Lemon Yogurt Cake Update

Lemon Yogurt Cake

This Lemon Yogurt Cake with Coconut started out as a cake from my mother’s collection of recipes. In her hands it would have been called Lemon Sour Cream Cake with Almonds. It would have been made with 2 sticks of butter and a whole tub of sour cream. It would have knocked your socks off.

But times have changed. I decided to lighten this cake by replacing the sour cream with yogurt. Though I miss the full mouth feel that can only come from full fat sour cream, I can’t say I miss it all that much. That’s how my mom’s Lemon Sour Cream Cake became my Lemon Yogurt Cake.

Lemon Yogurt Cake with Coconut 

In my hands, this cake is still lemony and moist; a dessert worth waiting for. It’s not too sweet, making it a good breakfast cake or afternoon snack with coffee. It’s terrific all on it’s own. However, it becomes something special when served with fresh berries on the side no matter the occasion or time of day.

Which isn’t too shabby and gave me the courage to change one or two other things about this Lemon Yogurt Cake. My mom’s version was made with a ton of real butter. I used coconut oil. I’m not sure how much skinnier coconut oil is than butter, but I sure have been enjoying my experiments with coconut oil. If you haven’t baked with it yet. I suggest you give it a go.

Once I’d added the idea of coconut to this yogurt cake, I decided I needed to add actual coconut taste too. The original recipe called for ground almonds. I changed that to finely ground unsweetened coconut flakes. You could change it back to almonds. Macadamias would be nice too. In fact you could change everything back to its original the ratios are all exactly the same. You’d still have a great cake. It just couldn’t be called a Lemon Yogurt Cake with Coconut. GREG

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Lemon Yogurt Cake with Coconut 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 10–12Published

You may substitute butter for coconut oil.

Lemon Yogurt Cake


  • 8 ounce coconut oil (at room temperature) plus more for pan
  • 1/12 cup granulated sugar (divided)
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting pan)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cup lemon yogurt (may substitute plain)
  • 7 ounce finely ground unsweetened coconut flakes (may substitute ground nuts) easily accomplished in a food processor
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • fresh berries (optional)


Place the oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan with coconut oil, then coat with a fine dusting of flour. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the coconut oil and 1‑cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla.

In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold one-third of the dry ingredients into the coconut oil mixture and then fold in one-third of the yogurt. Repeat two more times with the remaining flour and yogurt. Fold in the ground coconut. Spoon the batter (it will be thick) into the prepared pan, then smooth the top with the back of the spoon. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in a small non-reactive saucepan, heat the remaining ½ cup sugar and lemon juice over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and a syrupy consistency is achieved, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour the syrup onto of the still warm cake while it is still in the pan. Use a pastry brush to distribute the syrup evenly. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before unmolding. Serve with fresh berries if you like.