Yoghurt & Lemon Cake

A variation of the traditional ‘Ravani’ (semolina based syrupy cake). Aromatic, light and fluffy with a wonderful lemony aroma. Best enjoyed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a strong cup of Greek coffee.


Makes one 28-cm (11-inch) cake

Cooking time: Approx. 1 hour


Ingredients for the Cake

  • 200g butter (room temperature)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 5 eggs (yolks & whites separated)
  • 250g sheep’s yoghurt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Ingredients for the Syrup

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • Juice of 2 lemons



  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C (356°F)
  • Grease a 28-cm (11-inch) round metal or glass cake pan with butter and set aside
  • Put the butter and sugar into a large bowl and mix until the mixture becomes fluffy (5-10’)
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form a thick meringue
  • Going back to the butter and sugar mixture, add the egg yolks, yoghurt, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and mix for 2-3’
  • In a 3rd bowl, add the flour, semolina, and baking powder and mix
  • Gradually add the egg yolk mixture and egg white mixture (in turns) to flour & semolina mixture, mixing with a spatula until you have a fluffy, well combined texture
  • Pour cake batter into tin, lower the oven temperature to 175°C (347°F) and bake for approx. 1 hour


Now let’s make the syrup (make sure you do this while cake is baking in order for it to have cooled down once cake is out of oven)


  • Put the water, cinnamon stick and sugar into a medium sized pot and over high heat (whilst mixing) bring to a boil
  • Add the lemon juice, reduce heat and simmer (keep stirring) for about 5 more minutes
  • Set aside and let it cool


When the cake is ready, remove from oven..


  • Let it stand for 5’
  • With a sharp knife, score the cake with diagonal lines in one direction, then in the opposite direction to form a diamond pattern
  • Pour the cooled syrup over the still warm cake
  • Cool completely before serving


This cake will keep at room temperature for about 5 days or in the refrigerator for 10 days