Recipe contributed by Harmless Harvest.
A nice slice of cake is the perfect indulgence— it’s fluffy, sweet, and oh so good. Thankfully, that’s an indulgence you don’t have to give up when you’re on a plant-based diet. Not using eggs may be a bit of a learning curve, but do you realize you can use yogurt in your baked goods? It’s true, Beauties! That’s why I’m so excited to work with Harmless Harvest, so I can share this lemon vanilla yogurt cake recipe with you.
This easy yogurt cake made with Harmless Harvest’s dairy-free vanilla yogurt has a delicious lemony flavor, with a subtle warm hint of vanilla. It’s light, delicious, and 100% vegan-friendly. Anyone else want some cake now!? :)
If I already had you at “cake,” you can go ahead and jump to the recipe below. But if you’re curious about why yogurt works so well in cake as a dairy-free baking alternative, keep reading.
Why Use Yogurt in Cake?
Using either greek yogurt or plain yogurt in your cake batter can elevate a recipe in so many ways. It can replace other baking components like sour cream, bringing all the flavor and texture without the dairy (and if you’re concerned with how much fat you’re consuming – less fat).
Yogurt has such a nice creaminess to it, and also gives the cake a lovely, moist texture. Yogurt’s acidic properties activate the baking soda in the cake, which makes the cakes light and fluffy.
We’re using vanilla in this recipe, but the yogurt’s flavor is important too. Plain yogurt itself can give a cake a lovely, old-fashioned kind of flavor, while flavored yogurts like lemon or vanilla can add additional flavors into the cake. Chocolate yogurt cake, lemon yogurt cake, French yogurt cake… the sky’s the limit!
If you come across other recipes recommending yogurt, but don’t specify plant-based versions, don’t worry! Plant-based yogurt works the same as their dairy counterpart (I’d personally say better!), so you can have your cake and eat it too. :)
Baking Without Eggs
If it’s been a while since you’ve eaten a slice of cake because you’re avoiding dairy and eggs, then you just haven’t tried one of the amazing alternatives. Trust me, you won’t even miss the eggs!
Eggs are used in baking for three reasons: Binding (holding ingredients together), leavening (helping baked goods rise), and moisture (preventing baked goods from being dry). Fortunately, there are lots of plant-based alternatives to eggs with the same benefits that you can use when vegan baking.
- Fruit puree, including applesauce or mashed bananas
- Vinegar and baking soda
- Yogurt (dairy-free of course!)
- Ground flax seeds or chia seeds
- Aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
Give these a try if you’re looking for great dairy-free alternatives in your baking! It’s so important for our health to avoid dairy products where we can— this includes eggs, milk, butter, and regular yogurt.
I recommend keeping dairy-free yogurt in the kitchen, both as a versatile cooking staple and as a light snack.
The Health Benefits of Dairy Free Yogurt
Probiotic-rich foods are an important part of our diets. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and dairy-free yogurt are helpful aids when maintaining gut health. When combined with a good probiotic supplement and digestive enzymes, these foods are amazing for helping you feel beautiful inside and out.
Yogurt is a popular health food because it’s high in vitamins and nutrients, as well as probiotics, but unfortunately, dairy yogurt also comes with some unpleasant side effects.
Dairy is mucus forming, so it can leave us feeling a little funky after we eat it. Not only that but dairy is a major culprit when it comes to acne and breakouts. Dairy yogurt’s acidity can also contribute to acid imbalance in our bodies, which can cause calcium loss in our bones and potentially even osteoporosis.
Dairy-free yogurt, on the other hand, doesn’t share these negative aspects. So you can enjoy all of those great probiotics and nutrients without any worry. :) Just keep in mind, the probiotic benefits of the yogurt are lost when heated, so although you won’t benefit directly from the probiotics in this delicious dessert, sneaking in a few spoonfuls while baking can do your gut some good!
Lovely Lemon Health Benefits
I recommend drinking warm lemon water every morning because these bright and beautiful citrus fruits have so many health benefits. I’ve been drinking it for years! It’s an Ayurvedic practice that aids digestion, boosts your immunity, and helps keeps your body free of toxins.
Lemons are so good for you and should definitely make an appearance in your kitchen in other ways. That’s why when I can add lemon in dessert recipes, I do!
Lemons are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. Studies have shown that eating plenty of fruits high in vitamin C can also reduce your risk of heart disease, and the citric acid in lemons may help prevent kidney stones.
Vitamin C in lemons can also help your body better absorb iron from your diet, which can help prevent anemia and is especially beneficial for our pregnant mamas!
And of course, lemons have amazing beauty benefits, including helping to stimulate collagen production! Your body needs vitamin C in order to produce collagen – as it is that amazing connective tissue that keeps your skin plump and appearing youthful.
Joys of Eating Cake on a Plant-Based Diet
So, can you eat cake on a plant-based diet? Of course you can! With just a few easy dairy-free substitutions.
I’m so glad that everyone can still enjoy cake on a plant-based diet; it can especially be helpful if you’re new to plant-based eating and need help with the transition. With the beautiful flavors from the lemon and vanilla plus the light and fluffy texture from using dairy-free yogurt, this is a match made in heaven.
If you give this recipe a try leave me a comment below, or tag me on Instagram so I can see all your beautiful and unique creations. If you love this recipe, please also share it with your family and friends on Pinterest!
Lots of love,
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or you can use an all purpose gluten-free flour blend)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (8.8 oz.) Harmless Harvest dairy-free vanilla yogurt
- ¾ cup sugar (or coconut sugar)
- ⅓ cup neutral oil (Avocado oil or coconut oil)
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar (if you are wanting sugar-free, you can make your own powdered sugar alternative using arrowroot starch powder and liquid stevia or monk fruit sweetener!)
- 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line a Grease and line a 9" x 5" (1 lb.) loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the dairy-free yogurt, sugar, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix together until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, it is ok if the batter is not perfectly smooth.
- Transfer the batter to the lined loaf pan. If using a smaller loaf pan, add a little less batter, so that it only fills the pan ¾ full. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown, and a cake tester/skewer comes out clean. Allow to fully cool in the pan.
- For the glaze: sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Add the lemon juice and whisk until smooth.
- Transfer the cake out of the pan, and drizzle with the glaze. Slice and serve. Cake lasts for 3-4 days covered at room temperature.
More Recipes That Use Dairy-Free Yogurt
Dairy-free yogurt doesn’t just have to go in sweet recipes! Whether you’re looking for something sweet or something savory, you’ll love the versatility that dairy-free yogurt can bring to your favorite recipes. Here are a few of mine that use dairy-free yogurt. :)