A winning Lemon Loaf

My lemons were starting to getting soft on me, so I had to make something quick. I am trying soooooo hard not to waist as much food around this crazy house of mine.
While looking at my unnecessary large amount of cookbooks…I was drawn to Ina Garten’s Yogurt Lemon Loaf. But I noticed something strange about this recipe. NO BUTTER???!!!.Oh, there must be a misprint..a cake with no butter??? It isn’t humanly possible for me to cook without butter! My Grandma cooked with only real butter, my mom cooked with only real butter and I cook with only real butter..lets just say buddah runs through my veins..or maybe my veins are sooo clogged nothing is running through them!!LOL
Despite my hesitation..I decided to make this loaf.
This was just about the easiest cake I ever whipped up. The flavor of this cake was delightful. It was all about the Lemons. The lemon simple sugar that you pour into the holes makes it SOOOO moist. And the Lemon glaze on top is just perfect! I did find the texture of this cake a bit odd. It was like a really wet dense sponge. I have never had a cake before with this texture..but it still didn’t take away from the superb summery lemon flavor!


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1 1/3 cups sugar, divided

3 extra-large eggs

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 tablespoons 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 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup 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, poke a bunch of holes in the cake and 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.


  1. 1

    How funny, I just saw the episode where she made this on TV & was talking about the no butter thing. I can see that texture being good for sauces…

  2. 2
    VeggieGirl says:

    PERFECT way to use up lemons – yum!!!

  3. 3

    I’ve been eyeing this cake in my cookbook…I love that it uses yogurt! It sounds delicious!

  4. 4
    noble pig says:

    Hey I have a whole of lemons going to hell in a handbasket right now so this sounds delicious!

    Thank you! No butter though? Really?

  5. 5
    Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer says:

    This looks off the lemon charts – I love that you are using yogurt to keep it moist – This is one I will make for my Dad as he is all about the lemon!!

  6. 6

    Oh I love this recipe! You’re right, it’s quite moist but so lemon-y. I’m having friends over this weekend and have been toying with the idea of making it but I just don’t have it in me to bake.

    I’ll just have to pretend that I’m enjoying a slice of yours; it came out beautifully!

  7. 7

    I’ve made this before and I agree with so much of what you said. I made it once, but not again. I have another lemon loaf that I might try this weekend since your post inspired me šŸ™‚ Great pics BTW!!

    Have a delicious day šŸ™‚

  8. 8
    Southern Plate says:

    I just love lemons. Anything made with lemons is just tailor made for me!
    Thank you for posting this!
    Great pics AS ALWAYS!!!

  9. 9
    jodycakes says:

    I think citrus cake is one of my faves…EVER. And I usually love all of Ina’s recipes…will have to try it
    Yours looks GREAT!!!

  10. 10

    Your pictures just reminded me of how good this lemon loaf is šŸ™‚ I’ve made it before and everyone loved it. I’m gonna have to go and buy lemons now just so I can make it again šŸ™‚

  11. 11

    That loaf looks so good – too bad I just finished up my lemons in a chicken dish. So wierd that there is no butter – especially for Ina. Keep up the delicious work!

  12. 12
    Mommy's Kitchen says:

    That looks so pretty and the glaze just takes it over the top. Is the cake light or did it come out more dense? I knew when you said no butter it must have yogurt in the recipe. I cant wait to try this.

  13. 13
    Clumbsy Cookie says:

    Hum… Guess sometimes we don’t need butter to have a nice cake!

  14. 14
    Bridgett says:

    Oh yes, I have made this a few times and even though it does not contain any chocolate, it is one of my favorites! Yours looks delicious. My favorite part is the glaze…oh yum.

  15. 15

    I'm with Bridgette, I love the glaze. I've eaten so many lemon cakes & loaves this summer. And my one glass of lemonade ha ha.

  16. 16

    Looks nice and moist! Lemon is perfect for summer.

  17. 17
    RecipeGirl says:

    Yeah, that yogurt does wonders for the moistness of the cake, doesn’t it? I love anything lemon!!

  18. 18
    Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) says:

    I have plenty of lemons at the moment. This will be delicious with a cup of tea,say….at 11!

  19. 19

    2 cakes in row! I’m stopping by your house!

  20. 20

    Mmm, this looks delicious!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  21. 21

    paula deen would have a fit if she saw this recipe. unlike paula, i accept that some things are better without butter, and this appears to be one of them. the sugar sauce that seeps into the cake sounds like an amazing touch–nice work, leslie!

  22. 22

    I made this cake yesterday after seeing it posted here and it was great! The cake turned out super moist and was perfect with a good cup of cofee.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  23. 23

    Love lemon-y yogurty thingys – I may have to try this little number! šŸ™‚

  24. 24
    DeniseRMT says:

    Wow! That does look easy and yummy too! I think I could actually handle making this one!

  25. 25
    DeniseRMT says:

    I made the lemon loaf and it was very good! Even Iron Chef Allan liked it! I plan to make it again. Thanks, Sweetie! xox BTW…You have won another award.


  26. 26

    Holy Delicious Cow!! I made this loaf this afternoon and it is soooo good. Thanks!!

  27. 27
    Domestic Goddess 72 says:

    I've just put this in the oven, smells fantastic!! And its butter free!!
    I have so many lemons at the moment, this is perfect.

  28. 28
    Suzie Ridler says:

    I did a recipe review of your lemon yogurt loaf, you can find it here. It was lovely! I omitted the second glaze, although it makes it quite pretty I would prefer to use less sugar and keep it moist with the addition of just the syrup. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

  29. 29
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