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Easy Lemon Yogurt Cake (Granny Cake)

In France, they call this lovely Lemon Yogurt Cake a French Granny Cake (or a Gateax de Mamie). It’s a luscious cake with a distinct tart flavor, thanks to the addition of lemon zest and a very simple ingredient. . .yogurt.

Why add yogurt to my cake?

There are several wonderful reasons to consider adding yogurt to your cakes:

First, yogurt (which is 81% water) adds moisture to your cake and aids with the overall structure of the finished product. You’ll never end up with a dry cake if you add yogurt. Instead, it adds a creaminess you won’t get with other products.

Next, the acidity of the yogurt (which is a fermented milk product) will react with the baking soda, causing the cake to rise. You’ll end up with a light, fluffy cake.

Finally, yogurt will add a lovely tart flavor to your cake, especially when combined with lemon zest.

A wonderful lemon cake

If you love lemon cake, then this is the recipe for you! Covered with a simple lemon glaze, it really hits the spot.

I had a hankering for lemon and needed to use up some of that Greek yogurt I purchased at Costco recently. The idea of combining lemon and yogurt sounded very appealing to me, but I didn’t want to bake a large cake.

I opted for a mini bundt cake pan. But which recipe should I use? Should I make up one of my own or find something online?

Where can I find the perfect lemon cake recipe?

I went on a search for a lemon yogurt cake but couldn’t find one that started with a boxed cake mix. I happened to have a yellow cake mix on hand and wanted to use it. So, I decided to merge some ideas I found online with what was in my head. (Dangerous, I know!)

The result was a delightful lemon cake that I would be happy to serve to my guests. No doubt you will agree!

Here’s what you’ll need to make my Lemon Yogurt Cake

You will find a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here are the basics!

Chances are pretty good you’ve already got most of these items in your cupboard or refrigerator. And here’s some good news–these are all inexpensive ingredients!

LEMON YOGURT CAKE INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE:

  • yellow cake mix
  • large eggs
  • plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • vegetable oil
  • grated lemon zest
  • lemon juice
  • yellow food coloring gel

FOR THE GLAZE:

  • fresh lemon juice
  • powdered sugar

This recipe comes together quickly and easily. Whether you choose to make your cake in a bundt pan, a traditional cake pan, or in a mini bundt cake pan (like I did) you’ll end up with a yummy dessert.

How to make Lemon Yogurt Cake

Place your cake mix in a bowl, then add eggs, oil, yogurt, and lemon juice.

Next, add the lemon zest.

Mix until incorporated. Be careful not to over mix.

Now add a dot of yellow food coloring gel. If you’re making mini bundt cakes, place the batter into a piping bag. (If using a bundt pan or 8″ rounds, skip this step.)

I prepped the pan by spraying it with baker’s spray, then piped in the batter. Because I hadn’t used this pan before I wasn’t sure how deep to fill the slots, but decided to fill them to the halfway point.

I popped these in a 375 degree oven for about 16 minutes. (Times will vary greatly depending on the type of pan you’re using. Typically, 8″ round cake pans take about 30 minutes to bake. A bundt cake will take longer.)

While my bundt cakes were baking I made my glaze by mixing confectioner’s sugar with lemon juice. (Yum!) It took a while to get rid of the lumps but was worth it!

My bundt cakes came out of the oven looking golden and delicious. I put them on a wire cooling rack then covered them in glaze while they were still warm.

At this point I had a lovely idea. I thought, “What would go really well with lemon?” Berries, of course! So, I decided to add blackberries and raspberries to the center, just for fun! (If you’re baking a whole cake you might consider decorating the top with berries.)

Then I sprinkled the cakes with powdered sugar.

I was so happy with the way these little cakes turned out that I ended up taking them to a friend the next day. If I had opted to bake the batter in a regular round pan, the process would have been even simpler.

What does the Lemon Yogurt Cake taste like?

Y’all, it’s so good! Tart and creamy, loaded with flavor. . .this was a luscious cake. Because I baked it in tiny bundt pans, the edges were crisp and delicious. In a traditional round pan, no doubt it would be even creamier! I think 8″ layers would be perfect with raspberry preserves between them.

Variations on Lemon Yogurt Cake:

Maybe you want to make this cake but you don’t have plain yogurt. No worries! You can substitute flavored yogurt! Key Lime Pie yogurt, for instance. Or Strawberry. Really, anything you like! Just make sure the flavor will blend well with the lemon zest. And if it doesn’t. . .

Consider orange zest! Or chopped apples. The possibilities are endless.

If you don’t have yogurt at all, consider sour cream.

Of course, you could always use that trick we discussed in the How to Doctor a Boxed Cake Mix post: Make your own buttermilk by adding vinegar to milk.

If you like lemon, you’ll love these other tart recipes:

My yummy Lemon Burst Cookies are light and fluffy with just the right amount of tartness!

My Strawberry-Lemonade Cake is a fan favorite! The combination of lemon and berries is perfect!

A dollop of my Raspberry Whipped Cream would taste delicious with this creamy Lemon Yogurt Cake!

I’ve been looking at other lemon recipes, y’all. . .and I stumbled across this one from South Your Mouth. These Lemon Macaroon Tarts look absolutely amazing!

While you’re browsing the web, check out the Full Plate Thursday offerings from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage! She featured my Brown Butter Pecan cookies! (Thanks so much, Helen!)

I hope you enjoy this recipe for Lemon Yogurt Cake. Leave your favorite lemon dessert ideas below in the comments!

One more! If you love fruity cakes, you’ll also love my Pineapple Upside Down Cake, y’all! It’s so easy to make and starts with a boxed mix!

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

simple cake with a distinct tart flavor, thanks to the addition of lemon zest and a very simple ingredient. . .yogurt.

Ingredients

  • For the cake:
  • * 1 yellow cake mix
  • * 3 large eggs
  • * ½ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • * ½ cup vegetable oil
  • * grated lemon zest from 1 medium-size lemon
  • * juice of one large lemon
  • For the glaze:
  • * ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • * ¾ cup of powdered sugar

Instructions

    How to make Lemon Yogurt Cake

    Place your cake mix in a bowl, then add eggs, oil, yogurt, and lemon juice. Mix until incorporated.

    Next, add the lemon zest.

    Mix until incorporated.

    Now add a dot of yellow food coloring gel. If you’re making mini bundt cakes, place the batter into a piping bag. (If using a bundt pan, skip this step.)

    I prepped the pan by spraying it with baker’s spray, then piped in the batter. Because I hadn’t used this pan before I wasn’t sure how deep to fill the slots, but decided to fill them to the halfway point.

    Bake at 375 degrees for about 16 minutes if making mini bundt cakes, 30 minutes for 8" pans, and longer for a full bundt cake. (They can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour or more.)

    Cool on wire racks. Cover with glaze.

    How to make the Lemon Glaze:

    Mix the confectioner’s sugar with lemon juice, stirring until lumps disappear. Spoon over the cake while still warm.

    Adorn your creation with berries if you like!

Common Baking Substitutions: Best Tips and Tricks - Out of the Box Baking

Friday 13th of May 2022

[…] Greek yogurt (This hack was used in my Easy Lemon Yogurt Cake) […]

Miz Helen

Wednesday 9th of March 2022

Congratulations, your post has been featured on Full Plate Thursday, 578. Thanks so much for sharing with us and hope you come back to see us soon! Miz Helen

booksbyjanice

Wednesday 9th of March 2022

Thank you so much. I'm so grateful!

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