Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

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.

40 thoughts on “Last-Minute Afternoon Tea Cake

  1. elskenewman says:

    Sounds good, will definately give it a go!

  2. I love the idea of always having a cake cooling. And in the winter, a pot of soup or stew on the stove!

  3. An Ng. says:

    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!

  4. abuchon says:

    Sounds delightful! I like the idea of having homemade cake and tea on hand for unexpected guests. Very hospitable indeed.

  5. simple sustenance says:

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

  6. Oh, this sounds nice! Will definitely try making it some point soon. And your photos are gorgeous too! :-)

    1. Amelia says:

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy it – perfect for fika!

  7. Leah says:

    yum! great looking cake, with an amazing looking texture. thank you for sharing.

  8. wow I never knew cake could be so simple! and yes, the idea of friends popping in with cake on the counter is so… romantic, in a way =)

  9. Katy Rose says:

    I love cake. I love yoghurt. Now I love this recipe! Thank you x KR

  10. 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.

  11. eatzybitzy says:

    so yummy even it’s from a simple recipe! thanks for sharing.

  12. Christina says:

    This paired with a cup of tea has to be the ultimate afternoon treat! Beautiful photos!

  13. joiedevivre74 says:

    Reblogged this on This beautiful life and commented:
    Wow! Cant wait to try this!

  14. redteakettle says:

    yum and yum! I would gladly “pop” over for a cup of tea and cake:)

  15. Drooling over the cake.. Love the golden spoon!!! What a touch!

  16. DRC says:

    Hey darling, don’t forget to cater for your poor old man & millions of diabetics like him!
    Luv, Dad

    1. Amelia says:

      Dad, if you popped over in NYC I’d be sure to have a diabetic friendly dish ready for you…!

  17. I love the combination of yoghurt and lime…can’t wait to try this one!

  18. Ruby says:

    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

    1. Amelia says:

      Hi Kathy – so glad you enjoyed it. And homegrown raspberries? Jealous!

  19. I know it’s the weekend when I bake a cake. It’s so centring. And you can’t do anything else while you’re doing it. It realigns my brain in delightful ways.

    1. Amelia says:

      Takes your mind off the footy results too.

  20. Yum, I love these simple olive oil cakes, looking forward to making this one!

  21. Cannot wait to try it! it looks simple and delicious! thank you! :)

  22. Roxann Reed says:

    what is caster salt?

  23. Roxann Reed says:

    I mean…caster sugar!

    1. Amelia says:

      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.

  24. Mary says:

    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!

    1. Amelia says:

      That sounds delicious Mary! Glad you liked it.

  25. mrsgillies says:

    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!

    1. Amelia says:

      You are very welcome!

  26. Sarah P says:

    There were a greater number of comments from people saying how delicious this looked, but not as many saying that they’d made it. I was a little skeptical as I usually do something a bit more elaborate when I go to the effort to bake. I knew I was having people over for morning tea but had no motivation to go to great lengths for fancy cake as I was tired, pregnant, and, quite frankly, lazy. I did however want something that these people had not had before, rather than going to my usual rotation. This was a pleasant surprise. It was easy to make, had a great texture, was moist, the flavor was subtle but delicious. It was perfect to accompany a cuppa. We pretty much polished off the whole thing It didn’t take a million ingredients or steps and will now go into my “go to” cake rotation. What I also really love is that as an Aussie living in the USA, I didn’t need to convert ingredients or temperatures etc so it felt fail proof. Thanks Amelia!!

    1. Amelia says:

      Fantastic! I’m so glad it worked out well and everyone enjoyed it.

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