RECIPE | Lebanese lemon and yoghurt cake with orange and cardamom syrup

This moist cake is brilliant topped with a dollop of double-cream yoghurt

05 July 2020 - 00:00 By Sophia Lindop
Lebanese lemon and yoghurt cake with orange and cardamom syrup.
Lebanese lemon and yoghurt cake with orange and cardamom syrup.
Image: Hein van Tonder

Makes: 1 x 20cm ring cake

For the cake:

60ml (4 tbsp) desiccated coconut, toasted

250g butter, softened

60ml (4 tbsp) lemon zest, finely grated

250g caster sugar

3 eggs

400g self-raising flour

50g ground almonds

Juice of 1 lemon

250g double-cream yoghurt

For the syrup:

Zest and juice of 1 orange

125ml (½ cup) water

100ml honey

5 cardamom pods, bruised


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 20cm ring cake tin.
  2. To toast the coconut, place in a pan and dry roast over medium heat until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. With an electric beater, beat the butter, zest and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and alternate with the flour, a third at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir in the coconut, almonds, lemon juice and yoghurt until just combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and spread evenly.
  6. Bake for about 50 minutes then stand for 5 minutes before removing the cake from the tin.
  7. Combine all the ingredients for the syrup in a pot and stir until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the syrup has reduced slightly.
  8. Place the cake on a serving dish.
  9. Remove the cardamom from the syrup and discard. Pour the syrup over the cake while still hot.
  10. Allow to cool before serving.

• Recipe and image from 'Going Home – Food and Stories from Lebanon, The Land of my Forefathers' by Cape Town chef Sophia Lindop. In this beautiful cookbook, Lindop tells tales of her odyssey to Lebanon to find her roots and her family. It's an evocative read told through the dishes she grew up with and the ones she enjoyed in the land of her forefathers. Published by Annake Müller Publishing, the book retails for R450, but Sunday Times Lifestyle readers can purchase it for the discounted price of R400 by e-mailing