Therese Lum's Lemon Yoghurt Cake With Pressed Flowers

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, Masterchef contestant and dessert queen Therese Lum shares her recipe for a preserved lemon yoghurt cake with pressed flowers.

Citrus-flavoured desserts are perfect for those who want a sweet treat that isn't too sickly and rich. The perfect example of this is dessert queen Therese Lum's recipe for a preserved lemon yoghurt cake.

This baked delight is expertly balanced and delivers a sophisticated flavour thanks to the lemon cutting through the sweetness. Topped with an irresistible cream cheese icing and dressed in edible flowers, it not only tastes divine, but looks the part too.

This elegantly decorated cake is suitable for any occasion, but would make for a particularly fitting high tea or garden party treat. It will will keep fresh for a few days if stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 


For the cake: 

  • 3 eggs
  • 380g caster sugar
  • 245g full-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 400g flour 
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 150g preserved lemon, peels only
  • 160g extra virgin olive oil
  • 15g baking powder
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 pinch of salt 
  • Dry pressed edible flowers 
  • Fresh edible flowers

For the lemon cream cheese frosting: 

  • 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 112g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped 
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp salt

*For a layered cake, double the recipe (as pictured).


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Meanwhile, grease and line a 20cm diameter cake pan with baking paper.

For the cake, using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs and sugar together until pale and has doubled in volume.

Using a stick blender, blitz extra virgin olive oil, yoghurt, and preserved lemon peels together.

Pour into the egg mixture and fold to mix. 

Sift the flour, baking powder, grated lemon peel, and salt into the wet mixture.

Split a vanilla bean in half lengthways and carefully scrape the inside. Add to batter and stir to mix.   

Scrape the batter into the cake tin and bake for 60 mins until golden.

To test for doneness, insert a skewer into the cake to test if it is dry inside. 

For the frosting, using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth.

Reduce the speed to low and gradually add in the icing sugar a third at a time, then the scraped vanilla bean, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt.

Once incorporated, increase the speed to high and beat for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl a few times to make sure all the mixture is thoroughly incorporated.

Set aside until cake is cooled.   

Remove the cake from the oven, let it cool to room temperature before removing from the tin. Let it cool completely on a wire rack. 

Once the cake has cooled, generously lather with frosting and press various dry and fresh edible flowers on the outside.

Serve immediately. 

Shop Therese's look with our Lavender TableclothTerracotta Placemats, Terracotta Napkins in our Build Your Own Table Bundle.

For more from Therese follow her at @Therese.lum

Photography by Alisha Gore, Styling by Audrey Won.

Hungry for more? Explore more recipes from our favourite home cooks here.

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