Recipe: Lemon Yogurt Cake with Ginger-Thyme Syrup

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Lemon yogurt cake is very popular and you can find dozens of recipes online, especially Ina Garten’s famous version that has a lemon infused syrup poured over the top. My go-to lemon yogurt cake is a slightly different recipe, but the idea of a syrup sure sounded good. What would happen if I used a little ginger and thyme instead of the lemon?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The results were amazing. Light, crumbly, lemony cake with a sweet, slightly spicy moistness. I served it at a dinner party last night with a small dollop of lightly whipped cream sweetened with a little leftover syrup. Everyone was very, very happy.

Lemon Yogurt Cake with Ginger-Thyme Syrup
serves 12

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt

Pre-heat oven to 350°F Grease and flour a large (9 x 5 x 3″) loaf pan.*

Lightly whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In another large bowl, using an electric beaters if possible, beat butter until fluffy, then beat in sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then add lemon juice and zest. Beat in yogurt. Mixture may curdle, but don’t worry–it will come together when the dry ingredients are added.

Add dry ingredients and mix gently just until blended.

Spoon into pan and place in oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until done. The cake will be golden brown on the outside and spring back when you lightly press the middle with your fingers.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Meanwhile, while the cake is baking, make the ginger-thyme syrup.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2″ piece of fresh, peeled ginger, sliced into coins
3 large sprigs of thyme

Combine all the ingredients in a heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring gently until the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat a little and cook until the syrup has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes total. Strain out the ginger and thyme and keep warm until the cake is out of the oven. I did this by leaving the pan on my stove top, which was warm from the oven below.

Remove cake from the oven, turn out onto a rack and let cool 5 minutes. Place on a serving plate and spoon some of the syrup over the cake, allowing it to soak in. You will most likely not use all of the syrup but it’s very nice to whisk a tablespoon or so into some heavy whipping cream to serve along side the cake. Or you can keep it in the refrigerator, where it will come in handy for cocktails.

* You can also use two smaller (8 x 4 x 2.5) loaf pans or a bundt pan. I used the large loaf pan and had a small amount of batter left over to make a small 6″ mini-cake. The smaller pans will take less time to bake–closer to 30 minutes.

(Images: Dana Velden)