Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Honey Cake

There’s nothing quite like old friends. You know, the people that you’ve known since childhood: the people who you grew up with, fought with, and laughed with until you cried. The ones who knew you when you were uncool and stuck by you nonetheless.

When I was four, my mother became really close friends with a couple other mothers at my alternative school. By default, their children and my siblings and I became friends as well. Over the years, our parents lumped us together in the basement for play-dates, brought us to crowded restaurants for lunch, and took us on vacation together countless times.

After elementary school, we split up. Our parents remained close friends, but we kids went to different to different middle schools. We made new friends. We grew up a little bit and started becoming who we are today.

When we all began to attend the same high school, it was almost like a reunion of old times. I realized that even though we went to the same school and that a few of us were in the same grades, we had other lives now, and that we couldn’t just pick up where we’d left off in elementary school. We were like strangers that needed to be reacquainted.

So a couple years ago, I started what has now become a tradition among our families: a bakefest. Every  month or so, the girls and I would get together to bake something. Our bakefests inadvertently lead to our mothers gathering for coffee and a huge group dinner with all the families in our group of friends that always last into the wee hours of the morning.

For our last gathering, I decided to bake a Lemon Yogurt Honey Olive Oil Cake for our parents to snack on while drinking coffee. Honestly, this is a cake for the parents: it has the illusion of being healthy because it doesn’t contain any butter of sugar. The yogurt keeps the cake moist while the olive oil and honey lend body and sweetness. A pretty good coffee cake, according to all my mom’s friends.

Lemon Yogurt Olive Oil Honey Cake

  • 1 ½ cups full-fat yogurt
  • 2/3 cup olive oil (I like the incredible flavour that olive oil provides in cakes, but if you don’t, use a flavourless oil instead.)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg


Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan lightly with baking spray or oil, and line the bottom with parchment. 

Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg right into the liquids and stir just until no lumps remain. 

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, covering with foil at the end if the top is browning. When a tester comes out clean, transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. 

Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. When well-wrapped, this keeps very well for several days.


  1. Love olive oil and yogurt subs for cakes... this looks absolutely lovely and healthy! I totally agree with you on reacquanting with old friends-turned into strangers-turned into best friends again. Thanks for reminding me that I need to get in touch with my old friends. :)

  2. Yum, any kind of lemon cake is a-okay with me. Looks quite tasty ;)

  3. What perfectly cut slices. Looks delicious!

  4. I've never made a honey cake before! I'm always scared of olive oil cakes, the ones I've made are rarely ever successful. Might have to give yours a go!

  5. I love olive oil cake. I've been wanting to make a yogurt cake for awhile and this sounds perfect.

  6. This cake looks perfectly cut, served and made :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. P.S Is there any email subscription available?

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. Such a great cake! Olive oil lends such a lovely flavour!

    It's so funny how friends grow apart like that. I have one in particular that I've known since we were four that is the same way.

  9. it's a weird feeling isn't it? when you first meet your old friends again, a part of you wants to give them the biggest hug ever and act like there was no distant between you guys at all. but theres another part of you that kinda lingers behind because you're not sure if they're on the same as you. nonetheless it's always good to see old friends again :)

    1. That pretty much perfectly describes the whole "old friends" phenomenon! I hate knowing that that's how we're going through life because nothing lasts forever. One day, some of the people I know now are just going to be "high school friends" and then it'll be "college friends"...

  10. What a fantastic tradition. I want to have a bakefest of my own! That sounds like the best way to get together with old friends.

  11. This cake is so good and so easy to make that has been in my house after school many days.
    Love from the north of Spain

  12. what a fun tradition! this cakes looks like the perfect thing to bring!

  13. "There’s nothing quite like old friends"

    Well, alas I don't speak to anyone I used to know when I grew up in England anymore. Kinda sad really but I feel so different to them now that we just don't have anything in common :(

  14. Hi Kyleen! You and your friends sound like so much fun, I love the bakefest idea! Thanks for stopping by my little blog awhile back; I'm so glad it led me to your blog... You are extremely talented, and I am so enjoying reading your posts and drooling over your photos! -Ashley

  15. Keep in touch with old friends is such a beautiful ntion and the bakefest sounds like a wonderful way to do it! Honey and olive oil are great sources of vitamin so this cake apart from being tasty is nutritious too!


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