Let’s Keep It Simple: Easy + Absolutely Delish Yogurt Cake for Relaxing on a Sunday


After the recent website troubles, I finally got some decent sleep (aka passing out beside the cat after a hearty dim sum lunch) and now it’s back to things that adults need to do: taxes! Before I get knee deep into that, I thought I’d share with you what has now become a favorite recipe the past 2 weeks, from which I’ve baked 3 successful and well-devoured cakes.

Don't you just love it when a recipe works each time you make it? I do. Not everyone has a backup plan...or a backup recipe for lazy Sundays.

I’d like to keep it simple today. No complications. This cake is straight up mix and bake. Add the syrup if you want to do something a little fancy, but this cake can shine on its own. I love that I have the option to do the least possible work, and add some spark to it when I’m feeling a little fancy. I suggest you make this right now. It’s really easy and you will find it a good complement to a restful and lazy Sunday. Even if your Sunday is hectic, it’s nice to know that with a few strokes of the hand and 15 minutes in the kitchen, you’re all set for a satisfying snack or dessert.

Go. Make it. Now.

I plucked the recipe out of my new favorite food magazine, a new find: Waitrose Food Illustrated. I will talk more about that publication on a separate post, because I love it so. If you’ve ever chanced upon that at your bookstore or magazine spot, know that the higher price tag is worth it.


P.S. If you haven’t yet, check out the “A(wesome)-List” on the right, where I constantly add recipes and food-related blogs that I’m currently digging. Share the good karma and say Hi to them when you hop over. I think you just might find a treasure and a treat. :-)


Adapted from the March 2010 issue of Waitrose Food Illustrated Magazine

Ingredients [Serves 8, but leaves you wanting more. Double up, I say.]

  • 225 grams or 2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
  • 190 grams or 1 cup of caster (super fine) sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 125 grams or ½ cup of plain whole milk yogurt
  • 60 grams or 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing pan
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons dark agave nectar (you can also use honey)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped shelled pistachios


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9x5x3 (i.e. standard size) loaf pan with a smudge of butter and line with 2 strips of parchment paper, cross- and lengthwise.
  2. For the Cake: Stir together flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk yogurt, butter and eggs in a medium bowl until blended. Combine with the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Batter should be smooth.
  4. Pour into loaf pan and level with a rubber spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a clean toothpick or a cake tester, it should come out clean. If not, place back in the oven for another 5 minutes and check again.
  5. For the Syrup: Stir together the dark agave syrup and orange juice.
  6. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes on the top of the cake with a skewer and brush with the syrup. Let the cake cool in the pan before sprinkling with nuts and serving.


  • The syrup makes a nice moist, almost-gooey top, and is the best part in my opinion, like a muffin top that you save for last. If you are cutting sugar in your diet, you can skip it and you will still have a very good cake.
  • You can definitely mix and match flavors, add nuts in the batter and dried fruit. I’ve tried a lemon juice, lemon zest and dried cranberries combo for extra zing. Yum!
  • This is a fantastic snack to slice and individually pack for road trips or a hike.
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  • April 25, 2010 9:09 am

    This is so my kind of cake! Easy to make and rich and dense. Beautiful flavors too. I have a few cakes like this in my repertoire that are also never-fail and I love them. This one will just find its way into the happy group. And I love the syrup. Beautiful photo too.
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE =-.

    • joy
      April 25, 2010 9:45 am

      I keep recipes like this close to my heart and talk about them to friends incessantly. I just can’t keep them all to myself. :) Thanks hun! Hope you get to try it. :)

  • April 25, 2010 1:00 pm

    Welcome “back” Joy! So glad your tech difficulties seem to be abating. I LOVE this cake – yoghurt makes for a most excellent texture!
    .-= Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite´s last blog ..ANZAC biscuits =-.

    • joy
      April 25, 2010 4:12 pm

      Thanks, babe! Omg, me, too. :) What’s funny is that I used to avoid yogurt at all costs as a kid. I practically swim in it now. LOL.

  • April 25, 2010 4:14 pm

    if i wasn’t working and reading this i would be running to the kitchen to make it! i might do just that as soon as i get home!

    • joy
      April 25, 2010 4:31 pm

      I’m abating stress this afternoon by baking another batch of this, perhaps with another flavor combo. :)

      Sending you a virtual slice to enjoy. Hopefully you get home soon and enjoy your Sunday!

  • April 25, 2010 4:19 pm

    Glad to see you got your site back up! That cake looks fantastic.
    .-= Kristina@FormerChef´s last blog ..Garden Update; Breaking Even with the Monsters =-.

    • joy
      April 25, 2010 4:36 pm

      Thank you, hun! I’m relieved. Having a website that’s down keep me up at night. Haha. Have some cake with me!

      Speaking of gardening, now that I see your post, I will have to put an update of ours here, soon. :)

  • April 26, 2010 3:54 pm

    Taxes = nightmare! This looks like a good snack to rev you up though!
    .-= katy´s last blog ..bad girl ice cream =-.

    • joy
      April 26, 2010 10:19 pm

      Truly. I’m glad I’m done with #1. The more difficult one to come in 2 weeks. For now, I’ll de-stress with baking some more tonight. :)

  • April 26, 2010 6:02 pm

    Ok this is now officially on my list to try this weekend! That is if I can wait that long. It looks great. Thanks.

    • joy
      April 26, 2010 10:19 pm

      Hee…I have this on rotation for this week, along with chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. :) Let me know how your cake goes!

  • April 27, 2010 8:17 am

    I always reduce the fat content in the recipes but here there is no need to do so. Will try it soon :)

  • April 27, 2010 12:14 pm

    I totally would make this right now, but for the absence of yogurt in this house :( Looks beautiful, especially with the shimmering top!
    .-= Manggy´s last blog ..Tartine’s Almond-Lemon Tea Cake =-.

  • April 30, 2010 7:59 pm

    Want to come to Chicago this weekend and make that? Yes? OK, good, see you soon.

  • May 5, 2010 4:34 am

    Utterly gorgeous and just as I like it Joy! This is a beautiful cake, and lovely pictures.

  • Celeste
    February 10, 2012 2:50 am

    Can I replace the butter for oil?

    • joy
      March 6, 2012 11:48 am

      In some recipes, you could. I haven’t tried it for this one, but you can definitely experiment with it.

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