Lime, olive oil and yoghurt cake

My mother in law Wendy has a prolific lime tree. She is also very sweet and generous. So when Mark comes home from his weekly visits to his mother’s, I invariably find a little gift from her on the kitchen bench – a bunch of fresh herbs from her garden, a tin full of home-baked muffins or half a dozen limes. I am ever so grateful for these gifts but I am never quite sure what to do with the limes, especially during colder weather. My go-to lime recipe is a white rum cocktail, but really, that is a summer drink and having regular mid-week Mojitos in winter is probably not very sensible. I use lemons every day (I add the zest to practically everything) but limes are a different story. They end up looking sad and yellow in the fruit bowl and I slice them open thinking they are actually lemons, but then I see the green flesh.    Luckily the tables have turned and I have found a new go-to recipe – a hand mixed lime and yoghurt olive oil cake.  I have avoided making cakes that required heavy equipment (like the food processor or stand mixer) in recent times because of my broken wrist (which is now thankfully out of plaster), so this cake is hand-mixed and without too many steps.  You need a total of four limes – two go in the cake and the juice of another two make the syrup that gets poured into the cake whilst it is still warm. So you get a sticky, sweet and zesty lime cake that is super moist thanks to the combination of olive oil and Greek yoghurt. I like to serve a slice with a big dollop of Greek yoghurt on the side, but it could go equally well with creme fraiche or indeed on its own.  And you know what? I now remind Mark to ask his mother if she can spare any limes….  

Lime, olive oil and yoghurt cake

Cake: 2 large eggs
2 limes, zest and juice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla essence
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup Greek yoghurt
1 and 1/2 cups caster sugar
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Syrup: 2 limes, juice only
6 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line and grease a 23cm (9inch) diameter cake tin with a removeable base. Place the eggs, juice, zest, vanilla essence and olive oil in a large bowl and give it a good whisk by hand. Next add the yoghurt, whisking to remove any lumps. Then add all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and sugar) and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon until the batter is homogeneous. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Make the syrup about 10 minutes before the cake is ready. Place the juice, sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 8 minutes or until it has reduced by almost half.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a baking tray. Pour the syrup onto the warm cake, making a couple of holes in the top of the cake with a skewre so the syrup soaks in. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan. Serve at room temperature with creme fraiche, Greek yoghurt or on its own. I keep the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


31 comments on “Lime, olive oil and yoghurt cake

  1. Beautiful post, and great-looking recipe! I am here looking up the fabulous almond cake recipe!
    I love lime syrupy recipes and will try this…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Delicious sounding cake Paola. I have a go-to citrus syrup cake too, gluten free with polenta and almond meal. Yesterday I made it with lime, but It’s good with blood orange, and lemon too


    • that sounds delightful – I love a cake made with polenta – gives it great texture – and love how you can change the citrus fruit you use and make a totally different cake


  3. Recently discovered your blog via Italy Magazine. This sure sounds like a lovely recipe. I love making yoghurt and there’s always olive oil at home. If I happen to come across some limes, would love to try and make this.


  4. This looks totally gorgeous! The only yogurt cake I have made before is a lemon yogurt one which is so moist and packed with flavour, so I bet this version using olive oil and a lime syrup would be even better! Definitely saving for an easy but stunning weekend cake 🙂


  5. Just printed this out – I think you just gave me my birthday cake! I had been searching for something with almonds or almond paste, but this really hits the citrus spot for me. Thanks, Paola!


    • Well, I couldn’t wait till my birthday (only a week away) and made this yesterday – it is really wonderful and so bursting with lime! I love it, and so did all my guests. It’s also one of the easiest cakes – thanks for the recipe!


      • I am so glad it worked out well for you David – and simplicity is definitely bast in cooking. Enjoy your birthday and your second round of making this cake


  6. Such a beautiful cake Paola, lime provides such a beautiful aroma and zing. My go to recipe is normally a squeeze of lime in a frangelico, over ice – but that is more of a summer thing for me too. Beautiful images as always xxx


  7. I’m a friend of Claire’s and a hopeless cook. I needed a foolproof cake recipe and she pointed me in this direction… I made this cake yesterday, it went really well. It took 15 minutes longer than the recipe to cook properly in the oven, and it took 10 minutes longer to get the syrup right, but that always seems to happen to me. My family went back for seconds today. Thank you for sharing this!


  8. Just made…. so quick and easy and absolutely divine!!! Thanks italyonmymind… another foolproof perfect cake…. sure to become a favourite… (along with your Sicilian apple cake which is my favourite favourite!!! ) : )


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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