With fresh lemon juice & zest for maximum zing, this coconut lemon cake uses olive oil and yogurt for a summery Mediterranean flavour & super moist texture.
Do you sometimes have food flashbacks? I do. I’ll be going along, minding my own business, when out of the blue I’ll remember some delicious thing that I ate years ago. And then I have to track it down, or recreate it, or use the memory as inspiration for some other delicious thing.
Summer fete baking
Recently, I needed to bake a cake for Kipper’s school’s summer fair. As I was considering what kind (not chocolate, too obvious… not Victoria sponge, too boring…) I had a sudden flashback to something I last ate about 20 years ago.
As I was pondering cake options, I had a sudden memory of a fabulous yogurt that I used to get in Israel in the 1990s. It was super creamy and rich, and came in a range of gorgeous flavours. One of my favourites was lemon and coconut.
I remember it clearly because it was deeply lemony, was not too sweet, and it had the perfect amount of fresh coconut flavour. The yogurt texture was thick and unctuous. One pot always seemed to be not quite big enough!
I’ve never seen a similar flavour here in the UK, although these days I usually go for unflavoured natural yogurt in any case. So that was what I grabbed as I decided to make a lemon coconut yogurt cake.
Zesty and zingy!
I used fresh lemon juice and zest for maximum lemon zing, and decided to use olive oil to give an even more summery Mediterranean flavour. Together with the yogurt it made the cake super moist. I boosted the coconut flavour with a drizzle of coconut icing, but if you prefer to enhance the lemon side you can make a lemon icing instead. Either way is delicious!
One for now and one for later…
The recipe makes two generous loaf cakes which is perfect when you’re catering for a crowd. Or simply eat one now and freeze the other for later! I always like to have a cake stashed away ‘for an emergency’.
No need to wait for a school fair – this deliciously summery yogurt coconut lemon cake is fabulous anytime!
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Coconut lemon cake
- 3 eggs
- 240 ml extra virgin olive oil (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
- 330 ml natural yogurt (I used goats' milk yogurt) (1 ½ cups)
- 1 lemon - zest and juice
- 300 g golden caster sugar (1 ½ cups)
- 345 g plain flour (2 ¾ cups)
- 120 g dessicated coconut (1 ¼ cups)
- 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the drizzle and decoration
- 50 g icing (powdered) sugar (½ cup)
- ½ tsp lemon juice OR coconut rum
- ½-1 tsp water
- strands of lemon zest (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 160C (320F). Line two loaf tins with greaseproof paper.
- In a large (at least 2 litre) jug, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and sugar.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, coconut and bicarbonate of soda.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold together to give a thick batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared loaf tins.
- Transfer the tins to the oven and bake at 160C for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for around 10 minutes then transfer onto a wire rack and leave until cold.
To make the drizzle and decorate
- Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice or coconut rum, then add just enough water to give a suitably runny consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cakes and decorate with shreds of lemon zest if desired.
If you fancy baking more treats using olive oil and/or yogurt, try these:
Vegan blueberry banana muffins with yogurt, from Sneaky Veg
Spiced olive oil cupcakes, from Family Friends Food
Honey and walnut yogurt semolina cake, from Tin and Thyme
High fibre raspberry yogurt cake, from Recipes Made Easy
Cranberry and orange yogurt muffins, from Christina’s Cucina