Maple Yogurt Pound Cake

By • March 14, 2010 79 Comments

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Author Notes: I made up this recipe to satisfy a serious maple craving I had a couple weeks back. The cake is extremely moist; unless eating it just out of the oven, toast your slice to get some contrast between the crust and innards. I've made this cake three weeks in a row, and used the office toaster to make my perfect 3 pm snack. One tip: really make sure to pull the cake out of the oven right when it's done. If it stays in longer, it'll dry out a bit. - RivkaRivka

Food52 Review: This pound cake drops the pounds of butter and sugar in favor of oil and maple syrup, creating a springy texture and glistening, shellacked exterior. The oil folded into the batter at the end was a technique new to us, but we think we can hold it responsible for the cake's sweet, crackly crust. Rivka's choice of Grade B maple syrup means that the maple aroma and flavor is pervasive without being cloying. The end result is moist and flavorful enough on its own, but fresh whipped cream and strawberries never hurt. - A&M The Editors

Serves 1 cake

  • 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup yogurt, preferably not nonfat
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously butter 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan.
  2. Combine syrup, yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir or whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir to incorporate. Add oil, and fold gradually until oil absorbs into the batter.
  3. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Place pan on baking sheet in oven and bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 5 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Turn cake out onto rack. Turn cake upright on rack and cool completely.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!

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Comments (79) Questions (5)


3 months ago YukariSakamoto

We live in Tokyo and Japanese sweets are lighter in sugar. My Japanese husband and son both loved this recipe. Arigato!


4 months ago Sner

Just made this as mini muffins for a one year birthday party. Took 18 min in the oven and turned out fantastic.


5 months ago Foodie52

Hi Rivka, I've made this recipe countless times over the past 4 years, even before joining Food52. I just want to thank you for such a great and versatile recipe.

I just made it again last night with more substitutions than ever and it still turned out wonderfully:
-3/4 c of vanilla sugar (ran out of maple syrup)
-4 yolks and 1 egg (had 4 left over yolks waiting to be used)
-Homemade, strained kefir cheese (wanted to save my fage yogurt for the rest of the week)
-1 cup of flour and .5 cup of oatmeal (trying to use up oatmeal)

Definitely richer than usual, but tasty nonetheless!


5 months ago Rivka

Thanks for sharing this! Glad you like the recipe - it really is a recipe that lends itself to endless substitutions, based on the fridge's contents and the cook's whim.


10 months ago sharonpatricia

I was rather disappointed this cake. My family loves maple and I have been anxious to try this. The texture was lovely and it was very moist. However I didn't taste much maple flavor after the first day. On the second day the yogurt flavor became more prominent. I used Trader Joe's grade B maple syrup which we like and use in many recipes. Any thoughts?


10 months ago Rivka

Have you tried toasting individual slices? Really makes the maple come through - at least for me.


10 months ago Janet Pesaturo

For a stronger maple flavor, I used maple sugar instead of white sugar. I like the yogurt flavor, but if you don't, try milk, mascarpone cheese, or a mixture of the two. To my tastebuds, mascarpone has a neutral flavor, never tangy.


11 months ago HFicarra

what do you mean by 1.5 cups of flour?


11 months ago Rivka

one and one-half (1 and 1/2)


over 1 year ago Michelle Trim

Made today for dessert after our cook out. Served with strawberries and cream and it was fabulous. Made exactly as written, except I eyeballed some of the quantities (zested right into the bowl; pinch of salt; guestimated sugar...etc). I used canola oil and whole milk yogurt. Really good with a lovely course crumb.


over 1 year ago Marian Bull

Do you think that milk could be used instead of yogurt here? This looks incredible!


over 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Marian. I've made this a lot and I'm pretty sure I've used soured milk instead of yogurt when I haven't had yogurt in the house. It may take a little longer to bake because of the extra liquid. It's really good. (Rivka's recipes usually are.)


over 1 year ago Marian Bull

So good to know! Thanks. Can't wait to try this.


over 1 year ago Rivka

Thanks drbabs! So sweet. I think sour milk will work here, but agree that you may need a longer cooking time. If you try it and feel like you also needed more dry ingredients, let us know.


over 1 year ago eljay

Nice texture, moist and easy to make, but bland. Really needs a flavor boost with more lemon zest or perhaps a bit of lemon extract. Or one could boost the maple flavor.


over 1 year ago lfqalv

At home we have one little boy who love maple syrup and yogurt, on who doesn't like maple syrup at all (this is still a mystery for me) and a man who doesn't eat dessert. They all love this cake so we renamed it "the ideal cake". A classic at any time of the year in our house.


over 1 year ago Shuchi

Making this now! Can't wait for it to be out of the oven. I use dark amber maple syrup, light olive oil, and skipped the lemon zest. I also ran out of vanilla so used 1 tsp vanilla creamer instead. Smells divine!


over 1 year ago elisa rowan

Can't wait to try! I wonder if I can substitute labne for the yogurt? I know the "sourness" will be great for us but just wondering if because it is thicker than even greek yogurt perhaps I need to add more liquid?


over 1 year ago sdschorr

can you sub almond flour for the regular flour?


over 1 year ago Ausra de Araujo

Oh girl, this looks divine!!! And ingredients seem to be so healthy.. Mmm gonna try making it on Sunday! Thank you!!!


almost 2 years ago sara

This sounds delish! Will definitely make it soon. Been having a craving for anything maple related. At the ice-cream cafe I work, we have a maple butter ice-cream and it is amazing!


about 2 years ago Janet Pesaturo

SJR, did you happen to substitute butter for the oil? As written, I find this recipe to yield a very moist, dense pound cakey texture. But with most quick bread, you need oil instead of butter to make it moist, so I am guessing the same would be true for this recipe.


about 2 years ago SJR

Yes, I used oil & I was careful to watch the time so as to not overbake. It turned out very nice, but again, I was expecting a spongy, dense texture rather than a cakey texture.


about 2 years ago SJR

I made this cake tonight. The maple flavor was fantastic; however, I was disappointed with the texture of the bread. I did not overcook it, but yet it was a bit dry. Additionally, the texture was very light & 'cakey' instead of dense & heavy like a traditional pound cake. Like others, I used sour cream instead of yogurt, & I added an additional drizzle of maple syrup. Again, great flavor but the texture is not my preference.


about 2 years ago adele93

has anybody tried this recipe without the lemon?


about 2 years ago lapadia

I made this w/o the lemon, used orange instead, also used Greek honey flavored yogurt, delicious.


about 2 years ago Jessica Van Ness

I've only ever made one cake with oil folded in at the end, and it's a staple in my repertoire... a spice cake layered with slices of apples or asian pear. I think people who substitute butter for oil in cake recipes will be disappointed, as it can result in a drier pastry. You're right, though, it helps create a beautiful firm crust that keeps the cake incredibly moist.


about 2 years ago adele93

would olive oil be okay for this recipe?


about 2 years ago Rivka

definitely. Think it'd be good!


over 2 years ago Elizabeth Rex

I made many of these loaves over the holiday season as gifts. They were a hit! I didn't gave any grade B syrup, but I did have some grade A and a tin of golden syrup. Delicious! I've since continued using golden syrup in place of maple syrup because of its mellow sweetness, but whenever get my hands on some grade B, I will definitely try it the original way. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!


over 2 years ago Dourmet

Adapted this cake for my cooking blog--swapped in brown sugar and added walnuts--and absolutely loved it! The maple flavor is fantastic. I've eaten (much more than) my share of the loaf, and froze the rest for in-a-hurry breakfasts. Thanks for an awesome recipe, Rivka! :-)