Blackberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

Blackberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

I can polish off a pint of berries even before I’ve finished putting away my groceries.

It feels indulgent in a way because strawberries, raspberries and all their cousins are pricey, but the situation changes during berry season. 

Those once expensive splurges become a deal.

And they are a sale I just can’t pass up!

Blackberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

Besides devouring them straight from the container, I use berries in salads like a blackberry arugula salad with basil pesto vinaigrette and a strawberry salad with pistachio-crusted goat cheese.

When I’m in the mood for something sweet, simple fruit crisps and crumbles are always a good option for dessert.

Blackberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

Of course there are cakes, too.

Berries make even the most basic yellow vanilla cake instantly special.

There is a raspberry buttermilk cake that I have on repeat throughout the year. In season I use fresh berries and out of season I repurpose the frozen berries that would have gone into my morning smoothie in a cake.

That seems like a totally appropriate swap—dessert instead of breakfast!

Blackberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

I love baking with buttermilk because it’s a bit tangy. Greek yogurt is another way to get this flavor.

I have a feeling that I’m not the only one who is more likely to have Greek yogurt in my fridge rather than buttermilk.

This blackberry lemon yogurt cake is the latest addition to my berry season baking.

How To Make A Blackberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

To start, I combine flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, I rub the zest of a lemon into a cup of granulated sugar. It ends up with the feeling of wet sand and scent of bright, zippy lemon.

Into the lemon sugar I whisk Greek yogurt, vegetable oil, 2 eggs and vanilla extract. Then I fold in the dry ingredients.

To break up the berries so they spread throughout the cake and to add sweetness, I use a fork to mash them with 1 tablespoon sugar.

Instead of just stirring in the berries and ending up with a stained cake, I spread a cup of batter in the bottom of the pan and scatter over about half of the blackberries.

I like bites of blackberries in the middle of the cake.

Then I smooth on the rest of the batter and top it with the remaining blackberries and their juice.

The blackberry lemon yogurt cake is ready once it has baked to a deep golden brown. 

You can serve it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if you want, but it’s just fine on its own.


Blackberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

Blackberry Lemon Yogurt Cake
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45-50 minutes plus cooling
  • Yield: 1 9-inch cake 1x


11/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
11/2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed if frozen


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, rub 1 cup sugar with the lemon zest until the sugar is moist like wet sand. Whisk in the yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.

In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the berries with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.

Spread 1 cup batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and spoon over half the blackberries. Spread on the remaining batter into an even layer and top with the rest of the blackberries.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and cooling on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Adapted from Bon Appetit May 2012

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