Semolina Yogurt Cake

Semolina Yogurt Cake

This is the cake.  The “I don’t feel like pulling out my mixer” cake.  Or  the “I’m no good at baking” cake.  It’s even the “I just spent 24 hours on a plane and my brain is still at the beach” cake.  This yogurt cake made with semolina flour and flavored with a bit of lemon simple syrup is the solution to all manner of cake-baking problems.  It is a simple, one-bowl, foolproof cake recipe.

Despite my jet-lag and refusal to pull out my mixer, I wanted to bake this weekend.  I knew it would have to be something simple, so when I saw this semolina yogurt cake, I knew it was the one.  I mixed the ingredients, poured them in an 8×8 pan, slid it into the oven, and crossed my fingers.

What came out was a moist, almost creamy, cake that tasted bright and tangy like the yogurt that is the main ingredient.

Semolina Yogurt Cake

This is a cake I will absolutely make again.  It takes less than 15 minutes to make, and improves as it chills in the fridge for a day or two.  And that one-bowl thing?  Well, those are magic words to me now that I’m back in my dishwasher-less kitchen.

The recipe for this Semolina Yogurt Cake came from Easily Good Eats thanks to this month’s Secret Recipe Club.  It needed no dressing up, but would be great served with fresh berries or even a dollop of honey-sweetened yogurt on top.


Semolina Yogurt Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Made with yogurt and semolina flour, this one-bowl cake doesn't require a mixer and comes out moist, tangy, and delicious.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
  • Ingredients:
For the syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • juice from 1 lemon
For the cake:
  • 1 cup semolina
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ cup plain yogurt (preferably unsweetened low-fat or regular plain yogurt, although Greek yogurt will work)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8x8 glass baking dish with cooking spray or vegetable oil and line it with baking paper.
  2. To make the syrup, boil the water and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar completely dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside and let cool completely.
  3. To make the cake, in a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add yogurt and oil and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining ingredients all at once and stir very well until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated and the batter is smooth.
  4. Bake just until the center of the cake is set and the top turns golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
  5. Immediately pour the cold syrup evenly over the surface of the warm cake. Let the cake cool completely, or chill, before serving.


And just because I’m a sucker for pictures of towering slices of baked goods….

Semolina Yogurt Cake




    • says

      I’m definitely going to try some of your variations – the chocolate version with plums on top from your site looks incredible! Thanks so much for the great recipe – I will absolutely make it again.

    • says

      Angela, now pasta might need to be next on my list. I’ve always wanted to try making my own pasta with semolina flour, but haven’t been brave enough yet! This cake is a pretty good use for it in the meantime though. ;)

  1. says

    This looks amazing, Jess! There’s a Greek restaurant near me that brings out a slice of semolina cake at the end of every meal, and while it’s absolutely delicious, it’s also drenched in honey syrup (as is the case with most Greek desserts) and I find the delicate flavour of the semolina kind of gets drowned out by all that sweetness. I do love the nubbly texture the semolina adds, though.
    I’ve been meaning to track down a lighter, less sweet version I can make at home, and this totally sounds like it’s the one. I’m adding this to my must-try list right now!
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  2. says

    I am patently *not* a baker and I attempted this on a whim for Christmas 2013 and it was beyond my expectations! Absolutely perfect especially for those of us that don’t like super sweet things. Yum and thank you!


  3. Nimisha says

    I love this cake and have made it many times. One problem i face is it doesn’t get cooked in the middle ? The sides are yum though. Plz suggest.

    • says

      Nimisha – I’ve never had a problem with this cooking all the way through, but as you know, every pan/oven/kitchen is different. You might try covering it with foil during the last few minutes of baking and then extending the baking time for the whole cake. I’m not sure if that will solve the problem, but it will allow more heat to get to the middle of the dish without the edges and surface becoming too brown.

  4. Sandra bevan says

    I tryed this it looked lovely untill I poured all the liquid syrup ontop now it’s soggy sickoly and very sticky.Do we have to use all the syrup? I think next time I won’t use any at all.

    • says

      Hi Sandra – I always like the texture/taste with the syrup, but definitely skip it if the texture doesn’t suit you! The cake is definitely good either with or without the syrup.

  5. Georgia says

    I was really bored today and came across this recipe(I’ve never baked a cake before). It’s perfect and delicious. I can’t believe I’ve created such a thing so will defo be using again. Thank you :))

  6. Bert Fiveash says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe ~ have made it twice. Both times turned out a bit ‘slab’ ~ that is, didn’t quite have the crumb texture you show in your pictures, but nevertheless, a tasty cake. I truly dislike sickly sweet cakes, so being able to add the syrup to suit yourself is how I like to serve it up.

  7. Jina says

    This looks amazing. I have so much semolina flour and I can’t possibly make homemade pasta all the time! I wonder if these will make good muffins….

  8. Ami says

    I have done this cake so many times and it is delicious. I am planning to do it in a 23cm round pan, but I am afraid it won’t turn out as good as usual. Do you think it would be fine?

    • says

      Ami – sorry for the delay, but it will turn out great! I can say this for sure because I just made it over the weekend with strawberries in a round pan – planning to post it on the blog in the next few days. Hopefully you’ve already given it a shot, but I think you’ll like it this way.

  9. says

    I just made this cake last minute cos the boyfriend felt like something sweet. It literally took 5 minutes to put together and 20mins in my new oven and voila. Amazing. Light. Fluffy. The syrup was the perfect touch. Loved it and do did the boyfriend. Thanks for sharing.


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