Retro Rose turns 75: Lemon Yogurt Cake Fit for a Queen

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When I told Retro Rose that I was having a birthday party for my husband, and it wasn’t really her birthday party, she simply said, “okay, I’ll take a plain cake.” But, I’m not making you a cake. Your birthday is Monday.” But she reminded me “I’m turning 75, and that’s a big deal, but don’t do anything fancy. You can just get me a cupcake. Oh, and put a large 75 on the top.” Could I? How do the numbers 75 look on top of a cupcake?

Panic was setting in, because my “food” and “decorate” list was long. And, if you have a Jewish mom or an Italian mom, you might know what I’m talking about. When your mother says, “just get me a cupcake for my 75th birthday” you better hire a band.

Every year I have this dilemma. My mother and husband’s birthday are one day apart. So a lot of times we celebrate them together. Last year I made them carrot cake. What’s the problem you say? Well, it’s like celebrating birthdays for Auntie Mame and Andy of Mayberry at the same time. D.C. had a trying year, and an especially tough week. He deserved a little special attention and a night that was his own.

So I did what any other food blogger would do. I hit the food blogs. I landed on “I Like to Eat,” and found exactly what I was looking for. She found it on Orangette. Finding the right cake at just the right time is why I am captivated with food blogs, and food blogging. I found exactly what I was looking for. The description of a lemony yogurt, ONE layer cake with a lemon glaze sounded perfectly elegant, simple and Retro Rose worthy.

Yogurt cake is one of the very few desserts the french make at home. They typically buy all of their pastries from a pastry shop. This needs no explanation. However, once in a while they bake, and it better be easy and delicious, as they are trained to eat only fabulous desserts.

The cake is a substantial bite, and can be enjoyed for breakfast, or something you can proudly make for a birthday party. It’s the cake everyone will love every single time. I promise. The next morning there were three of us fighting for the last piece. I’ve been looking for the perfect dessert to deliver as a thank you, and this is it. It might even be more special served aside fresh blueberries or raspberries.

Happy Birthday Retro Rose!

Tell me, do you have a special go to cake for birthdays, or do you like to surprise people with something different every year?

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Retro Rose turns 75: Lemon Yogurt Cake Fit for a Queen

Lemony olive cake with a lemon glaze.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Author: Angela Roberts



  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freshly grated lemon zest of one lemon juice will go in glaze below
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt I used non-fat
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Freshly grated zest of one lemon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom on the pan with wax paper or parchment paper and grease the paper.
  • In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.
  • In a separate large bowl, add yogurt, sugar and eggs, stirring until well combined.
  • Add the flour mixture and stir to combine, then add the oil and mix until you have a pale yellow batter.
  • Pour into pan and bake for 35 minutes.


  • Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice. Add more powdered sugar a teaspoon at a time, if glaze seems too thin.
  • Pour over cake when cake is cooled. Grate lemon zest over the top immediately.


The original recipe had more lemon juice to powdered sugar and used it more as a syrup. I preferred it more as a glaze, but you might want to try that. In that case use 1/4 cup powdered sugar to 2 cups lemon juice. This is poured over after cake has cooled for twenty minutes.

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  1. Happy Birthday Retro Rose!!
    And…. Husband of Spinach Tiger….you are a special and blessed man. You are patient beyond measure…and we love you for it! Happy Birthday, Doug!

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