Healthier Lemon Loaf Cake

healthy lemon loaf cake
The feeling of spring is in the air (can’t you tell with my healthy lemon loaf cake photo above?).  I feel it, and I can’t wait for the warmer days ahead.   This means I need to eat a bit lighter as the clothes get a bit skimpier.  I hate saying no to dessert.  Well of course you know that.  I have a blog devoted to desserts.

healthy lemon loaf cake

I hate the feeling of depriving myself so as I prepare to wear my cute tiny dresses and swimsuit this summer, I need to still feel like myself.  So I have started playing around with new recipes that are a bit lighter.  This healthy lemon loaf cake is one of them but it is so delish you won’t even know its light.

healthy lemon loaf cake
The base of it is olive oil and greek yogurt (yep no butter or sour cream or buttermilk in this baby).  This was so tasty and full of tart lemon flavor that I had to remind myself that the only way it is bad for me is if I overindulge and eat the whole healthy lemon loaf cake!  

So I guess in addition to creating some healthier recipes for desserts, I also need to practice so level of self control.

healthy lemon loaf cake

Healthy Lemon Loaf Cake

Healthy Lemon Loaf Cake


  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or 1 cup of honey or maple syrup)
  • 3 whole large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoon milk or fresh lemon juice for more lemon flavor


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, granulated sugar, lightly beaten eggs, greek yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture while whisking together until well combined.
  5. Add lemon cake batter to a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and bake in oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the center and comes out clean (mine baked in about 52 minutes).
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes then remove from the loaf pan to finish cooling.
  7. Once the cake has cooled completely, whisk together confectioner's sugar and milk or lemon juice and pour over the cake.
  8. Let the icing set and then enjoy!
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  1. i make a super similar cake! the combo of greek yogurt and olive oil makes it so moist! self control is so hard when you know it’s healthy, am i right? :)

  2. I’m with you, I love dessert but this time of year I tend to bake far less cause I just can’t control myself! I love lemon dessert, and a healthier option can’t be a bad thing.

  3. this looks so delicious and easy!!! The only thing I have to do is sub the eggs with my egg replacer, but the rest looks divine!!! I should bake more… thanks for the inspiration!!

  4. Oh my dear Jocelyn, you have outdone yourself! I am dying…this is my absolute weakness, and you have made it to perfection! xox

  5. I think I would defeat the purpose of this healthy lemon cake by eating the entire loaf in one sitting. It’s a lemon lovers dream come true! (Gorgeous photos!!)

  6. What a delight! I’ll sure bake this one pretty soon!

  7. First, I love lemon & olive oil together. Second, the texture of the cake looks so satisfying. Third, it’s so darned pretty!

  8. Your recipes and photos are beautiful! I love lemons and greek yogurt and cake, so I am definitely going to give this a try! :)

  9. We’re all about swapping out olive oil in cakes and cookies when it works. With a super fruity olive oil, it’s perfect.

  10. I really can’t say NO to dessert :) I would rahter choose just dessert instead of dinner :D

  11. It looks so moist and delicious! I want to have a big thick slice of this! And that it’s healthy…good, I want an extra slice :)

  12. Hi Jocelyn – I need a healthy recipe this time of year! This looks so good, I can’t believe it is healthy! Can’t wait to try it

  13. Your cake looks so delicious, I love tart lemony things! That’s great that’s it a little lighter too, I should probably start doing that with my desserts!

  14. This looks so light and delicious! And I just love the addition of olive oil and greek yogurt. A no-guilt treat for sure :)

  15. Hi Jocelyn,

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! My boyfriend and I thought it was so good, we ate the whole loaf..opps.
    However, I did substitute the flour for whole-wheat flour, and the eggs for egg whites.. and it turned out tasting lovely. Thank you for the recipe!

  16. I am so wanting to make this recipe!! I just don’t think it will turn out as beautiful as your picture :) I was looking for an alternative to those mass-produced lemon cakes, because I just love lemon cake!

    irene of Cash Advance Business

  17. This looks gorgeous! I’ve never baked with olive oil, but am going to have to try this one. I love lemon bread/cake and this looks so moist.

  18. how is this healthy?

  19. Amazing…watching sweet intake but I have to thank you for this delightful cake. I used coconut Greek yogurt & it blended nicely with the lemon. Now if I can keep my daughter from eating it all I may have a piece for tomorrow.

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

      I must try this with coconut Greek yogurt. I loved that you blended the flavors!!! Thank you so much for your warm comment.

  20. Oh this looks amazing!!!! Can I substitute Coconut Oil for the Olive Oil?? I also am Gluten Free so will replace the regular flour with Better Batter GF flour mix!! I LOVE LEMON CAKE!!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

      Hi Jeanne,
      I haven’t tried coconut oil instead but I would definitely try it out since coconut oil is usually a great substitute and see how it works. I also see no problem why you can’t sub your favorite flour for the regular one.

  21. I’m going to try this, and replace the olive oil with coconut oil. Can’t wait to taste this!!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

      Great Amber! I can’t wait to see how it turns out for you! Let me know how it is with the coconut oil!

  22. Looks amazing!! Do you think the the flour could be replaced with almond flour instead?

  23. What kind of olive oil do you use so that the flavor isn’t pronounced??

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

      Hi Lupe, I try to use mild flavored olive oils for cakes. They are usually paler in color which means the flavor is weaker.

  24. Going to try this, looks delicious! Would plain yoghurt work? Would rapeseed oil work instead of olive oil? Haven’t got baking soda, just baking powder, would that still work? Going to use just honey instead of sugar as its healthier I think. Not got lemon extract but plenty of fresh lemons!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

      Hi Bekah, so glad you found this! Yes, you can use plain yoghurt and you can also try grapeseed oil though the texture and taste might have a slight difference. I believe in experimenting in the kitchen so definitely try it out and see what you think!!

  25. I am trying out this recipe right now! I don’t have lemon extract, so we’ll see how that turns out..

  26. Thanks for the healthier lemon cake recipe! I reduced the sugar to 3/4c and replaced the icing with pure lemon juice – we love lemons, obviously. The trouble is that it is hard to limit ourselves to one slice :)


  1. […] recipe and photo credit to: […]

  2. […] try recipe!! Perfect for summer. It can be a treat for breakfast, afternoon tea and even dessert!  This recipe uses greek yogurt and olive oil instead of butter or milk! It is so delicious and moist!  Maybe […]

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