Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake

Lemon Yogurt Cake

It’s no secret how I feel about Ina and her recipes. They’re so wonderfully simple and elegant – just like her! In fact I was watching the Chefography of the Food Network this weekend and Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production for the Food Network, said that he cooked with Ina Garten’s cookbooks long before she appeared on the Network. He said that her recipes made him look good, and I completely agree. This recipe makes you look real good.

Ina Garten Cookbook

I think her Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe is one of her most well-known (I think they even sell it in a box with a mix version!). It’s a versatile, light and beautiful cake that I’ve seen frequently around the blogoshere with minor modifications (most recently on Smitten Kitchen who added blueberries – yum!). It’s a recipe I’ve been meaning to try for some time now, and Saturday’s cold and rainy weather gave me the perfect excuse to bake!

Lemon Yogurt Cake unglazed

As with most of Ina’s recipes, they seem simpler on paper than in execution. But don’t let that deter you! My recommendation is to recruit a sous chef (thank you R!) who will zest and juice the lemons – it will go much faster. See below as my fabulous sous chef pours the glaze…..

Glazing lemon yogurt cake

For my first attempt at this cake, I really followed her directions closely, but I can’t wait to try this out with blueberries or poppyseeds! Towards the end of the loaf (yes, we ate an entire loaf cake in a day and half… please don’t judge), we even topped a few slices with fresh, sugary-sweet strawberries that added a lovely burst of flavor and color.

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Try the recipe as is or add your own modifications! This moist and zesty cake is very forgiving, so let your imagination run wild!

Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake


1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C. plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 C. sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 tsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 C. confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 C. lemon juice and remaining 1/3 C. sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

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  • Abi

    I completely understand your love for all things Ina. I’ve been using her recipes for a couple of years and haven’t yet found a dud. This cake looks like a great way to make Monday a little better.

  • Sarah

    I keep wanting to try this recipe out…I need to do so soon because yours looks awesome!

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    This has been one of my go-to desserts ever since the cookbook came out. It is a fantastic cake.

  • Clay

    Good grief this looks good.

  • RecipeGirl

    Looks great to me as is!

    I just posted an Ina recipe on my blog and will be posting a series of her recipes this week (She’s got good stuff, doesn’t she?)

  • Martin

    Never heard of Ina Garten but this is one I will try.

  • Anna

    Good Morning,I agree, anything Ina is great. Thank you very much for the lemon cake recipe, I am having company Sunday and what a great idea for a nice desert. You all always come through for me. Anna

  • True Diet Reviews

    My mom loves her, so hopefully if I send this recipe her way she will make it for me this weekend :)

  • diva

    thank you for sharing this lovely recipe, i’ll definitely give it a try! of course, i’ll feel a little down if it turns out better than my own (and i’m very sure of it!). nonetheless that competitive streak in me will want to keep making my own better. so lovely for u to drop by! hope to read more of your posts. x

  • Polina

    mamma mia… Have just had a look at the photos and now hear my stomach crying it wants a cake… how it is possible to stick to a diet when there a such a recipes around:)?

    thanks for sharing, have bookmarked and will get back on Sunday to give it a try:)

  • Lori

    Hmmmmmmmmmm. I love lemon. (about as much as I love chocolate). I love Ina Garten too. She has class.

  • linda

    Your cake looks delicious, no wonder it only took you a day and a half ;)

  • edamame

    I am interested in the food culture of your country. And I support your site. If there is time, please come in my site. From Japan

  • Addie

    I have made Ina’s cake. To die for. I keep a jar of thinly sliced lemons in simple syrup in the fridge. I poke holes in the top, and drizzle some of the syrup into the cake. Then I take some of the slices of lemon and stick them onto the side of the cake. The glaze will hold the slices in place. You can never have too much lemon. The tartnes of the yogurt and lemons and the sweetnes of the syrup definitely make this a “last meal request” cake.

  • http://foodrecipes June from Latham, NY

    I totally agree with all the above; Ina is absolutely a marvelous cook. Love her show; I could watch her all day long. And I love her soft voice and her wonderful nature let alone all her delicious recipes. Have tried several and they are not hard to prepare and it’s my favorite show on TV Food Network. Can’t wait to try this Lemon Yogurt Cake. Thanks, Ina; you’re the best!

  • Rose

    How many calories and fat in this lemon cake?

  • Yogurt Maker

    Thanks for the recepie I will give it a try :)

  • acai weight loss

    This is a great idea. Glad to see your input. Thanks.

  • Recipe Ideas

    Oh wow – that looks amazing

    A ‘day and half’ – pah! – I’d manage it in one sitting :)

  • Emily

    I love Ina’s recipes! So far, I have made her goat cheese tarts(they are SO savory and amazing), lemon pound cake(not the one above, but it is really the best pound cake recipe and perfect with the right amount of lemon and sweetness),and spanakopitas(so salty and warm out of the oven with a great spinach filling). I want to keep trying her recipes and have made all of the above recipes at least three times. They really are that good. I definetely recommend making these.

  • Blender Recipes

    Definitely looks delicious. I’m actually gonna have to make that. It’d probably taste even better topped with strawberry juice (somewhat like strawberry shortcake) to add to the lemon flavor.

  • wow quest helper

    Cool blog, its inspiring to see other bloggers that share interest the same interest as me!

  • dena Leontsini Vacalis

    yes I admire Ina for her simple ways to entertain in her home and garden. Her soul is her smile and her talent is in the cooking and presentation.Thanks Ina I love to be your guest some time and I will cook something Greek for you. please have a nice day and know we are here for you in case you need someone to be with you. dena Im just making the lemon yogurt pound cake, it smells great.

  • Black Cohosh Menopause

    Wow! That looks absolutely delicious. And the whole “forgiving” recipe is reassuring and a nice touch!


  • favorite recipes

    thanks for the information,this is a great post, gonna keep you bookmarked and visit often.

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