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Lemon and yoghurt cake

Back in 2015 we declared it the Year of the Cake with this mouth-watering recipe.

It’s from our editor, Robin Powell, who moonlights as food writer, and she has generously shared it with us yet again. Thanks Robin



I love baking but hate creaming butter and sugar so my favourite cakes are ones I can make easily in the food processor, just like this one.

You can serve it straight up as a light, lemony treat with a cup of tea mid-morning, or you can drench it with lemon syrup while it’s still hot, turning it into a moist, densely flavoured dessert-style cake to serve warm with cream.


What you need:

125g butter, at room temperature

three-quarters cup caster sugar

zest of one lemon

2 eggs, beaten

half-cup natural yoghurt

quarter cup water

2 cups self-raising flour, sifted

Lemon syrup

Two-thirds cup caster sugar

Half cup lemon juice, strained

1 cup water

Zest of one lemon

What to do:

Heat the oven to 180 C and grease and line a 21cm loaf tin.

In a food processor whiz the eggs and sugar for one minute until they are light and creamy.

Cut the butter into chunks, scrape into the egg mixture and whiz for 40 seconds. Add the yoghurt, lemon zest and water and whiz to combine.

Add the flour and whiz until just mixed.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

While the cake cooks, put the water, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Let it boil for about 10 minutes.

To serve as dessert, pierce the cake all over, when it’s hot from the oven and still in the tin, and spoon over about half the syrup. Serve with a hog of the reserved syrup and a pot of thick cream.


Three more ways with lemons

1. Lemon syllabub

This 16th century English dessert sets like magic. Put the juice and zest of a lemon in a bowl with 75g sugar and 100ml of white wine, and let infuse for an hour or two. Add 250ml double cream and whip to soft peaks. Spoon into wine glasses or tiny espresso cups and chill for a couple of hours before serving.

Lemon syllabub. Photo -

2. Lemon dressing

Juice a lemon and pour into a screwtop jar. Add about the same amount of extra virgin olive oil. Add a heaped teaspoon of honey and a heaped teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Taste and adjust to suit your palate, with more honey, a touch of vinegar or a pinch of salt. Use this dressing over salads, steamed vegetables, boiled potatoes and barbecued chicken.

3. Lemon and tomato salsa

Cut the skin and pith from a lemon, and then, holding the lemon over a bowl to catch the juice, cut the segments free of the membranes. Cut each segment into small pieces. Add a punnet of chopped cherry tomatoes, a dessertspoon of rinsed salted capers and a big handful of chopped parsley. Serve with panfried salmon fillets and steamed rice.