Sunday 25 February 2007

Low-Fat Orange Yogurt Cake

I am always skeptical when it comes to low-fat desserts and bakes. I really doubt they will taste as good. However, after the feasting and binging on Chinese New Year food and goodies, it's time that I try making something that's low-fat. Earlier this week, I made curry chicken with low-fat milk, after hearing good reviews from my friend. Indeed, the curry tasted as good, except that I missed the sweet aroma from the coconut milk.

I made a "loaf" of low-fat orange cake last night. I adapted a Cranberry Pecan Cake recipe from Alice Medrich's Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts. As I just needed a simple cake, I omitted the cranberry and pecan, as well as the frosting. I used a wooden spoon instead of an electric mixer as I was too lazy to do the cleaning up. Although, on hind sight, I should have use a manual whisk instead. I think it would be easier to whisk the butter and sugar with it as it took me a quite a while to cream the butter mixture till pale & fluffy with the wooden spoon :(

The cake is meant to be baked in an 8-cup tube pan, since I don't have such kind of pan, I used a disposable foil loaf pan. Fortunately, the cake turned out to be very soft and light, unlike those moist and dense pound cake or butter cake. I believe the use of cake flour and yogurt helps to give the cake such a soft texture. This is meant to be a low-fat cake, but I think the sugar ought to be reduced further by at least 20 to 30%, I still find it a tad too sweet for me!


250g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
70g butter, soften at room temperature
zest of 1 orange
180g sugar (original recipe calls for 200g of sugar)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoon orange juice


  1. Preheat oven at 180 degC. Grease or line a 8" by 4" loaf pan.

  2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a bowl, mix together yogurt, vanilla essence and orange juice.

  4. With an electric mixer, beat butter and orange zest for 1 min. Add in sugar and beat on high speed for about 3 mins.

  5. Add in eggs gradually, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beat constantly for about 2 mins.

  6. On low speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture. On medium-high speed, beat in 1/2 of the yogurt mixture. On low speed, beat in half of the remaining flour mixture. On high speed, beat in the remaining yogurt mixture. On low speed, beat in the rest of the flour mixture.

  7. Scrape into prepared pan and bake for 45 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.


Anne said...

I'm a big fan of Alice Medrich recipes. Your orange cake looks tempting :)

Happy Homebaker said...

I read your posts on low-fat bakes and was lucky to get hold of Alice Medrich's book from the library :)

btw, I also manage to borrow Tish Boyle's My Cake Book, thanks for the recommendation. I have no luck with Dorie Greenspan's book though.

Unknown said...

Hi, thanks for visiting my site. This low fat yogurt cake looks really yummy. Looks like it can be tweaked to give different combination flavors. =)

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Jacelyn, thanks for dropping by :)
Yes, I think you can add in whatever berries/fruits of your liking. Do let me know if you come out with your own version. ;)

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm a citrus fan, I love baking but I'm on a diet right now - this cake is perfect for me.

It looks great!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Patricia,
Thanks for dropping by :)
Do try out this cake...besides oranges, I am sure you can tweak it to a lemon or lime version!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this recipe! I converted to US measurements, made it dairy-free and added chocolate chips. It turned out really yummy.

Here are the conversions & modifications:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 salt
1/3 cup margarine
1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup orange flavor soy yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange juice
Preheat oven at 350F

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! I am so glad to hear that you find this cake yummy :)

Anonymous said...

I played with this recipe with sensational results:

250 g wholemeal plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
70 g butter or margarine, melted
Rind and juice of 1 lemon
150 g sugar
2 eggs
1 cup low fat passionfruit or apricot yoghurt
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 tbsp imitation vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 175º C (fan forced). Grease and flour 2 small (17.0 cm x 7.5 cm bottom measurement) loaf pans, or spray and line tins with baking paper.
In a bowl, beat together melted butter, yoghurt, sugar, juice, rind vanilla essence and eggs.
Stir in chopped dried fruit.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda onto the wet ingredients and fold in till well combined. Do not over mix.
Scrape into prepared pans and bake on the centre shelf of oven for about 35’ or until cakes pull away from edges of pan and a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
If tops of cakes darken too much before they are cooked, cover with a sheet of baking paper.
Leave to stand in tins for 5’ before turning out onto a cake rack to cool completely.

Some variations (endless possibilities):
Orange juice and rind, strawberry yoghurt and dried strawberries
Cranberry juice, vanilla yoghurt and dried cranberries
Prune juice, vanilla yoghurt and chopped prunes
Orange juice/no rind, vanilla yoghurt, currants and 1 tsp cinnamon
Lemon juice/no rind, blueberry yoghurt and dried blueberries
Fruit medley instead of apricots

You can use one 20 cm x 10 cm loaf pan and increase the baking time to 45’. In this case, you will definitely need to cover the top for a while before the cake is cooked.

Fat content:
9 g /100 g or 9%

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, thanks so much for sharing your recipe! I will love to try the various combinations!

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks for sharing this lovely and fool-proof recipe with us. I baked the loaf this afternoon with lemon instead of orange and some nuts thrown in.. absolutely delicious. I couldn't get the fluffy n creamy texture with butter n sugar even though I used an electric whisk. But that part didn't let me down. I would bake this again with a flavoured yogurt.

Anonymous said...

HI Happyhomebaking

i have actually decided to bake the french yougurt cake then i saw this recipe and now i have changed my mind...mainly because the yogurt i have is non fat so i think it is more suitable for this recipe. anyway, can i check with you whether it is okay to bake this in cupcake form? also, is it alright to add some dried cranberries?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Octopusmum, I don't see any problem baking this in cupcake form, and yes, u can add in dried cranberries...just make sure you mix the dried cranberries with some flour (maybe 1 tbs) so that they are coated with flour...this way, they will not tend to sink into the bottom of the cupcakes.
btw, I made a mango version of this cake last week.
Happy Baking :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Happy Home baking
thks for your advice. the reason why i want to make it into cupcakes is to cut down the baking time. juz to share, i baked a durian cake last friday, started at around 10pm and by the time, i waited for the cake to cool down so that i can store it properly, it was 2.30am!
wow, mango cake sounds delicious and my kids love mango...will u be sharing the recipe or pics? look forward to that...
btw, what is the difference in taste and texture between this yoghurt cake and the french yoghurt cake?
tks much

Anonymous said...

Hi Happy Homebaker, I like your blog a lot.

May I know 1 cup of yogurt is referring to a normal cup (250ml) or a the standard small cup of yogurt (around 135g~150g)?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Octopusmum, sorry I didn't get to reply your question until now! I must have missed your comment. Personally I find the texture of the french version slightly more dense than this one.

Let's masak, it refers to 250ml, so you will need at least 2 cups(or slightly more) if you are using those that has a net weight of 150g.

Anonymous said...

Hi Happy Homebaker,

Thanks for your reply. I couldn't wait to try this cake. So before reading your reply, I have tried to bake this cake. Here is my version

I used only one small cup of yougrt (135g) and there were some hiccups. However, the cake still turned out well. I liked it a lot.

Thanks for sharing :)

Btw, I intend to use this recipe and make it into bananas cake. Do you have any idea that if I shall adjust the amount of the ingredients? Thanks.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Angelaphua,

Great to read that your cake turns out well...indeed your cupcake version looks lovely :)
I am not sure how to adjust the amount...maybe u can just add in the bananas using the same amount of ingredients, or u can stick to your 1 small cup yoghurt version, since it works well?

Anonymous said...

Hi happy homebsaker,

Thanks for your suggestion.

I find that my version is a bit dry if eating the next day, I hope ot can be a bit more moist. I believe the amt of yogurt and type of flour used do play a part.

I am sure I want to try using cake flour to bake again.

I am just wondering can I just add 2 small tubs of yogurt (135~150g/tub) coz I find it quite troublesoom to measure. :D What do you think?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Angelaphua, 2 tubs of yogurt (150g) is slightly less than 1 cup (250ml). I would advise that you measure it for the first time, so subsequently, if you find it troublesome, you can at least estimate the amount. In fact, I would advise measuring all ingredients as accurately as possible to ensure better results.

Anonymous said...

Hi happyhomebaker,

I tried to bake this cake again using cake flour. The cake is soft and tastes good!!

Here is my attempt

Thanks again for sharing this recipe.


Anonymous said...

Hi..just to check..for cakes/muffins where u used yoghurt - how long can they be kept at room temperature ? my family is small and we usually can't finish the cakes in a day ..

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Anonymous, I usually leave this kind of cakes/muffins (with no frosting) at room temperature for at most 2 days.

clarii said...

tried baking this cake last night. Not v successful. cos 1) too tangy n dry. 2) the texture dense towards bottom of cake. Over mixed? Can u advise what could hv caused this? TIA.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Clarii, I am sorry as I'm not sure what went wrong? There are many possibilities affecting the outcome of a cake. It could be due to the measurements of the ingredients, it could be due to the mixing, and it is also likely due to the baking may have underbake it or the oven was not preheated to the right temperature?

shYan said...

Thank you thank you for a wonderful recipe. It's very yummy.

Michele said...

HI HBB, may I check for the butter used in this cake, is it salted or unsalted butter?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Michele, I used satled butter for this cake.

chicchicbaby said...

Hello!! I made this cake yesterday and it was wonderfully moist and fragrant. I'm surprise with only 70g butter, the cake turns out so 'rich'. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Quinn said...

Made this one year back and couldn't believe it took me so long to actually blog about this and share it with even more people!

I did credit your post just don't know why it didn't show up on your page here :)

Thanks a lot HHB!

Anonymous said...


I tried this cake Sat night. I used round cake pan (bcoz no loaf pan) and salted butter.

Why is it the cake is kind of DRY ? I baked for 45 mins at 180 C with Elba oven. Is is bcoz my oven temperature ?

This cake suppose to be moist and soft.

The top have a big crack ?

Please let me know why the cake is dry.

Thank you.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, I am not sure what went wrong, but it seems like you may have over-baked the cake? Maybe your oven is on the 'hot' side? or the pan you used is those grease-proof type which tend to absorb heat faster?
You may want to take a look at this site to see whether you can find the possible causes:
1. Peaked, cracked tops:
(, cracked tops)
2. Dry cake:
( cake, tough crust)
Hope this helps :)

Anonymous said...

The oven used is Elba Electric Oven Model : EO3585. I baked for only 45 mins. Pre-heated at 180 C for 10 mins. The round pan used is Stainless Steel type (I think it tend to absord heat faster).

I used flavour type of Yogurt, "Marigold" Strawberry, Peach, Mixed Fruits. Used 4 container of different flvaours (wrongly bought diff. flav.) yougurt which I measured equivalent to 2 cups.

The recipe I made it double (increased twice all ingredients) BUT the sugar I only use 200 GM instead of 360 GM. I always make my cake less sugar for people to eat. It's bcoz people are now health conscious and worry about too sweet.

Everyone think this cake is delicious. My mother think it is dry. I didn't taste it but noticed the look is dry.

Thank you so much for the websites. By the way, I noticed all your recipes displayed here are very well-presented.

Had tried your Raisins & Chocolate Chips Muffins, it was very yummy, kids loved it.

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, thanks for providing the details on how you went about making the cake. It seems like you may have reduced the sugar too much. When used in baking, besides acting as a sweetener, sugar has other roles. The amount of sugar affects the volume of the cake and tenderness of the crumb. Sugar also helps to retain moisture in baking. You may want to read more about it here: (
Hope this helps and I am glad to hear that your kids enjoyed the muffins :D

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

You've mentioned you baked a mango verison of this cake. I was wondering what kind of adjustment did you make to the recipe to make the mango yogurt cake? Thank you in advance for your help!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, for the mango version, I used lemon zest instead of orange; replaced the orange juice with mango juice, and used mango-flavoured non-fat yoghurt. Hope this helps.

Miss*sunshine said...

I entered the recipe into my weight watchers tracker and the whole cake is worth 42.5 points. If there are 16 slices then each piece would be worth 2.5 points!

Love the site btw x

Anonymous said...

I have tried baking the cake last night. It's yummy...the cake is soft. Thanks for sharing the receipe...I got a few questions for you...
1. Notice the cake do not rise very much like the chiffon cake- Is this correct...
2. when just out from the oven the top layer is kind of "crispy" is it due to oven temperature. Also the cake no doubt soft, I find that it is quite dry. I use 170 dgrees instead and bake for 50 mins.
Appreciate your kind advise and looking forward to hear from you.
Possible to have your email address?
Thanks :)

Happy Homebaker said...

1. The texture of this cake is different from chiffon. Chiffon cakes are very soft and airy. Whereas this type made by creaming method (almost like pound cake) will yield a dense crumb.
2. The crispy crust could be due to the oven temperature it could be too hot? I suspect you may have over bake the cake so it came out a bit dry. Do you use an oven theremometer to check the temperature?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply. I will try again. This receipe is a keeper.
Cheers! :)

kzi said...

hi,, thanks for the recipe..
i will bake it soon..

Anonymous said...

great cake
was looking for a low fat orange cake since a long time n finally found this one n tried it a few days back and it turned out amazing .thnk u for this wonderful orange cake recipe.but please do u have any almond cake recipe because have been asked to bake one for a birthday but can't find any good recipes?

aishahias said...

I love this cake. However, I dont think mine is a low-fat version since I just used whatever I have on hand. I wanted to finish whatever I have left in the fridge, so, I used 1/2 cup of light sour cream and 1/2 cup of thickened cream with some lemon juice in place of the low fat yogurt. And I reduced the sugar to 150g (100g caster sugar and 50g brown sugar). Another change I made was, I substituted the cake flour with plain flour and cornstarch.

Thanks for the recipe. Will be making this cake again. :)

Anonymous said...

finally an easy n low fat orange cake recipe.thank you for sharng this recioe but i would like to know
i have an 10 inch round cake pan and could i double the recipe to make one big cake?

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, I have not tried making it into a big cake, but you can try double the recipe, hope it turns out well.

joyful said...

hello happy homebaker :D
i've been wanting to try this recipe for a while now and i bought a 1L tub of low fat plain yoghurt a couple weeks back but i kept procrastinating! finally got down to baking this today and it turned out really well :) shared with some friends and they liked it too. since i wanted to use up my yoghurt, i also baked the coffee walnut crumble yoghurt cake again today since it was such a hit the last time i made it. i really like your blog and it's inspiring me to bake lots more :) thanks for sharing all the recipes and pictures!

Happy Homebaker said...

hi joyful, I am glad to hear that you have great success in baking this cake! Your lovely comment and encouragement keeps me makes me feel that my effort to put up the instructions and sharing my baking experience is really worth it :)

Anonymous said...

1 cup of plain yogurt is how many grams?

Anonymous said...

Hello! I just made a loaf of this bread, using lemons (I didn't have an orange on hand >.<) and substituting oil for the butter, and it's such a lovely, fragrant cake! Thank you so much for the inspiration and beautiful pictures, as always :)

Happy Homebaker said...

hi connmiel, glad to hear that your lemon cake turn out great :) Your blog is gorgeous!

ValD said...

Hi dear, I just wanted to let you know that I baked this lovely cake for a charity bazaar on Sunday and it sold like HOT CAKES!!! LOL! Thank you so much for sharing this. My kids and I love cakes with a citrusy twist. I must share my Lemon Coconut Cake recipe with you! Best Regards, Val

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, great to hear that you have a successful charity bake sale :)

Anonymous said...

can i omitted baking soda?
i not use to buy baking soda due to i not too sure what is the main use of baking soda :p

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, if you omit the baking soda, it will affect the texture of the cake, it will not rise as well.

Jeszica said...

Can I check the batter should be very smooth or not too over mixed with the electric mixer? I tried yday n the sides of the cake slight burnt n texture is kueh like. I am new to baking. Thx! Jesz

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Sum Seng Gao, the batter shouldnt be over mixed. Stop mixing once the flour 'disappears'/fully incorporated into the batter. The sides is burnt could be due to your oven temperature, or the type of baking pan u used, did u used those black, non stick pan? it tends to absorb more heat and may coz the sides to get burnt before the centre is cooked. The texture shouldn't be kueh like, it's closer to a pound cake/butter cake.

Jeszica said...

Thx!! I know the prob lies with the over mixing n black non stick pan then. Will try again soon :)


Fi Fi said...

Hi Dear,
I baked this cake today (after making the Mango Yogurt Pudding), my texture was soft but dry; guess I could hv over mixed the flour. As I add in the flour, I used a spatula to fold in before I beat with the electric mixer to prevent the flour flying all over the place. Will it cause over mixed?
And I used a non-stick pan, baked at 40mins, as a result, my cake burnt at all sides. I had to scaped and trimmed off the sides like those burnt bread.. :(. Despite this, the cake still taste good.....

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Fi Fi, I don't think it is the problem of over mixing. I suspect your oven temp is too high. Do you use an oven thermometer? if not I recommend that you get an oven thermometer to make sure the temp is accurate. and since you use a non-stick pan, it absorbs heat faster, causing the sides to burnt before the centre is cooked. You may want to lower the temp or shorten the baking time.

Anonymous said...

Ur step 6 didn't state how many mins for each item.
How many grams are there in one cup of yogurt?

My cake turned out to be somewhat 'wet n uncooked' inside. Just like kueh kueh texture! :(
What could have gone wrong? I followed your receipe closely.


Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, Sorry to hear that this recipe didn't work for you. I used 1 cup which is 240ml of yoghurt. As for the mixing in Step 6, each time after adding the flour/yoghurt mix until the flour/yoghurt just incorporated into the batter. It should take about 30seconds each time. Maybe your cake was under baked as the centre was not could be due to the oven temperature or the oven was not preheated to the right temperature before you put in the cake.

Anonymous said...

Wat shld the right temp be for preheat? 180?
That's wat I did for step 6.
Actually the cake tasted good just the texture is not like sponge cake. The cake is cooked just that the texture is not right. :(

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, yes, preheat it to 180degC. Every oven works differently, so u need to find out how your oven works. For most oven, it will take about 15 to 20mins to preheat. Best is to use an oven thermometer to check, and do not open the oven door unnecessary during baking as the temperature will drop once u open it and will take another few mins to return back to the required temperature.
This cake should not be dense as kueh, it should be lighter than pound cake but not as light and airy as sponge cake.

Anonymous said...

I supposed I can be called your "secret admirer"! :) tried a couple of your bakes and they were great! This time, I used this recipe and replace the orange with yuzu. Yuzu zest, and yuzu juice (fruit tree), and reduced sugar to 160gm. And the result is amazing! Thank you!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi, thank you very much for your kind comments :):)