I own a lot of cookbooks. So, I’m not really looking to add to the collection. The exception to this was when I was gifted a wonderful cookbook by my housemate two years ago. Titled, “Baking: a commonsense guide”, it is a wonderful assortment of recipes and advice on how to get those recipes right. There are sections on cakes, muffins, friands and cupcakes; biscuits, slices, pastry, baked desserts, breads and scones – in short – all my favourite things! And each recipe I’ve tried has been divine. No complaints!

Until now.


We meet with a bunch of young adults/married couples with kids every Friday fortnight, to study God’s word and support each other in prayer. As I’ve been baking a lot more lately, I realised that this might just be my ‘perfect opportunity’ to bake and actually have someone eat it! Alex has been doing a great job, but he just can’t eat enough!


I had a tub of natural yoghurt that Alex was “supposed” to eat with his breakfast cereal, but didn’t. So, now that I’m on a sugar-free diet, I’ve been eating small amounts to help stave off hunger. But my efforts at getting through one-litre, at that rate, were not enough! Hence my search for a cake made with yoghurt. I went to the index of my baking bible and looked up ‘yoghurt’, finding there a recipe entitled, ‘yoghurt cake with syrup’. I dutifully prepared mise en place and braved the heat to buy the missing ingredients.


Once the mixture was prepared, I could see there was far too much for the 10 x 20cm loaf tin that had been recommended. So I made two cupcakes with the additional mixture. Unfortunately, even that wasn’t enough, and subsequently there was cake overflow and burned cake at the bottom of the oven.
Never mind, all’s well that ends well. There is a cake now and two cupcakes drenched in syrup. And that syrup is something special. A combination of cinnamon and lemon, it’s quite unique, and a change from what I’ve done before.


As long as you use a larger tin (I’m suggesting 9 x 5 inch), you will not be disappointed. Oh, and make sure to place a tray underneath the cooling rack before pouring over the syrup. Otherwise, things could get sticky!


Yoghurt Cake with Syrup

Prep time: 20 minutes +
Total cooking time: 55 minutes

Serves 8-10


185g unsalted butter, softened
250g (1 cup) caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
250g Greek-style (plain) yoghurt
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon natural vanilla extract
280g (2 ¼ cups) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
Whipped cream, to serve


250g (1 cup) caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 cm strip lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin.
  2. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat using electric beaters until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks gradually, beating well after each additions. Stir in the yoghurt, lemon zest and vanilla. Fold in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) with a metal spoon.
  3. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until stiff, and fold into the mixture.
  4. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the syrup, place the sugar and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan with 185ml (3/4 cup) cold water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, add the lemon zest and juice, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Strain.
  6. Pour the syrup over the cake and wait for most of it to be absorbed before serving. Cut into slices and serve warm with whipped cream.



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