Yiaourtopita: A Greek Yogurt Cake

Contains:  Dairy, gluten (wheat), alcohol, added sugar.  Is:  Vegetarian, tree-nut free, one of my rare dessert endeavors.

Greek yogurt cake, Greek, yogurt, recipe, dessert, nut-free, orange peel, lemon peel

About time I posted another dessert, and to go with my year-long Greek (and longer) craze, I present, Yiaourtopita.  I will be posting a second Greek dessert, specifically a recipe for Christmas cookies, about mid-December.  NO, you will NEVER see a baklava recipe on this blog – it is super sweet and the nut to food ratio is against my grain.  Even if they might be made from  nuts I can eat.  

But here is the recipe for this Greek dessert.  


Greek yogurt cake, Greek, yogurt, recipe, dessert, nut-free, orange peel, lemon peel, yiaourtopita

The dough, ready to put in the oven.

But at any rate, since some of the readership really enjoys desserts – here is one I can stand behind!  I used less syrup than the source recipe – because again, I’m not a true sweet-tooth.  

Greek yogurt cake, Greek, yogurt, recipe, dessert, nut-free, orange peel, lemon peel, yiaourtopita

Mother’s old mixer, which I think dates from the late 60s. I found out while cooking this (blending sugar, butter, yogurt, zests…) this still works! Yay!

I will note, however, that I had ill luck with the meringue – I didn’t recall where I found the ancient maternal mixer until I’d already tried it with the immersion blender.  (Fortunately I found it prior to the sugar/butter step.)  My estimate is this would have been fluffier with a true meringue, although I enjoyed the fluffiness and moisture of this, anyway.  

yogurt cake done whole

The original source says to use real whole milk quality Greek yogurt – helps with the texture of the final dish.  I’m down with that!  (I used Fage Yogurt, my favorite of the easily accessible – here – brands.)  

I baked this in a quiche pan.  I seem to have ditched any cake pans I might have had when I moved to Massachusetts.  Again – I am a savory human, not a sweet one.  Or as some might say – sour as vinegar?  (They could be mistaken…) At any rate, if you don’t have cake tins… quiche pans work fine.  

That syrup topping is optional.  But having fruit to top this with is excellent.  I went with orange segments from the one I’d zested.

Prep Time:  Syrup: 10 minutes.  Cake:  40 minutes. 
Cook Time:  50-60 minutes.
Rest Time:  Serve room temperature.
Cuisine:  Greek.
Serves: 8.
Leftovers:  Yes.  And, I am experimenting with freezing; will update.


Yiaourtopita:  A Greek Yogurt Cake

For the Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1  cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cognac
  • 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Mix all the above into a pot.  Bring to a boil, and allow to continue boiling for 3 minutes at the maximum.  Make certain the sugar is dissolved, and that this syrup is a little thicker.   Allow to cool.  You can prepare this before or after making the cake proper.

For the Yogurt Cake

  • 1 cup plus 1/8 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2.25 cup self rising flour
  • 1 cup quality Greek yogurt, whole milk style
  • 5 eggs (separated into yolks and whites)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

For the cake, divide the eggs into yolks and whites.

Place the egg whites in the mixer’s bowl, along with a pinch of salt. Make sure your egg whites, bowl and whisk attachments are clean and free of any water. Whisk the egg whites until the mixture is very thick and glossy and a long trailing peak forms when the whisk is lifted, as with meringue. Set aside.

In a second bowl, add flour and baking powder.  Blend.

With a mixer, blend the room temperature butter and sugar in a third (large!) bowl, for about 15 minutes, until the butter is creamy and fluffy. 

To this third bowl, add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing each in thoroughly before adding the next. 

To this sugar/butter/egg mixture, add the yogurt, vanilla, and both zests.  Continue to blend. 

Pre-heat your oven to 375 F / 190 C.  

Once that is blended, add 1/3 of the flour / baking powder mixture and blend, using a spatula or a large serving-sized spoon. Add 1/3 of the meringue and gently blend with light circular movements from the bottom up, so as not to deflate the meringue. Repeat this process twice more, using up all the flour and meringue.  

Add this completed mixture, ideally into a round buttered cake pan.  

Place the cake in said preheated oven, lower or middle rack, close, then immediately turn the heat down to 350 F / 175 C and bake for 50-60 minutes, until nicely browned.  Check that it is done, inserting a toothpick or thin wooden skewer.   If it comes out clean, then the cake is ready.  (Mine was ready at 50 minutes, but all ovens have some temperature differences.  I also had to use a quiche/pie pan, as apparently I’d discarded my cake pans prior to moving here – I believe they were terminally scratched up, which is normally fine, but those were Teflon-coated.)

When the cake is completely cooked, but still hot, ladle the syrup over the cake.  Allow each ladle to be absorbed by the cake, before doing more.  (I did not use the entire batch of syrup.)  You will have to ladle slowly as the syrup has a tendency to run off before being absorbed.   

Serve cold, or at room temperature.  Add or top with fresh fruit and/or Greek yogurt, as you desire. 

This was meant to be served at a gathering of 5-6 of us at my house. Alas, I canceled by agreement with all, due to new COVID restrictions and the increasing incidence of the disease – planned attendees were to be from both here in Massachusetts and over the border in Connecticut.  New restrictions are out – so, we did this gathering on Zoom, which means that I have a LOT of extra cake here.  So:  I am experimenting with freezing most of this cake.  I’ll update down the road one way or the other about how well this freezes.  

Yiaourtopita, Greek, yogurt, cake, recipe, dessert, orange zest, lemon zest

This recipe is shared with:  



About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
This entry was posted in Baked Goods, Cooking and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Yiaourtopita: A Greek Yogurt Cake

  1. Jhuls says:

    This sounds like a perfect cake to pair with a cup of tea. It sounds delish! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday party!

  2. Irene says:

    Looks so moist and sounds delicious!

  3. Beautiful cake! It looks so moist! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party! Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you this Sunday at the party.

  4. miakouppa says:

    Looks and sounds just fantastic!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s