Winter citrus yogurt loaf cake

wooden board with sliced loaf cake on top, cake glazed with sugar

5 from 1 reviews

Easy to make and packed with winter citrus, this cake is super soft, flavorful and will stay perfect for days! 




  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (240g) plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup (210g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest 
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) sunflower oil (or vegetable oil)


  • 1/3 cup (80ml) freshly squeezed citrus juice (use citrus that you zested) 
  • 1/3 cup (80g) granulated sugar


  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh lemon juice (or leftover citrus juice)
  • 1 cup (125g) powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 12-inch (30-cm) bread loaf pan with oil, line bottom and sides with parchment paper, then grease again and dust with flour. Set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together yogurt and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one by one, whisking the batter lightly after each addition. Stir in all the citrus zest and vanilla paste. Slowly whisk in the dry ingredients, just until incorporated. The batter will be quite thick.
  3. Fold the oil in the batter using a silicone spatula and gently stir until it’s all incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  4. As the cake bakes, make the syrup:  Combine citrus juice and sugar in a small non-reactive (I use enamel) saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat just until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Set aside. If you run your spatula through the syrup, it should be smooth without any visible sugar granules. 
  5. When the cake is done, let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Place a baking rack on a large plate or baking pan, then transfer cake onto the rack while it’s still warm. Remove parchment paper. Pour the citrus syrup all over the cake, especially down the center where the crack is (if there is one). Let the syrup soak in while the cake completely cools.
  6. Once completely cool, make the glaze by stirring together lemon juice and powdered sugar. Pour it over the cake and let dry completely before cutting the cake. Sprinkle with candied orange powder or zest before the sugar dries (optional). Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature (refrigerator is okay too) for up to a week. 


If you don’t feel like measuring citrus zest with teaspoons, you can just use this rule – you need: one lime, one large lemon and one large (or two medium) oranges. This is about enough of zest and you can’t really go wrong with using more than I did. 

About the pan size: If you don’t have a 12-inch (30-cm) bread loaf pan, that’s perfectly fine. Use any other loaf pan you have, just know that a different sized pan will give you a differently shaped loaf. I like narrow pans because they give this cake some height. 

If you’re using a different pan, watch your loaf cake after the 30 minute mark to avoid burning it. You can also make this cake in mini loaf pans. If you do that watch them carefully after 15-20 minutes, because they’ll bake faster than a regular loaf.

You can also add different varieties of citrus fruit, like blood oranges or mandarins. Or, if you can’t find anything but lemons, simply use those in place of everything else.