanessa, I’m so glad you loved this recipe, thanks so much for sharing your feedback! : )
      But 1 US cup of flour is about 120-125 grams, not 250 grams, and 2 levelled cups (as stated in the recipe) make about 250 grams of flour. The batter is quite runny, like the one you see in the video recipe, the consistency is not like a dough. Next time, make sure you measure 2 level cups or only 250 grams of flour if you use a kitchen scale. Re almond flour or oat flour, I think 1/2 cup in total should be fine, not sure about using 1 cup (1/2 + 1/2 each flour). Cheers : )

    2. 5 stars
      The cake is very good, not too sweet. I made 2. How long do they take to defrost from the freezer? Thank you.

    3. Thanks so much for sharing, Sonja! : )
      I usually leave the frozen cake on the counter overnight, and it’s ready for breakfast. : )

  14. 5 stars
    i made this today thank you for the recipe. my cake look 100% like your cake in the picture! it is so good.

    1. That’s brilliant, Noree!
      Thanks so much for sharing your comment, I’m so happy it turned out great! : )

    2. 5 stars
      The cooking temperature says 180 is that for a normal or fan oven ?

    3. In a fan oven 175C is fine. : )

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