This lemon yogurt cake is so creamy and smooth. It is just four ingredients and doesn’t need flour, eggs, butter or oil. The cake is sweet, creamy and has a nice lemon flavor. It is an easy one-bowl recipe that can be made ahead of time for an event.
I love baking with lemons and always try to make a lemon version of all of my desserts. This creamy lemon yogurt cake is soft and very creamy. It is similar to a cheesecake but made with yogurt instead.
- Greek yogurt
- Condensed milk
Greek yogurt: This cake is made with plain nonfat Greek yogurt. Make sure to use a brand that makes a very thick Greek yogurt. I like Fage and Kirkland brands. You don’t want to use a runnier Greek yogurt because it will affect the stability and texture of your cake.
Condensed milk: This cake is made with sweetened full fat condensed milk. Condensed milk sweetens the cake, acts as an egg substitute and also helps make the cake very creamy.
Lemon: You will need the zest and juice from one large lemon. Make sure not to leave out the zest. It adds a lot of the lemon flavor because you can’t add too much lemon juice to the batter.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to help absorb the excess liquid in the batter.
Lemon Yogurt Cake Texture
This is not a traditional cake and will not have any cake crumb. It is more like a cheesecake. The texture will also differ depending on if you refrigerate it or not.
If you leave it at room temperature, the cake will have a very creamy and not fully set center, similar to a Basque burnt cheesecake. If you let it cool in the fridge, the cake will firm up and be more dense and smooth like American cheesecake. I prefer the creamy gooey center though I do think the sweetness and lemon flavor are stronger in the refrigerated version. When I am making it for myself, I usually leave it at room temperature. When I am serving it for guests, I refrigerate it so that it fully solidifies and is easier to cut and serve.
How to Make Lemon Yogurt Cake
The yogurt and condensed milk are first whisked together. The cornstarch is then sifted and whisked in. Finally, the lemon juice and zest are stirred in. The batter is then ready to go in a baking pan and ready to be cooked. This cake can be cooked in the air fryer or the oven.
I prefer the air fryer version because it will give the cake a nice caramelized surface. The cake in the photos was cooked in the air fryer. The cake can also be baked in the oven. The texture of the cake will be the same but the cake will remain white in appearance and won’t caramelize on the surface.
More Lemon Recipes
- 3 Ingredient Lemon Donuts
- 4 Ingredient Lemon Meltaway Cookies
- 2 Ingredient No Bake Lemon Pie
- 3 Ingredient Lemon Brownies
4 Ingredient Creamy Lemon Yogurt Cake
- 1 3/4 cups (390 g) nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup (237 ml) full fat sweetened condensed milk
- 4 tbsp (32 g) cornstarch
- 3 tbsp (1.5 oz/44 ml) lemon juice + 1 tbsp lemon zest from one large lemon
- Grease the interior of a 6-inch round cake pan or a 6-inch round springform pan with cooking oil spray and then line bottom and sides with parchment paper.
- Add yogurt and condensed milk to a large mixing bowl. Make sure to use a spatula to scrape the sides of your measuring cups so that all the condensed milk and yogurt that gets stuck on the sides ends up in the mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Sift in the cornstarch, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition until no lumps remain.
- Stir in lemon juice and zest until evenly incorporated. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
- To cook in the air fryer: Preheat air fryer to 315°F (157°C) and bake for about 23 minutes. The surface of the cake should look done and have a partial caramelized appearance (the caramelization won't be completely even across). The cake should not be very jiggly but the center should not be fully set.
- To cook in the oven: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake for about 45 minutes or until the surface of the pan looks fully cooked (but it will remain white in color except around the edges which will turn slightly brown) and the cake should be pulling away from the sides of the pan. The cake should not be very jiggly but it is okay if the center doesn't seem fully set.
- Let cake cool for several hours before eating. You can do this two ways and the texture will be different depending on which method you choose. You can cool the cake at room temperature. When the cake is cooled, it will be set enough that you can plate it and cut it, but the center will remain very creamy and gooey. This is similar to a Basque cheesecake type of texture. If you prefer a fully set and firmer cake like American cheesecake, place the cake in the fridge to cool. After a few hours, the cake should be fully cooled and have a denser firmer texture.
- This cake is best made a day ahead of time. It can be made the same day you plan on serving it, but it needs a few hours to let it cool and set.
- Make sure to sift in the cornstarch. This can be done with just a simple mesh strainer. Sifting in the cornstarch helps to make sure it is easily mixed in as it can be hard to see lumps of cornstarch in the batter.
- Make sure to use a thick Greek yogurt. It should be thick enough that when you spoon it and hold the spoon upside down, it won't slide off easily. I like Fage and Kirkland brands.
- You should only need 1 large lemon, but don't use the whole thing. Measure out 3 tbsp of lemon juice and 1 tbsp of zest.
- Add the lemon juice and zest at the end. If you add it with the other ingredients, you won't be able to see the cornstarch lumps.
- Don't leave out the zest. It gives a lot of lemon flavor. You can't use too much lemon juice because it will make the batter too runny.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.