Greek Yoghurt Cake (Yiaourtini) Recipe

Yiaourtini/ yoghurt cake is an aromatic and fluffy cake which comes from the region Achaia in Western Greece. An old recipe from Peloponnese, it resembles ravani or samali and this Greek Semolina Cake by my Auntie Loulla, which all have some variations yet look alike.

The Yiaourtini cake is a semolina cake laced with orange and honey syrup.

Its cousins, ravani doesn’t contain yoghurt however, and samali is made with coarse instead of fine semolina, and butter.

It’s second cousin (!) Yiaourtopita is a yoghurt cake made from flour instead of semolina.

They’re all different when it comes to their granular details yet without a doubt, are all equally delicious.

Below is my Dad George’s recipe for Greek Yoghurt Cake.




  • 600g sugar
  • 750 ml water
  • 2 tbsp Greek thyme honey
  • 1 lemon, peel and juice


For the cake:

  • 5 free-range medium eggs, yolks and whites seperated
  • pinch of salt
  • 500g Greek yoghurt
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 300g fine semolina and extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 125ml brandy
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • olive oil for greasing
  • icing sugar for sprinkling (optional)



For the syrup:

Place the sugar, water, honey and lemon peel in a large casserole dish and boil over medium heat, stirring once or twice.

At boiling point, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Once simmered, add the lemon juice. Sat aside to cool.


For the cake: 

Preheat the cover to 180c/160c fan/ gas 4.

To make the meringue, put the egg whites and a pinch of salt in to a large, clean bowl and whisk for 5-6 minutes with an electric whisk or hand whisk until soft peaks form.

In a large bowl, beat the yoghurt with the sugar for 5 minutes using an electric whisk or a hand whisk. Add the egg yolks one by one, the semolina, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, the brandy, lemon zest and the orange zest and juice. Continue whisking the mixture for 1-2 minutes until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Add the meringue into the cake mixture using a metal spoon and fold it in round movements and then vertical movements from the top. Do this a few times until fully combined.

Pour the mixture into a lightly greased and semolina dusted tray, 25 x 30 cm or a round tray 28cm and level the top with a spoon.

Bake the Yiaourtini in a pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Test it by inserting a toothpick or skewer and if it comes out clean, it is ready. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 4-5 minutes.

Prick the cake with a toothpick or skewer and pour the syrup slowly using a ladle ensuring you cover the cake evenly.

Let it cool and cut the Yiaourtini into diagonal or square pieces.

If you prefer, dust with icing sugar

Serve by itself or with ice cream.

Greek Yoghurt Cake (Yiaourtini) Recipe

Greek Yoghurt Cake (Yiaourtini) Recipe

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