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Introduction to Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake

In this post, I will show you how to make Ina Garten’s lemon yogurt cake. It’s quick, moist, and delicious. And it can be made just with two bowls and a hand whisk! We all know all of Ina’s recipes are wonderful. This Barefoot Contessa lemon cake is however a big fan favorite of my husband.

When I heard my daughter and her young family wanted to stop over for a visit on Labor Day I forced myself to get out of bed (I’ve been down with a virus for 10 days!) to make a cake.

A bright striped placemat with a glass of milk and a piece of lemon cake on a sunflower-shaped cake plate.  There is also a mason jar of zinnias.


The red rocker with the needlepoint cushion.

And there was another method to my madness. I had just picked up this red rocker from the needlepoint shop and I wanted to give it to Baby Jack. Here’s how that story unfolded: Way back in 2016 when I knew my first daughter was engaged I thought I should start on a needlepoint cushion for some future grandkid. So start it I did and was slowly stitching away…

And then I find out in the space of two months that I was going to have not one, but two grandbabies three months apart! Yikes! So I stitched faster…

A frontal view of the natural rocker with the navy cushion and the ABC's design.
A profile view of the natural rocker with the navy needlepoint cushion.
Baby Simon getting ready to sit in his natural rocker with the navy needlepoint seat.
Above, is Baby Simon checking out his new rocker!

And here’s Baby Jack taking his virgin ride below! He loved it!

Baby Jack sitting in his red rocker with the navy needlepoint cushion.
A vase of sunflowers with a red cake plate holding a partially Ina Garten's lemon yogurt cake.

And to make the visit even sweeter this was the cake I made. It’s from the Barefoot Contessa and it’s her recipe for lemon yogurt cake. For you yogurt haters, have no fear. You can’t taste the yogurt. (Just the mention of yogurt grosses out Mr. GQ.). All you taste is a yummy lemon cake that’s lighter than a pound cake but really lemony with a lemon glaze. Perfect with a glass of milk.

Here’s the recipe:

Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Yogurt Cake


1 1//2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

3 extra-large eggs

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1 1/3 cups sugar (divided)

2 tsp lemon zest (2 lemons)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

(Note: the 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp of lemon juice both come from the two lemons you zest).


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 1/2 “ x 4 1/4” x 2 1/2” loaf pan with cooking spray and line the pan bottom with parchment paper. Then spray the parchment paper with cooking spray and dust with flour.

  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, ONE CUP of the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, whisking constantly. Fold in the vegetable oil, stirring until it’s completely combined.

  3. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. (I start checking at 45 minutes.)

  4. While the cake is baking (and the house is smelling incredible) combine the remaining 1/3 cup sugar with the 1/3 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is transparent. Set aside.

  5. When the cake is done, cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then loosen the cake all around with a spatula. Transfer it to a baking rack placed over a sheet pan. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer and then pour the syrup all over the cake. Let it cool.

  6. When cool combine the powder sugar with the 2 Tbsp of lemon juice in a small bowl and pour over the cake.

  7. Enjoy!!!🍋🍋🍋!!!

A bright striped placemat with a glass of milk and a piece of lemon cake on a sunflower-shaped cake plate.  There is also a mason jar of zinnias.

Yum! What a fun visit to Grandma’s. Now I better start stitching for the next baby. He or she will be here before you know it!

This cute striped placemat is Amazon. The red napkins are from Amazon. The sunflower plates are old but here are similar ones . The tumbler and flatware are from Crate and Barrel. The mason jar is from Amazon. Mason jars are useful for many different things. I use them as vases as seen here, as well as for making salad dressings. Just put all the ingredients in the jar and shake! Then after the meal, you can store the leftover dressing in this same container.



Dr. Julie

PS Here are a few other posts you might enjoy:

Grandkid Red White and Blue Popsicles!

Happy New Year’s Day 2021!

A Sweet Valentine’s Day Tablescape!

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