June 13, 2021

Lemon Turmeric Cake

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Receta en ESPAÑOL abajo!!

Lemon Turmeric Cake

You know those times you really need something sweet, but you also want to feel good about eating it? This Lemon Turmeric Cake has become my recent go-to sweet treat that also makes me feel like I am CRUSHING my internal inflammation! I made it recently for a cookout and everyone loved it because it’s lemony and earthy, but also because it is SO MOIST! This is not one of those “healthy” cakes that also tastes like a cardboard box with dirt on it. It’s sweet, lemony, and perfectly moist.

Table of Contents

What makes it Anti-Inflammatory?

You might be wondering why this Lemon Turmeric Cake is considered anti-inflammatory. Well, we have a FANTASTIC downloadable resource (coming soon!) that will explain anti-inflammatory foods for you. But for now, let’s do a simple overview.

Anti-inflammatory foods are those food items that contain polyphenols and other compounds that help reduce inflammation and inflammatory biomarkers within the blood. Is turmeric anti-inflammatory? Turmeric, cloves, AND lemon are all potent anti-inflammatory foods as well as antioxidants. Want to know the difference? Download our wonderful resource to find out more! (Yeah… I am trying to keep you coming back for more!)

This Lemon Turmeric Cake is also super easy to make. You will not need 100 bowls to mix several different things. The only aspect of this recipe that I would caution you on is to avoid overmixing. See? Even here I am asking you not to over-work! Simple, easy, and you do not need to whisk until your wrist hurts 


Notes on the Ingredients

  • Lemon: Use real lemons and lemon juice. The fake stuff will make it taste like the cleaning products “lemon” smell. Besides, it is the real lemon that contain all the anti-inflammatory properties so you might as well get the real stuff.
  • Yogurt: I like to use Greek yogurt because it contains higher amount of protein compared to other yogurts. You can use either the full-fat or light versions. They both work wonderfully!
  • Flour: We tested this Lemon Turmeric Cake recipe with all-purpose flour (AP) and whole wheat flour (WW). This recipe works perfectly with a variation of these two types but here are our thoughts on each tested version:
    • 100% all- purpose flour: If you use all AP, the cake turns out super moist! Also, using this version will make the yellow color of the turmeric pop even more which makes it look fancy.
    • 1 cup all-purpose + ½ cup whole wheat: Using it as the recipe states, gives it that perfect balance between a moist cake and an added touch of earthiness and fiber from the WW.
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose + ¾ cup whole wheat: You can use half and half, especially if you really want to bump up that nutrition content. This will make your cake a little more earthy in taste and will provide you with a more mild-turmeric color and flavor.
    • We honestly had a hard time deciding which version would go on the actual recipe because we did love all variations, but I am happy with the choice we made. Also, it’s nice to have options pending on what is in your pantry. If you have WW flour on hand and are looking to incorporate more nutrient-dense carbs into your diet, try out the 3/4 cup of each method!
  • Cloves: Using whole cloves and grinding them made this cake have a beautiful rich depth in flavor. If you don’t have whole cloves or a spice grinder, fear not! Ground cloves work well too. We have honestly tried to make cloves our main flavor ingredient in other recipes because it is SUCH a powerful antioxidant (no joke, like one of the highest antioxidant content spices). But ALAS! Cloves can overpower almost everything leaving the foods with an almost inedible taste. Just ask Kelly, she’s kind of done with cloves. Therefore, we learned that cloves + turmeric + yogurt make an amazing team and this is why this Lemon Turmeric Cake tastes so good.


Is the glaze necessary?

Yes. 100%. The glaze is the sugary tartness that makes this loaf cake pop! It is necessary. Don’t have powdered sugar at home? Put your regular sugar in a food processor and you will get powdered sugar (wink!)

How to make this Bad Boy

Ingredients List of flour, oil, cloves, turmeric, lemons, yogurt, sugar, eggs, baking powder

Preheat oven 350 F (176 C). Grease a 9×5 inch pan.

Combine yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice until well-combined (a whisk works well here).

Egg Beating For Lemon Turmeric Cake


Add the flour, oil, turmeric, ground cloves, baking powder, and salt and stir with spatula without overworking the batter. It may look a little lumpy but that’s alright!


Lemon Turmeric Cake



Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Turmeric Cake


Lemon Turmeric Cake

For the glaze: In a small bowl mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice and pour over gently on the loaf cake once it has cooled down (~15 minutes).

Lemon Turmeric Cake


Enjoy those antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients!


Lemon Turmeric Cake and lemon glaze

Lemon Turmeric Cake

A perfectly balanced cake loaded with antioxidants!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Lemon Turmeric Cake
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Catalina Ruz Gatica, MS, RDN, LDN


  • 9 x 5 inch loaf pan


For the Cake

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt *
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice or juice of ~1/2 lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour **
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour **
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2.25 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Glaze

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon


  • Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  • Combine yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice until well-combined (a whisk works well here).
  • Add the flour, oil, turmeric, ground cloves, baking powder, and salt. Stir with spatula without overworking the batter.
  • Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice. Once the cake has cooled down (~15 minutes), pour the glaze gently over the loaf cake.
  • Enjoy those antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients!


*Recipe tested with both full-fat and low-fat plain Greek yogurt. Both variations were excellent, so take your pick!
**Recipe tested with 1) 1.5 cups all-purpose (AP) flour, 2) 3/4 cup AP flour & 3/4 cup whole wheat (WW) flour, and 3) as stated in recipe. All variations tasted wonderful, so the choice is yours! Using AP flour makes the cake super moist, while adding whole wheat flour lends a bit of fiber and earthy taste.



Is Turmeric a natural anti-inflammatory food?

YES! As we discussed above, turmeric is one of those plants that contains polyphenol and anti-inflammatory compounds that work to reduce inflammation within the body. Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory food and it can play an important role in preventing the development of chronic diseases.

How to consume turmeric for anti-inflammatory purposes?

You can include turmeric in your diet in SO many different ways. Some people add 1 tbsp of turmeric to their smoothies, some to their grains (rice, couscous, quinoa) and some just add turmeric to water and drink it. Personally, I would not enjoy drinking plain turmeric with my morning glass of water but some people don’t mind it. If you’re like Kelly and I, explore by adding it to cakes, soups, sauces, and grains. Find what YOU enjoy the most and go with it!

Are lemons anti-inflammatory?

YES! Lemons, like turmeric, contain anti-inflammatory compounds that aid in reducing inflammation within the body. This is why this recipe is a trifecta of anti-inflammatory ingredients: lemons + turmeric + cloves.  You can enjoy these anti-inflammatory properties by adding lemon juice and lemon zest to your meals!



Receta en Español

Este quequito anti-inflamatorio está demasiado rico! Aparte de tener una buena combinación de ingredientes anti-inflamatorios, este queque NO ES SECO. Al partir, se van a dar cuenta que esta receta mantiene el queque húmedo y esponjoso.  Como ven en la receta, se puede hacer con harina blanca solamente o con una combinación de harina blanca e integral. El harina integral le da fibra a esta receta y esto hace que el sabor del limón sea un poco más sutil.


Queque limon curcuma receta

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I am a Registered Dietitian (RD) based in Chicago, IL. I have worked in various clinical settings including dialysis, ICU, and NICU. I am bilingual and love my Spanglish speaking peeps!


  1. Mike July 18, 2021 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Great lemon flavor. Fear not the turmeric and clove. They are subtle in flavor, but shine in color. Has a pound cake look, taste, and mouthfeel, without the saturated fat, but with bonus anti oxidants. Simple, moist, delicious.

    • Catalina Ruz Gatica, MS, RDN, LDN July 19, 2021 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Mike, we are so glad you enjoyed it!! Thanks for the feedback :)

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