Lemon Cake Recipe

Non-Lemon-Lovers need not apply!

This lemon cake is perfect for brunch but also for dessert, with fruit or sorbet. The baked lemon cake gets soaked all over with a luscious lemon syrup. You are in for a treat!

This is a decidedly dairy cake. Sorry, guys! Don’t substitute margarine or oil for the butter; you will notice the difference. Yogurt: Ditto. Buttermilk will work as well. A friend of mine took a large chunk of this cake on a plane trip to Chicago and shared it with the stewardesses. One of them e-mailed me that she must have more and asked if she could have the recipe. I am used to my recipes getting a lot of mileage on the ground, but this was the first time at 30,000 feet!



  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs

Lemon syrup

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • ¼ cup butter


Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 325*F.

Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl, and set aside.

Mix the yogurt, lemon zest and lemon juice in another bowl, and set aside.

In a food processor or mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix each time until incorporated. Add the flour and yogurt mixtures alternately, beginning and ending with flour, mixing each time only until just combined.

Grease and flour a 10-inch springform pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for one hour, or a little longer, until the point of a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Carefully unmold the cake, and place it on a round tray.

Make the syrup: Bring all the syrup ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Prick holes all over the cake with a skewer while it is hot and pour the hot lemon syrup all over the cake, using it all up.

21 replies
  1. Rochelle
    Rochelle says:

    I made a stupid mistake because I was in a hurry and poured the syrup into the cake batter before baking the cake! I was sure that it would be awful but it still came out great. This is a foolproof recipe! Thank you!

  2. alejandrina
    alejandrina says:

    what are other pans you have used that have worked well with this recipe? I would like to keep this recipe for my bakery and it sounds delish!!!

  3. michela
    michela says:

    It turned out amazingly! All off the guests loved it, and had seconds! the only thing I would do to improve it would be to make more syrup. thanks for this lovely recipe. It has proved to be a winner, and I will definitely bake it again

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Michela I’m so glad! Everyone loves this recipe. Nonono please don’t make more syrup: A few undesirable things might happen if you do: 1. The cake will get too sweet. 2. The final texture will get too sticky-gooey.

  4. michela
    michela says:

    This recipe sounds sensational. I will be making it for my mothers birthday, as I know she’l love it. Thanks for this beautiful recipe!

  5. Julie
    Julie says:

    Hi! I tried out this recipe and used a 9″ springform pan but it didn’t rise as high as it looks like in your photo. I checked the freshness of my baking soda and I’m sure I didn’t forget to add it in the recipe. Any idea why this happened?

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Julie Sorry I don’t know why your cake didn’t look as good as mine. ?/the recipe is tried and true, and this cake is a winner. Please give it another chance, it’s well worth it.

  6. SIMA
    SIMA says:

    I was a little suspicious at first… the recipe doesn’t sound like anything spectacular… BOY WAS I IN FOR A SURPRISE !!! LEVANA, IT IS SUPERB!! THANK YOU!!

  7. Herma de Wit
    Herma de Wit says:

    I made this cake today and it is fantastic Cannot stop eating☺ Thanks And I see other great recipes on your site So glad I discovered your site!

  8. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Thank you, thank you for this recipe. I haven’t even yet poured the syrup over it and the cake is perfect and delish. I am not even the best baker but it came out exactly as I would have expected from a good baker. :) Can’t wait to pour the syrup over it.


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