Citrus Yoghurt Cake

By Giulia Scarpaleggia •

Looking for a simple recipe to bake with children?  Giulia shows how yoghurt cake is simple and magical to make.  Share her delightful memories of cooking as a child and enjoy this delicious citrus flavoured cake.


A cup of yoghurt  This is what it takes to a mother to spin some magic into her kitchen. Add an extra large apron for her daughter to be double folded: it will resemble a night gown on her, but she will be as proud as if she were wearing a princess's sparkling dress. Give her a chair, a tall one, or add a few pillows where she'll climb, standing on her knees to reach the table. There she is, the queen of the kitchen.

Now give your daughter a wooden spoon or a colourful whisk. This will be her magic wand, tell her how difficult is to find the perfect wand for her, she will be an excited Harry Potter in Ollivander's shop. I bet her wand will have the most precious holly wood and a core of magical unicorn hair. The magic will sparkle from her wand and turn the ingredients into a mouthwatering cake.

Show her the cup of yoghurt  one is for the yoghurt  two is for the sugar, three is for the flour and the eggs. A magic formula she will remember forever, so simple yet so perfect. Help her with the olive oil. If there's a younger brother, give him the task to grate the orange and the lemon zest: you won't obtain much, but he will enjoy the choir and your kitchen will smell like heaven.

I don't know if this is how mum introduced me to cooking, if there were magic formulas involved of if my oversized apron was for me a princess gown, but she succeeded. As a young girl I was constantly looking forward to the Sunday mornings, when she would give me the sceptre of the power in the kitchen, creating a special moment all for us.

Little chat, lot of laughter, huge amount of love: these were the ingredients that instilled in me the passion for cooking.  Though, it is not just the burning flame of the sacred passion for cooking. It's the time you spend with your mother that you value and appreciate. It's the effort you put in a home made cake that will be your breakfast during the following days, bringing back memories and smiles. It's the pride with which you'll unwrap your slice of cake at school in front of your friends, whispering with blushing cheeks: I made this. Mum just helped me a little.


Do it with your daughter, with your son, with your niece or nephew. Do it with your grandchildren. Do it with your best friend's daughter, the one you call niece with pride and a beaming smile, do it with your neighbour's bored son. Just do it, help a child to bake their own cake, show them how easy is to have a fresh home made cake made from scratch and you'll make the world a better place to be!

The yoghurt cake made using the yoghurt cup as measurement cup is the easiest baked good you can imagine. Use high quality ingredients, fresh free range eggs, organic whole yoghurt and seasonal fruit. In winter grate the peel of organic citrus fruit to give an extra fresh hint to your cake and turn the breakfast in a glorious moment.



3 eggs

1 cup of whole yoghurt

2 cups of sugar

3 cups of flour

Grated peel of one organic lemon

Grated peel of one organic orange

¾ cup of extra virgin olive oil

15 g of baking powder

1 pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 160°C, fan assisted.

Whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale. Add the extra virgin olive oil and yoghurt and stir to mix.

Sift in the flour, the baking powder and the grated peel of one orange and one lemon.

Butter and dust with flour a 24 cm round cake tin, scrape the batter into the tin and bake for about 30 minutes until golden and dry inside. Use a toothpick to test if it is dry inside.

Remove from the oven, let it cool down for a few minutes and remove from the cake tin.

Let it cool down completely on a wire rack, then dust with sugar.

It will keep fresh for several days if stored perfectly wrapped in a kitchen towel.


Looking for more cakes to bake?  Visit Great British Chefs collection of baking recipes for some wonderful treats.

What are you memories of baking as a child?  What did you most like to make? Let us know over on Great British Chefs Facebook page.


Love this story and the simplicity! It is indeed magical to cook - at any age! - and to pass that onto another generation is special. It is how our love of food, eating freshly prepared ingredients made with love, starts.

It makes it such a treat to eat out in restaurants where this same care and attention have been lavished!
23 January 2013

Giulia Scarpaleggia

Giulia, is a 31 year old Tuscan food blogger who started her blog in February 2009.  In January 2012 she turned her passion into a job and is now a freelance food writer, developing recipes for magazines & food companies. She's also a Tuscan cooking class instructor for tourists in Tuscany. Her book, I love Toscana, was published in November 2012.

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