Last-Minute Afternoon Tea Cake

Olive oil, yoghurt and lime cake

I aspire to country-style hospitality, where there’s always a cake cooling on the table and a pot of tea on the boil for visitors who “pop in”.

But modern, city life doesn’t seem conducive to the well-catered pop-in. It’s more likely that I’ll have rubbery carrots lingering in the crisper and a half-eaten bag of corn chips on-hand for visitors instead of a freshly-baked cake. And who’s stopping by unexpectedly anyway? Life is so busy in this city I have to schedule time with friends two weeks in advance. So even if I did make a cake, I’d be waiting hopefully for the door to buzz as I picked at the edges of the crust, finally giving in to a generous slice, or three, because no friends “happened to be in the neighbourhood”.

In an effort to hold on to my romantic notion of warm cakes and fresh tea, I baked for an unexpected afternoon treat. Last weekend I had family in town and they spent their days crossing the sights of NYC off their to-see list, which can be exhausting work. I thought a little afternoon tea would soothe their weary tourist bodies.

Olive oil, yoghurt and lime cake

This is the simplest cake I know how to make. There is no creaming of butter and sugar, no whipping of icing. You don’t need a KitchenAid, scales or even butter. This recipe uses olive oil and yoghurt to form a moist crumb and the lime adds a bright and delicious finish. You just mix dry ingredients with wet, bake and sprinkle with sugar. Afternoon tea is done.

It didn’t matter that I burnt the bottom slightly, or that my cousins had eaten their way around Manhattan and weren’t really in the mood for a slice of cake. ¬†There was something in the act of baking and sharing that turned my apartment into a place to linger and share stories, recounting the sights of the day and laughing at the craziness of the city. It was a little bit of slow, country-style living in Brooklyn. Which I’ll take, as I’d possibly get bored in the country anyway.

Olive oil, yoghurt and lime cake

This recipe is from the delightful blog¬†Souvlaki For The Soul. I did not adapt it at all – I followed Peter’s instructions to the letter. You should check out his blog as the photos are incredibly beautiful and it’s full of delicious Greek-inspired recipes.

Lime, Yoghurt and Olive Oil Cake
(From Souvlaki For The Soul)

Wet ingredients

  • 1 cup whole full fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • zest of one lime
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 eggs

Dry ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups of sifted plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Pre-heat oven to 180c/350f and grease a 22cm baking tin.

Mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl until well combined. In a separate, large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

Pour the mixed wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon till just combined (overworking the batter will result in a tough cake).

Pour into the baking tin and cook for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned on top and a skewer comes out clean when poked into the centre.

When cool mix the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the cake to make it look pretty.

37 thoughts on “Last-Minute Afternoon Tea Cake

  1. Such a lovely cake! I find the idea of always having a cake or a pie on the counter for spontaneous visitors as well, but that may not be good news to my girth!

  2. Family, cake, and laughter sounds very comforting. Beautiful pictures and the cake looks very light in texture.

  3. What a gorgeous cake, I’m sure it was delicious! One of my favorite things about baking cakes, cookies or bread is the wonderful way the kitchen smells in the process.

  4. Hi. I just made this cake for a garden get together tonight. I will serve it with homegrown raspberries. I tested it this morning (of course!) and it is delish, so moist! In future, I might ramp up the lime (I used zest from three), but I love it. I recently went vegan and with egg replacer, this is a perfect vegan dish. Kathy

    • Hi Roxann. Caster sugar is very finely granulated sugar used for baking as it dissolves quickly. I think it’s called superfine sugar in the US.

  5. Pingback: lovely notepad » Unique Cake Ideas

  6. This was really good, and oh! so easy! I even mixed it in the pan I made it in. Instead of sprinkling it with sugar I made it into a drizzle cake by mixing lemon/lime juice with sugar, making holes in the cake with a skewer, and pouring the mixture over while the cake was still hot. A definite winner!

  7. Pingback: Lime, Yogurt and Olive Oil Cake

  8. Thanks for this great recipe! I had some yoghurt that had gone past its best before and had been opened for awhile yet looked and smelled fine and so i thought i’d cook with it to use it up and we had recently been given a big bag of limes. Perfect recipe! I used my cast iron pot instead of a cake tin to cook it in and it had a nice, crispy crust. Thanks again!

  9. Pingback: {table for two | recipe : last-minute afternoon tea cake} :: This is Glamorous

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