Soft and Easy Lemon Cake Recipe (No Milk No Butter)

Soft, fluffy, and bursting with citrusy delight, the lemon cake is a perennial favorite for dessert lovers!

However, this recipe introduces a delightful twist – a Soft Lemon Cake that’s both butter-free and milk-free, making it a perfect choice for those looking for a lighter option without compromising on taste.

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My recipe swaps traditional butter and milk with plain white yogurt and sunflower oil, ingredients that not only make the cake moister and fluffier but also add a subtle richness that complements the lemon’s zesty flavor.

The star of this cake, of course, is the lemon. Its bright, citrusy notes are the heart of this recipe, providing a refreshing zestiness that balances the sweetness perfectly. To maximize the lemon flavor, I use both the zest and the juice of fresh lemons.

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Serve it at a family gathering or for a special weekend treat or just indulge in a slice with your afternoon tea!

Discover how simple ingredients like yogurt and sunflower oil can transform a classic lemon cake into a moist, flavorful, and soft treat!

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Ingredients

Doses for 20 cm (8 inch) non-stick springform pan with removable bottom

  • Prep Time: 10 Min
  • Cook Time: 45 Min
  • Servings: 6

  • 4 eggs
  • 180 g (7/8 cup) of granulated sugar
  • 100 ml (2/5 cup) of sunflower oil
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) of white yogurt
  • the zest of 1 organic lemon + its juice
  • 140 g (1 cup) of “00” flour
  • 100 g (~3/4 cup) of cornstarch
  • 16 g (~3 1/3 teaspoons) of baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • powdered sugar for decoration

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

To make this lemon cake, here are some essential kitchen tools you might need:

  • Mixing Bowls: Used for combining your cake ingredients. Ideally, have a few of different sizes for separate components like dry ingredients, wet ingredients, and lemon zest.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Precision is key in baking. These will help you accurately measure your flour, sugar, lemon juice, and other ingredients.
  • Hand Mixer or Electric Mixer: Essential for creaming together butter and sugar, and for ensuring your mixture is smooth and well-combined. I used KitchenAid Stand Mixer
  • Zester or Grater: Since lemon zest is a crucial flavor component in lemon cake, a zester or fine grater is needed to zest the lemons without getting the bitter pith.
  • Cake Pan: The type depends on your recipe (round, loaf, or bundt), but you’ll need a cake pan to bake your lemon cake. I used a 20 cm (8 inch) round non-stick springform pan with removable bottom. Don’t forget to grease it or line it with parchment paper for easy removal of the cake after baking.

Quick and Soft Lemon Cake Recipe: Instructions

The Mixture

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Step 1) – To make the lemon cake – super soft and super quick to make – mix 4 eggs with 180 g (7-8 cup) of granulated sugar into a bowl. Possibly use an electric mixer to get a light and fluffy mixture.

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Step 2) – Then add the zest of 1 organic lemon and 125 g (1/2 cup) of plain white yogurt. Stir to combine all of the ingredients.

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Step 3) – Add 100 ml (2/5 cup) of sunflower oil and stir to incorporate. Squeeze a lemon and add its juice. Strain it through a sieve if necessary. Finally add a pinch of salt.

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Step 4) – In a separate bowl, mix 140 g (1 cup) of “00” flour with 100 g (~3/4 cup) of cornstarch and 16 g (~3 1/3 teaspoons) of baking powder (dry ingredients). Sift through a sieve. Then gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixture.

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Step 5) – Beating with a whisk to incorporate all the flours. Then pour the mixture into a buttered and floured 8 inch (20 cm) cake pan.

The Baking

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Step 6) – Bake in a preheated static oven at 170°C (340°F) for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving, dusting with powdered sugar to taste. Your soft, quick-to-make lemon cake is ready! Enjoy!

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YOU MUST ALSO TRY:

Storage

Before storing, make sure the cake is completely cool. Storing it while it’s still warm can lead to moisture buildup, which can make it soggy.

If you plan to eat the cake within the next few days, you can store it at room temperature under a cake dome or well covered with plastic wrap.

Freezing

For long-term storage, you can freeze the lemon cake. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, possibly already portioned. It can typically last in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw it at room temperature when ready to eat.

Dust with powdered sugar again before serving.

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Lemon Cake: Some Variations

Lemon Glaze: When cold, remove the lemon cake from the pan. Put the 125 g (~1 cup) icing sugar in a bowl, strain 1 lemon juice through a sieve and pour over the powdered sugar. Add a little at a time, mixing with a fork until the sugar dissolves. Pour the lemon glaze over the cake and let it cool (it will take a few minutes). Then serve the glazed lemon cake.

Lemon Cream: You can fill your lemon cake with delicious lemon cream. Simply beat 2 egg yolks with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Add 4 tablespoons of potato starch and mix. Then add 250 ml (1 cup) of whole fresh milk. Mix well to combine. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and add the peel of 1 lemon. Cook the lemon cream over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. When the cream begins to thicken, remove the peel and add the juice of 1 strained lemon. The lemon cream is ready! Allow the lemon cake to cool and cut in half horizontally. Fill with lemon cream and serve. For more information about this cream read: Italian Lemon Cream Recipe.

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Lemon Cake Recipe
Soft, fluffy, and bursting with citrusy delight, the lemon cake is a perennial favorite for dessert lovers!
However, this recipe introduces a delightful twist – a Soft Lemon Cake that’s both butter-free and milk-free, making it a perfect choice for those looking for a lighter option without compromising on taste.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian lemon cake, lemon cake, lemon cake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 461kcal
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 180 g granulated sugar ⅞ cup
  • 100 ml sunflower oil ⅖ cup
  • 125 g yogurt ½ cup, white
  • 1 lemon the zest + its juice, organic
  • 140 g flour 1 cup, “00”
  • 100 g cornstarch ~¾ cup
  • 16 g baking powder ~3 ⅓ teaspoons of
  • 1 pinch salt
  • powdered sugar for decoration
Instructions
The Mixture
  • Mix 4 eggs with 180 g (7-8 cup) of granulated sugar into a bowl. Possibly use an electric mixer to get a light and fluffy mixture.
  • Add the zest of 1 organic lemon and 125 g (1/2 cup) of plain white yogurt. Stir to combine all of the ingredients.
  • Add 100 ml (2/5 cup) of sunflower oil and stir to incorporate. Squeeze a lemon and add its juice. Strain it through a sieve if necessary. Finally add a pinch of salt.
  • In a separate bowl, mix 140 g (1 cup) of "00" flour with 100 g (~3/4 cup) of cornstarch and 16 g (~3 1/3 teaspoons) of baking powder (dry ingredients). Sift through a sieve. Then gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixture.
  • Beating with a whisk to incorporate all the flours. Then pour the mixture into a buttered and floured 8 inch (20 cm) cake pan.
The Baking
  • Bake in a preheated static oven at 170°C (340°F) for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving, dusting with powdered sugar to taste.
Nutrition
Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 183IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 2mg
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