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 94 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

350 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Lovely cake and super easy to make! I made it with the kids and added icing sugar and a lemon drizzle to a couple of slices. I added fresh lemon juice and more vanilla but the recipe is a great starting point

    1. Thanks a lot for your feedback, glad to hear you enjoyed it with your kids. : )

  2. 5 stars
    Best. cake. ever.
    My new ‘go to’!

    1. Amazing feedback. Thanks so much for sharing! x

  3. Janet Johnston says:

    5 stars
    Wonderful cake and so easy to make. I didn’t have 2 lemons so I used one with some lemon juice. I also used the remaining lemon juice ( from a fresh lemon) with some icing sugar to paint on top. However, you say the calories are 287 is that per slice (an 1/8) or for the whole cake??? Thanks

    1. That’s great, Janet! Thanks so much for your feedback. x
      Calories are per slice, not for the whole cake. : )

  4. Alexandra Sherman says:

    5 stars
    With 1/3 of a large tub of plain yogurt set to expire in a week and a fresh tub of Greek my family prefers for snacks, I was stoked to find this recipe to reduce waste. I usually scant sugar in quickbreads with success. Missed the mark a bit this time and/or perhaps undersalted (what IS a pinch anyway??). For my transgressions, lemon curd will amend. Lovely, quick and welcome addition to my rep – thank you!!

    1. Lemon curd makes everything better, I’m sure! : )
      Ps. pinch is the tiny bit your pick up between the tip of your index finger and thumb. But I agree with you, maybe 1/8 tsp would be better! : )

      Thanks so much for sharing your lovely feedback! x

  5. 5 stars
    I made this last night with rice flour my husband loves it. I put it in a forced fan oven and baked it for 22 minutes which was just perfect. Thank you, will keep this for easy to bake option.
    Liza

    1. Fantastic, Liza! Good to hear it turn out perfect using rice flour, that’s very helpful. Thanks for your feedback. x

  6. Hi Katia
    Haven’t made it yet, but I can already taste it, yum! For those wanting to make it gluten free, as I do, I always substitute with a mix of GF flour (usually half of what’s required) and small amounts to make up the other half (usually 2 tablespoons) of the following, almond flour/meal, oat flour (which I make myself, a lot cheaper than buying it), flax meal (if not using it to replace eggs) & oat bran. I’ve been using this combination for some years, it is never dry or too heavy and have not had a failure yet! If I think it suitable, I substitute eggs with flax eggs too, then don’t use flax meal in the flour mix.
    Hope this helps those that are gluten intolerant or just want to eat healthier.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Noela! I appreciate it.
      Please, let me know how it turns out, it should be wonderful. x

  7. I made this today as written. I baked in a light coloured loaf pan at 350⁰ for 40 minutes. and it was raw when tested with a toothpick. I put it back for another 20 minutes and will test again. Hoping it comes out good.

    1. Great! let me know. : )

    2. Naomi Butler says:

      Can you confirm 2 x level cups of flour (2 x 250g) = 500g in total?

    3. Hello! 250 grams is the total. x

  8. 4 stars
    I used Greek yogurt. It was too hard 🙁

    1. Greek yogurt makes the batter too dense, I explained that in the recipe tips. x

  9. Is self rising flour an option?

    1. Of course, self rising flour works just fine. : )

  10. Spelling error,,can Almond flour be substituted?

    1. Hi Cindy, I’ve never tried this substitution, not sure about the result, I’m sorry. x

  11. 5 stars
    This is our standard low-sugar birthday cake for our 2 young children, I’m baking it for the 5th time tonight! thank you!
    It always turns out great, and cuts and holds together well for creating trucks and bunnies and so on. I usually make 2 loaf tins but tonight did a 24 x 24cm with a bit longer cooking time.
    For birthday cakes we do cream cheese frosting, partly sweetened with applesauce then just a little icing sugar. But this is very nice without.

    1. What a lovely feedback, Shell!
      I’m SO pleased to hear that, and if a little one is celebrating over there, happy birthday from me! x

  12. Diana Curtis says:

    5 stars
    This is going to be my new go to for a basic cake, it will be so easy to customize with blue berries or poppy seeds… just a lovely recipe to have on hand. Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome, Diana! Your feedback is much appreciated. : )

  13. 5 stars
    Delicious, moist and easy

    1. Great to hear that, thank you for sharing, Lina!

  14. 5 stars
    this turned out beautiful and delicious!

    1. Fantastic… Thanks so much for sharing, Caterina!
      Enjoy. x

  15. 5 stars
    Is it okay to use baking soda instead of powder? I assume the yogurt should have enough of an acidic base to get a rise out of the baking soda?

    1. Hi Rich! It should work because of the yogurt and the lemon (a touch of lemon juice would help), but I’ve never tested it. If you try, use just about 1/2 tsp of baking soda. cheers x

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