Friday, June 20

An Easy Orange Yogurt Loaf Cake Recipe in the Kitchen and Strawberries in the Garden

Easy orange yogurt loaf cake recipe -
A simple, not overly sweet orange loaf cake that tastes great with strawberries and stays moist for several days.

Last year I filled one of the 4' x 8' raised beds in my kitchen garden with 30 Cavendish strawberry plants, and after diligently snipping off every blossom and runner that appeared during the summer (because no berries the first year means bigger and healthier plants the next), nestling the plants under a protective bed of hay in fall, dreaming of glistening strawberries throughout the winter, and happily monitoring the flourishing plants come spring, I was finally rewarded with a juicy and jewel-like harvest that began the end of May.

I savored the first strawberries of the season while standing in the garden, and it doesn't get much better than that—unless you happen to have a nice orange yogurt cake, some freshly whipped cream, or a scoop of French vanilla ice cream (or all three!) handy.

A slice of this moist, not overly sweet cake is delicious by itself, but it goes particularly well with strawberries, and it also tastes divine with blueberries.

Sadly, most strawberries today don't even taste like strawberries. They've been manipulated and modified to look big and pretty and travel well, with flavor barely a consideration.

In order to find a good strawberry you must look to your own or a generous friend's garden, a small U-Pick farm, or a farmers' market. And organically grown is a must.

Commercially grown strawberries are #2 on the Environmental Working Groups list of most contaminated produce (apples are #1), and years ago I read that in one laboratory test a single commercially cultivated strawberry was found to contain residue from 22 different toxic chemicals. That's so sad it doesn't even seem possible.

Oranges are #31 on EWG's list, and since the skin of citrus fruits often contains lots of toxic chemical residues, it's best to seek out organic fruits when using the zest in recipes.

Easy orange yogurt loaf cake -
Freshly picked strawberries with a side of homemade cake for breakfast.

Susan's Easy Orange Yogurt Cake
Makes one 9"x5" or 10"x5" loaf — inspired by this recipe on Pinch My Salt

**Click here to print this recipe**

This is the kind of simple recipe I love to have in my collection. It mixes up quickly, can be eaten plain or gussied up, and stays moist for several days. Like most baked goods it also freezes beautifully—and can be easily sliced when frozen. It tastes even better the second day.

One of the nicest things about cake recipes is that there are basically an endless number of them; change one or two things and you'll often end up with an entirely different dessert. You could certainly make a lemon version of this, and I'm thinking about a combination of lemon and lime, or maybe even lemon, lime, and orange. A Meyer lemon yogurt cake would probably be delightful.

As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference.

Good baking pans make all the difference. I love my Chicago Metallic 10-inch commercial loaf pans and my heavy gauge 9"x5" USA Pan. Both pans are also great for baking sandwich breads, such as my popular Farmhouse White.

3/4 cup (1½ sticks/6 ounces) organic butter, softened
1¼ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup organic orange juice
2 Tablespoons finely chopped or grated organic orange zest
(I use a vegetable peeler & a sharp knife)
2 cups organic all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
(make sure it's fresh!)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional syrup:
1/3 cup organic orange juice (strained if freshly squeezed)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer (I use a hand held mixer) to cream until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Add the eggs, vanilla, yogurt, orange juice, and orange zest and beat 1 minute.

4. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well.

5. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9"x5" or 10"x5" loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Ovens vary, so start checking for doneness after about 45 minutes. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes and then carefully remove it from the pan.

6. If desired, combine the orange juice and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves, then spoon or brush it over the cake. Slice and serve, preferably the next day if you can wait that long, plain or piled high with fresh strawberries and whipped cream and/or ice cream. This cake will keep at room temperature for 3 days or can be frozen.

Related Strawberry Posts:
Growing and Enjoying Strawberries
5/21/06: A Beautiful Breakfast!
5/27/06: The Turtles vs. Me, Cary, and Bear
10/28/07: Growing Strawberries & Preparing Your Bed for Winter
Garden Journal 5/28/08: Successfully Growing Strawberries!

More Farmgirl Fare cake and quick bread recipes:
100% Whole Wheat Coconut Zucchini Bread
Heavenly Lemon Coconut Quick Bread
Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread
Quick Chocolate Emergency Loaf Cake

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet & savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index. Enjoy!

©, the sweet and juicy foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, & photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and every freshly picked berry is a cause for celebration (and cake).


  1. I just finished dealing with about 12 pounds of strawberries, and I realized after I had made jam and frozen some, I was left with only a few fresh. Certainly not enough to enjoy with a cake like this. Guess it's back to the U-pick farm for me . . .

  2. We have blackberry bushes in our yard and last year we got 2 berries. Why you ask? Because our dog ate them all! So with 4 dogs on your farm you'll have to be sure you get there first!

  3. Now I am scared to eat my strawberries, so can you send me a few of your beautiful berries???
    Man, they look so yummy with that cake.

  4. Wow, homegrown strawberries! That cake looks delicious! Wonderful!



  5. This looks so good and since strawberry season is in full swing now I am going to be trying this soon. Yum!

  6. mmm, did you have some for breakfast?

  7. Yummmm... I've been eating tons of strawberries this year, unfortunately, none from my own garden. If I diligently pick all the flowers and runners off of some new plants next spring, for how many years will that plant bear lots of berries? Any suggestions on something I could start now to have a good crop next year? Thanks!

  8. Ohmigosh, I just discovered your blog and LOVE it. I have bookmarked it and will visit often. Do you have a book of your recipes out? From a fellow Missourian, KC Quilter

  9. Sounds absolutely delicious, Susan! And yes, this is definitely a cake rather than a bread. If I hadn't copied it directly from a cookbook, I would have changed the name :-) I bet this is absolutely perfect with strawberries and I can't wait to give it a try while the good berries are still available at the farmer's market!

  10. Eating wild strawberries here, and can't get enough!

    The reason I'm writing is because I am a big fan of farmers' blogs, and I got frustrated at spending too much time trying to find good ones and then forgetting to bookmark them.

    So, I've started

    I've put a link to you on this site.

    All I ask is that you send me a brief email to info AT with a few words about your farm, your blog AND your own favorite farmers' blogs.

    I then make a brief posting, add your recommendations, contact the blogs you recommend, and so it goes.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards,

  11. I just picked nine pounds of strawberries. You read my mind!

  12. Yummmmmm. I will ahve to try that recipe! :)

  13. Susan, those strawberries are absolutely gorgeous and that cake looks so delicious! I can only hope our strawberries will look that good next year! We planted alpine strawberries this year, just a few plants, but hope to put some more in the ground next year.

  14. I can't wait to make the orange yogurt cake and try it. Thanks for the recipe it looks scrumptious! :)

  15. Those strawberries look like heaven on earth! It must be a sweet reward for all your hard work from last year. I may not be able to get strawberries quite that woonderful, but I am definitely going to make the cake. Thanks for sharing another fabulous recipe!

    Love, love, love your blog! thanks!

  16. Susan, I made this cake today, and while it turned out moist and delicious (and yes, great with fresh strawberries), the center totally collapsed. I believe I followed the recipe to the letter. Any idea what might have happened?

  17. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks for all the comments!

    Hi Jen,
    A new strawberry bed should last for at least three years if you thin the plants out or mow over them with a lawnmower after harvest.

    Hi KC Quilter,
    Welcome to the farm! I don't have a cookbook out yet (thanks for asking!), but there will hopefully going to be one available in the not so distant future. In the meantime, I'll continue to post more of my Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes here, and you can find links to all of them in the sidebar of the Farmgirl Fare homepage under Previous Posts: Food Stuff w/ Recipes. Enjoy!

    Hi Karen,
    Collapsed cake centers are not good! Unfortunately I'm not sure what happened, even after doing a bunch of google searching for things like "why does a cake collapse in the center." My first thought was that it wasn't cooked enough, and I did find that as a reason on one site. They also said "Can also happen if there is too much oil or too little flour. There isn't enough structure to hold the cake up." But if you followed the recipe that wouldn't be the case, unless your flour was a lot lighter than mine (I confess I didn't weigh it).

    Did you do a toothpick test to see if it came out clean when poked in the center of the cake? If it wasn't completely cooked in the center (which is the last part to fully bake), it would look nice and tall and full (and maybe even golden and cooked) but would collapse when you took it out of the oven because it wasn't set. Some cakes, like my Emergency Chocolate Cake, fall a little when you take them out of the oven and that's normal, but this one shouldn't have done that. Sorry I can't be of more help - and I'm glad that at least it tasted good! : )

  18. Last night I made this delicious recipe for dessert, and served with my fresh strawberries from the farmers market. I'm eating another piece as I write this!

    The only problem I had was trying to "carefully" remove it from the pan. It baked over a bit, giving it a "muffin top", so I couldn't really slide a knife around it to loosen. So when I put a plate on top and flipped it over some parts of it come out of the pan, but most of it stayed in the pan. Even though it didn't look picture perfect like yours it was absolutely delicious, and we just had it in bowls covered with strawberries so you couldn't even see it really. :)

    Do you have any ideas about how to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan? It was a non-stick pan and I did rub a stick of butter all over it. Did I need to flour it too?

    Thank you for this wonderful blog and amazing recipes. I just found it yesterday but I can't wait to try more recipes! I am actually a California girl and web/graphic designer longing to move to the country as well. :)

  19. Hi Amber,
    Welcome to the farm! I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I'm glad you enjoyed the cake despite your pan sticking problems. Thank goodness for the coverage ability of strawberries! Ice cream and whipped cream work very well for hiding things, too. ; )

    Since you used a non-stick buttered pan, I'm thinking the cake probably stuck because, as you said, you weren't able to get a knife all the way in it to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan because of the 'muffin top.' I confess I don't usually flour cake pans after greasing them, even when a recipe calls for it.

    Sometimes if the cake is still really hot it will stick to the pan. You can always let it cool for a few extra minutes.

    I've started using canola oil spray on my loaf pans when baking both cakes and breads, and it works really well. I once found something called 'baking spray' at Trader Joe's that was actually oil with a little flour mixed in, and it was great but I guess they discontinued it.

    As for pans, a few years ago I invested in some Chicago Metallic Commercial Loaf Pans, and I'll never go back to using anything else. They come in two sizes and are fantastic for both breads and cakes. (I also have a 9-inch square pan which is wonderful, too.) For about $11 each, they're really a bargain - and come with a 25 year warranty. I highly recommend any of the Chicago Metallic commercial bakeware.

    Thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed the cake. Happy baking! : )

  20. Farmgirl, You look stunning, absolutely stunning, on Tastespotting! Great color and excellent texture.

  21. that sure sounds and looks like a perfect summe rbreakfast! I just need a glass of milk:)

  22. You live in paradise! The cake looks lovely.

  23. I made this cake for dessert and it was awesome! I had bought more yogurt then I needed, so I turned it into a creamy topping. I just added some sugar and a little bit of the orange simple syrup to the yogurt. It was a great add to the cake and the strawberries! Thanks for the great recipe!

  24. I was so excited when I saw this recipe a few weeks ago. We got an orange and made the cake and it was great!
    I had to change it a little though - since my husband can't eat much sugar. So I used whole wheat pastry flour and I used 1/4 cup of honey (instead of 1 1/4 cups sugar!). I added a little extra yogurt and juice to compensate and it turned out nicely.
    I made it again last week and decided to leave out the orange all together and just use lemon and lemon juice. I also added a few tablespoons of poppy seeds we had harvested - voila! lemon poppyseed cake! It was incredible!

    My husband is ecstatic that he can finally have cake. =)

  25. What a great recipe! I made it to go with raspberries and blueberries. Mmm Mmm Good!

  26. Looks great. I'll be sure to give it a try this week!

  27. I found this cake recipe on Friday and decided to give it a try using the remainder of strawberries given to us by friends. It was delicious! And I even forgot to add the eggs - that's what I get for trying to read the recipe off my mobile. ;) The cake collapsed a bit it the center, but served up with strawberries and whip cream no one cared. I look forward to trying more of your recipes. Your blog is lovely!

  28. Susan I sent you the green tomato chutney by mail(from India). Since it takes longer to hear from you by mail I thought I would post here reg the orange cake.I had no orange juice at hand & being "Lazy" :-) I used a syrup called Blue curacao instead. & the cake turned out blue(inside) & lovely.The curacao does leave a citric aftertaste but not too bad.I will mail you the pics.
    As for the top collapsing as I read from some comments, it has happened to me in the past & usually if there is something citric involved esp lime juice. Dont know if its a coincidence. But I think it could also happen if there is too much soda in the batter too. Then the cake rises really high & then there is a disproportionate amt of flour etc to sustain the rise & so it falls towards the end. This is my theory, I could be wrong.

  29. Hi Wow wonderful cake. This is going to my next baking challenge. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Will link you in my website once I am successful.


  30. made this cake, it is lovely, moist and slightly crumbly like butter cake

  31. I made this way back when it was posted and it was fabulous! Darn near perfect.

  32. hi! just wanted to let you know this is a fantastic recipe! thanks i made this for my momma and added grapefruit juice with orange juice and it was delicous. for sharing this recipe! :) (i also linked back to your post)

  33. Hi Susan,

    I baked this cake tonight and it is superb. I had some tart blueberries in the freezer that I sweetened with a little honey. Fantastic!

    Thanks for one that will make it into my recipe box.

    Take care and keep blogging!

    Jess in Saratoga

  34. I made this recipe last night. No strawberries to go with it, but we do have local in-season oranges! It's delicious, thanks for sharing.

  35. Hey Susan!

    Firstly great job on the blog! Can't wait to try out some of your recipes!(bookmarked to come back often :D)

    If I could ask for a little advice pls, my yogurts gone a little sour, would it be all right if I used it for the orange cake? Do you think that would give it a strange flavor or being a citrus flavored cake it would be all right?


  36. Hi Everybody,
    So glad you're enjoying the recipe. Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know - and remind me that it's been far too long since I've baked one of these cakes! :)

    Hi Anisa,
    While I don't want to urge anyone to consume food that might not be 100% safe, in my personal experience, yogurt lasts a really long time, and as long as it's not moldy, I usually go ahead and use it for baking. I've never noticed any strange flavor or had any problems. Happy baking! :)

  37. I have this thing of almost always substituting at least one thing in a recipe, so my version is called lemon lavender cake :-) I used one lemon's worth of zest and then some finely chopped lavender leaves, the juice from the lemon stretched out with kind juice from a bottle, and used homemade soured cream in place of the yogurt. It was a great combination if I may say so myself ;-)

  38. Oops, that's meant to say LIME juice :-o

  39. Love this recipe. I have also made it into a lemon loaf and added poppy seeds.

  40. Dear Susan,
    Just made this with sweet lime and my toddler and I gobbled up a slice each, even before the cake cooled. Thank you for a beautiful recipe, once again :)

  41. Hi, have just stumbled acorss this recipe and can't wait to try it tonight! I love cake recipes with yoghurt in them and this has me remembering an orange-flavoured cake my mother used to make many years ago. Hoping to recreate that homely feeling later on :-) Thanks!

  42. I made the cake this week with organic limes I bought in bulk and am trying to use up in creative ways. Tart and DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recipe!

  43. This was a great recipe! Very good! I was wondering if you could help me with a problem though. I cooked the cake as long as directed, and the top of my cake was very dark brown and the edges were done, but the center of my cake was still gooey. Do you have any sugestions on how to make a loaf bake evenly?

  44. Hi Anon,
    I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe. I'm not sure exactly why your cake baked so unevenly, but my first two thoughts would be that either your baking powder wasn't fresh enough (if the package has been open more than a few months - especially if you're in a humid area - toss is out and buy a new one) or your oven might be baking too hot. Ovens are notorious for being off, so for example, even if you have it set at 350°, it might actually be baking at 400°.

    You might also try doing a search describing what happened and see if you can find some more help there. :)

  45. I made this for Easter and served it with blueberries and whipped cream. My 9yo son ate half of it plain the night before (grrrrr!), but we enjoyed it for brunch on Easter morning (what was left of it). Like some previous posters, I did have a problem with it sticking to the pan (the bottom, not the sides) even though I sprayed with cooking oil. And my baking powder was old and so the top ended up sinking in a bit. But overall, a delicious recipe and will become a "repeat". Thanks!

  46. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I made it last night and it is delicious!

    For anybody who wants to try it, here's my experience:

    1. Honestly, I didn't care for this cake the first night I made it, however, I LOVED it refrigerated the second day. If you make it and don't care for it please try chilling it overnight before you give up on it!

    2. I used Greek yogurt. Not sure what everybody else used, but for me the Greek was great!

    3. It looks like several people have had trouble with their cake sinking in the middle. Not sure exactly why this is happening with this cake, but often when cakes sink it's because of the oven door being opened too much/too soon or the cake being disturbed/shaken when pulling out the oven rack before the cake is cooked.

    4. If your cake looks overly dark while baking, don't worry about it. My cake got DARK before it was done. After about 20 minutes in the oven it looked crispy and overly dark on the edges and smelled a bit burnt. Then the top and sides got very, VERY dark (a few shades darker than the pictures on this site) before it was cooked through. I was sure it was going to burn and be thrown out but it turned out fantastic. After refrigerating it overnight the dark top became moist and sweet (and it didn't have any burnt taste).

    Happy baking!

  47. I just came across this recipe today. It was like a message from God. I have been working on an afghan for a grt. grandson who just loves Nemo, so you know it had to be Orange, Black and White. I put the last stitch in the last square when I spotted this lovely confection. Last week I made strawberry jam for the first time in my 83 years. Is that on omen, or what?? They are just caling out to each othe. Orange cake and strawberry jam. Yummy. Thank you so much.

  48. Loved this recipe. For the glaze, I had about a quarter cup of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting left over from something else. I heated this up and mixed it with the remaining orange juice, some powdered sugar, and two capfuls of brandy. Poured a little bit over the hot cake so it would sink in, then I glazed the rest once the cake had cooled. Perfect recipe, thank you so much! Also, I used less sugar and vanilla flavored yogurt instead of vanilla extract, just because.


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love hearing about your experiences with my recipes. Comments on older posts are always welcome!

Please note that I moderate comments, so if I'm away from the computer it may be a while before yours appears.

I try my best to answer all questions, though sometimes it takes me a few days. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your e-visits to our farm!