Cakes/ Recipes

Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake

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This sweet little cake was inspired by the traditional cakes made with yogurt found all over France. Most French families have a recipe for a cake such as this, and it’s a popular afternoon snack for little ones. The “real” recipe for yogurt cake is made using the French yogurt jar as a way to measure all your ingredients. How cute is that? However, since most of us don’t have access to jars of yogurt bought in Paris, feel free to use measuring cups instead.

I just love this cake! It really is the perfect snackin’ cake…I’d say that the texture lies somewhere between a pound cake and a muffin, maybe? And perfectly sweet but not overwhelmingly so. A nice change from traditional lemon poppy seed muffins and loaves. With all this winter citrus available right now, it’s a great snowy day baking activity.

A slice of this alongside a cup of coffee or tea? Cozy perfection.

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We’ve already established my love for citrus right now so I probably don’t need to go there again. I swear though, I could suck right on a lemon slice and be perfectly content. And don’t get me started on clementines…I average six a day.

I really loved how this cake looked when I baked it in a bundt pan! I just don’t make enough bundt cakes. They are so pretty and old fashioned looking!

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I used organic whole fat Greek yogurt in this cake and I highly recommend you do the same. Nonfat yogurt just won’t give you the best end result, texture-wise.

The glaze is easy! Just lemon juice and powdered sugar. I like to prick my cake all over with a fork before pouring on the tart glaze so it soaks right into every last crumb. My mouth is seriously watering just thinking about it! I’m telling you – this will be a cake I make over and over again.

Happy baking!!

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Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake

yields 1 bundt (or regular) cake

Print this Recipe!


2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup whole fat, preferably organic, yogurt {I used Greek yogurt}

2 tbsp poppy seeds

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice + zest of 1 large lemon

for glaze ~

juice of 1/2 large lemon

enough powdered sugar to make a drizzle


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a bundt pan and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds and lemon zest. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, followed by the vanilla and the lemon juice. Add dry ingredients along with yogurt and mix until a thick batter forms.

Spread batter {it will be thick!} into your prepared pan. Place in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden and springy. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan before inverting on a cooling rack. Let cool completely while you make the glaze.

To make the glaze, simply mix together the lemon juice and powdered sugar until you have a drizzle. Carefully poke holes all over the cake with a fork then spoon the drizzle on top, letting it down down the sides. Glaze will harden as it cools.


~1 hour



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  • Maryea {happy healthy mama}
    January 30, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Cozy perfection is the perfect adjective for this. My family loves lemon poppyseed muffins, so I know this would be a hit with them. I’ve been wanting to buy a bundt pan–I think this maybe be my perfect excuse. 🙂

  • Becki's Whole Life
    January 30, 2014 at 4:44 am

    Lemon is such a great flavor mid-winter and this cake looks delicious!

  • Deb @ Dietitian Debbie Dishes
    January 30, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Mmm… I can imagine having a slice of this cake and a cup of coffee would be the perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon. Looking forward to the weekend! I agree with Maryea, it’s time I invested in a bundt pan because this cake looks delicious!

    • Laura
      January 30, 2014 at 5:30 am

      I was just thinking about how cake and coffee are the absolute perfect combination!

  • Madison
    January 30, 2014 at 4:47 am

    This looks very comforting and makes me want to snuggle up. 🙂 That’s a winning recipe right there! And bundt cakes are some of my favorite cakes to bake.

  • Tracy
    January 30, 2014 at 4:58 am

    Are you reading Bringing up Bebe?!

    • jenna
      January 30, 2014 at 9:52 am

      So funny you said that – I just downloaded it on my Kindle to read! Do they talk about yogurt cake?!

      • Tracy
        January 31, 2014 at 5:43 am

        They sure do! She talks about the yogurt cake as being the perfect activity to do with your toddler! Have fun reading the book- it’s a good one!

  • Dana
    January 30, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Mmmmm this looks so good! I could really go for a slice or 2 right now!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    January 30, 2014 at 5:36 am

    I love lemon and poppyseed together. It’s always a win!

  • Katrina @ WVS
    January 30, 2014 at 5:51 am

    This cake looks so refreshing! I love lemon cake, but the yogurt in this sounds like such a delight!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    January 30, 2014 at 6:01 am

    This cake is too cute!!

  • Laura
    January 30, 2014 at 6:02 am

    What kind of yogurt is the organic whole milk greek yogurt? I have a tough time finding that…we like Fage, but it’s not organic. Love stonyfield, but it’s not greek! Argh.

    • Julie
      January 30, 2014 at 7:54 am

      I also would like to know this. My daughter doesn’t drink milk so we give her a lot of full fat Greek yogurt, but I haven’t found any organic full fat. I’ve resorted to giving her non-organic b/c I feel like right now she needs the fat for her development.

      • jenna
        January 30, 2014 at 9:51 am

        I buy Straus organic whole fat greek yogurt – I find it at Whole Foods here – but if you can’t find it, any regular (whole fat) yogurt is fine. It doesn’t need to be organic…we just try to only eat organic dairy products in our house.

      • Laura
        January 30, 2014 at 10:21 am

        Julie-we buy the stonyfield whole milk for the family. I want my kids to have the fat and organic is important to me. Just wish they made a whole milk Greek (stonyfield Greek is nonfat). I will look for Straus. Thanks Jenna.

    • jenna
      January 30, 2014 at 9:51 am

      We love Straus organic whole fat greek yogurt – you can use whatever though! Full fat Fage is totally fine. Or stoneyfield. Whatever you have 🙂

  • sonia
    January 30, 2014 at 6:09 am

    This is a wonderful cake and one of my all time favorites !!!!
    Going to save this recipe of yours with yogurt and try it soon.
    have a nice day !

  • Cassie
    January 30, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Looks yummy!

  • Laurie {Simply Scratch}
    January 30, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Oh goodness… now I wish I had this to go along with my coffee this morning! I love lemon poppy seed ANYTHING! Gorgeous cake Jenna!

  • Lia @ Luscious Living
    January 30, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Perfect winter tea cake! Lemon and Poppy have always reminded me of my mom, and though I don’t think they were ever my favorite, I’ve always been more of a chocolate or vanilla kind of gal, I adore Lemon Poppy above all else. Sometimes memory and love determine favorites above taste. This is a perfect recipe. I love it. I’m going to try it with strained goat yogurt. Do you think that would work out?

    • jenna
      January 30, 2014 at 9:51 am

      I think that would work great!

  • Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog
    January 30, 2014 at 7:47 am

    This cake sounds so refreshing! I love lemony desserts/baked goods and certainly don’t eat enough of them. Pinning this recipe now!

  • erin @hooleywithaz
    January 30, 2014 at 7:50 am

    i think i need to make this when my appetite has made its full recovery. it’s so simple! and i love me a good bundt cake too. why can’t my baby be craving food right now??

  • Bryony @ Bryony Cooks
    January 30, 2014 at 8:31 am

    This looks great! I love the use of Greek yogurt in it to give it some more texture.

  • Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner
    January 30, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Mmmm, I love lemon poppyseed. This looks like a great Sunday brunch item.

  • Joyce @ MustardSeeds+Hope
    January 30, 2014 at 9:47 am

    exactly what I want to eat right now! 🙂

  • Katie @ Live Half Full
    January 30, 2014 at 10:08 am

    This looks amazing! And the yogurt addition makes me think this will be the perfect afternoon snack. 🙂

  • Barefoot Bodhi
    January 30, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Lemon poppy seed muffins are my boyfriend’s favorite thing. I should make this this weekend. It sounds lovely with a cup of tea. Probably Earl Grey would be best (hot!).

  • shelly@ohshellsbells
    January 30, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I inherited a mini bundt pan tray… like a muffin tray but with bundt molds…. and i was wondering to myself when will i ever use this. now. now i will use it.

  • Julianna @ Julianna Bananna
    January 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

    this looks amazing! i love anything lemon poppyseed.

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs
    January 30, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Oooh, my husband loves Lemon Poppyseed loaves, so he would loooove this cake!

  • Jenny
    January 30, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Seems like this is right out of Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman…

    • jenna
      January 30, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      I just bought that book last night to read this weekend but haven’t started it yet! So funny – I guess I’m just meant to eat yogurt cake right now 🙂

  • Alexandra
    January 30, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    This looks yummy! I am curious, what would the recipe be if it had the yogurt jar measurements?

  • Coty and Mariah@quirksandtwists
    January 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Can’t beat having a cake around that is perfect for snacking on. Love the simple glaze!

  • Cara's Healthy Cravings
    January 30, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    One of my all-time favourite cakes! I love how moist lemon cakes are and they always have such a nice crumb to them.

  • Rachel Cooks
    January 30, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    This looks wonderful!

  • sarah
    January 30, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Yum, that cake looks lovely! Im vegan, and while eggs and milk are easy substitutes, yogurt is a bit more difficult. I know you’ve posted vegan recipes before, is there anything I could use instead of yogurt?

    • Heather
      January 31, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      You could replace it with soy or coconut yogurt. If that’s not available, you could use soymilk curdled with lemon juice in baking; just reduce other liquids. You can also use blended silken tofu with a little lemon juice for tartness.

    January 30, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Jenna! I love to add lemon in everything I cook and bake! I would definitely try this one. Thanks for the recipe! Please check out my site

  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    January 30, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    This looks scrumptious! Your photography is beautiful too.

    I also spot Vital Farms eggs which I love. I just wish they weren’t so dang expensive!

    • jenna
      January 31, 2014 at 9:48 am

      I am so addicted to the Vital Farms eggs! I only recently discovered them and now can’t imagine eating anything else. They are so expensive but I tell myself because I eat them every day (I love two eggs scrambled with my breakfast) it’s worth it. So, so good.

  • Lauren
    January 31, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Looks delicious – thank you!

  • Corina
    January 31, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I would love to have a go at a poppyseed cake one day. We don’t eat them much in the UK but when I lived in Poland and Germany there were always lots of lovely poppyseed cakes in the bakeries.

  • Cassandra @ Fed & Fit
    January 31, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    You knocked these photos out of the park, Jenna! Reminds me that I need to dust off my bundt pan and show it some love 🙂

  • Luv What You Do
    January 31, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I couldn’t be more jealous of your orange mixer! Love it!

  • Hazel
    February 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Wow! Made in a loaf pan this morning. Just wonderful, sweet, tangy, light, with a tender crumb (i used what i had, cake flour). This will be my new go to cake. Thank you!

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    February 2, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    I love everything about this cake! That bright lemon flavor just might be the cure for the winter blues!

  • Myra
    February 2, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Mmmm, this cake is superb! I made it this weekend but didn’t have any poppyseeds and no lemons, so I substituted orange juice and zest and it came out devine! Thanks for another fabulous recipe!

  • Michelle
    February 3, 2014 at 6:41 am

    I had 0% Fage lingering in my fridge instead of whole yogurt so I subbed in cream cheese for half the butter hoping it would help give it a more creamy texture and it turned out great! Super luscious even with whole wheat flour instead of all purpose. Great recipe!

  • Carolyn
    February 3, 2014 at 8:21 am

    This recipe was the perfect excuse for me to try out my new stand mixer this weekend. And it did not disappoint! I used whole fat Stonyfield yogurt, not greek, and it worked great. I think it’ll be my new go-to for birthday parties, book club, and whenever else I have a hankering for cake. Thanks!

  • Nicola
    February 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Made this for the Super Bowl – a major hit! Thanks!

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog
    February 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I could use some citrus to brighten up what has been a cold, dreary winter. This cake is stunning.

  • Christina @ The Beautiful Balance
    February 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Lemon poppy seed anything is one of my favorite classic flavor combos. I also love that you used greek yogurt in the mix!

  • Judy
    February 8, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I will make it for my 4th time pregnant daughter-in-law. She loves poppy seeds and I love citrus anything. If I’m in a restaurant and drink soda water with lemon slices I eat the slices after. Yum

  • Francesca @ Love.Bake.Read
    February 9, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    What a simple cake to make. Love and adore lemon cakes. Mmm!

  • Tastes Like Spring: 7 Refreshing Lemon Recipes for the Season
    March 26, 2014 at 6:17 am

    […] first highlighted recipe comes from Eat Live Run, because if lemon poppy seed yogurt cake doesn’t scream spring to you, we […]

  • Cristina
    September 12, 2014 at 4:40 am

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come
    across a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you’ve hit
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  • Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake | Hungry Hungry Hippie
    December 16, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    […] based this off of this recipe, but tweaked it to make it both lactose and gluten free.  I still used yogurt, but I used less […]

  • S James
    March 26, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I was searching for yogurt cake because I’m hunting for low fat alternatives, but you had me at lemon.

    What a tasty idea for a light, fluffy cake. I assume you can just buy poppy seeds at a supermarket? I’ve heard they’re a very nutritionally dense food, so that makes this cake even more healthy.

    High tea anyone? 🙂

  • April Knight
    January 5, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Sounds great!! I want to try!))
    This is my favourite cake recipe – Vegan Blueberry Mug Cake
    ? cup Blueberry
    5-7 soaked overnight Almond nuts
    4 tbsp Whole-wheat flour
    2 tbsp Sugar
    1 pinch Salt
    ½ tsp Baking powder
    8 tbsp Almond Milk
    1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    ½ tsp Vanilla extract