Greek Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes made with Greek Yogurt

May 16, 2012
Greek Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes made with Greek Yogurt

These cupcakes are based on a Greek cake made with yogurt called yiaourtopita, which translates into yogurt pie but is basically a syrupy yogurt cake. My version is lighter; has fewer eggs and does not contain butter (as the original yiaourtopita) I replaced it with olive oil and there is no syrup, but it is equally delicious and ideal with coffee or tea and a healthier cupcake for kids.

These are light, fluffy and very lemony cupcakes, using ingredients that everybody has in their kitchen, and the best part: they only take 10 minutes to prep.

Don’t be afraid of the olive oil, you won’t notice it taste-wise but you will notice it nutrition wise; this cupcake has almost no saturated fat, but mostly the good monounsaturated ones.

I use plenty of lemon juice and lemon peel, but you can use less, and you can also add poppy seeds.

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Greek Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes made with Greek Yogurt

Greek Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes made with Greek Yogurt
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Quick and easy recipe for fluffy and light lemon cupcakes made with Greek yogurt and olive oil instead of butter.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 330kcal
Author: Elena Paravantes
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  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 7 ounces (200 g) low fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • Lemon juice from 1 ½ -2 lemons
  • Lemon peel from 2 lemons

For Lemon Glaze

  • Lemon juice
  • Powdered Sugar


  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees F (180 degrees Celsius)
  • Line a muffin pan with muffin liners.
  • In a large bowl mix sugar and olive oil
  • Add the eggs and mix.
  • Add the yogurt, lemon peel and lemon juice and mix well.
  • In another bowl blend flour with baking powder.
  • Add the flour ½ a cup at a time to the batter while mixing.
  • Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and remove and let them cool completely.

Lemon Glaze

  • Add powdered sugar to lemon juice stirring with a spoon until you have a thick consistency that is pourable. The ratio is about ½ cup powdered sugar for every tablespoon of lemon juice.
Nutrition Facts
Greek Lemon Olive Oil Cupcakes made with Greek Yogurt
Serving Size
1 cupcake
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Leave a comment or share on instagram and mention @greekdiet

Photo by Elena Paravantes

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  • Reply Kathy July 15, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    Love all your recipes! Want to try these, they sound delicious . Wanted to ask your professional opinion if I may. I was thinking to add cornmeal for my mom as she loves cornmeal muffins. What are your thoughts, cornmeal with lemon…do you think it will go together? If I do, should I reduce flour, and by how much? What are your thoughts?

  • Reply Kim January 19, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    Would this work with wheat flour?

  • Reply Frankie November 25, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    These turned out really good! Love that they are not too sweet. I followed the recipe exactly but the batter made 24 standard sized cupcakes/muffins (12 must be for a bigger muffin) I took them out of the oven at 20 minutes, and even though they were still good, 15-17 minutes would have provided a moister muffin. Mine did not turn out oily at all. Love the strong lemon flavor. Will definitely make again!5 stars

    • Reply Frankie November 28, 2021 at 10:53 am

      A follow up to my review. Again, these were really good but I will note that my friends and family said they did taste much better the first day of baking. Second day was pretty good still but by the third day there was a little “off taste”. I will definitely make these again but will do like one reviewer stated and make sure that I have really good olive oil. That may be what makes the difference. May even try the poppyseeds :). I truly enjoyed these!5 stars

  • Reply Pauline November 12, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    Can’t wait to try them, my daughter loves cup cakes. Thank you!

  • Reply Nancy October 7, 2021 at 5:51 am

    Wonderful! I made them for a school event, everybody loved them!5 stars

  • Reply Virginia March 8, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Hi! I gave these a try because I’m looking for recipes to serve for the Easter holiday. I had never made any type of sweet baked goods using olive oil. They turned out great. I followed the directions exactly. I was worried because they do come out of the pan at 5 minutes post bake very oily on the bottom, but they reabsorbed all of that oil as they cooled and the texture of the cupcakes was wonderful. I didn’t use an electric mixer but stirred everything together by hand. I could really taste the olive oil in these so I’m glad I purchased a new bottle of good quality oil to use. The flavor is very unique and I could taste every element. They were lemony and sweet with an underlying earthiness from the oil. Great recipe and fun to make. Thanks!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN March 13, 2019 at 5:59 am

      Thanks for sharing Virginia! Yes, good olive oil is essential when baking!

  • Reply Tracy September 16, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Hi I was just wondering what measurement a ‘cup’ is? Making these with my kids for a school project at the weekend

    Thank you in advance


    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 16, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Tracy,
      It is a regular measuring cup, meaning 8 ounces or 240 ml.

  • Reply T Gikas April 5, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Great recipe. Well done.

    I used this batter for a dessert pound cake with excellent results. Cooked it in a loaf pan on top of a cookie sheet at 325F on the middle shelf for about 50 minutes (this is a very moist but thick batter so cooking time depends on the type of pan used). Hint: Check for doneness with a shiny metal probe such as a cooking thermometer.

  • Reply bessie bistekos April 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    made them! !!!! DELICIOUS! !!

  • Reply Irene Baveas April 2, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Going from Kitty’s response, I should use plain flour?

  • Reply Diane February 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I was a bit confused as to how much 7oz of yoghurt equates to. I used 1 cup which seemed to be OK (don’t know if it should have been more). Still delicious.

  • Reply kel October 29, 2012 at 11:15 am

    hi Elena!
    i’m looking forward to making these delicious and healthy treats!
    may i noe how many cupcakes can these make? i looked through the article but i cant seem to find the number of servings. sry if its there >.<

  • Reply Kitty June 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    These cupcakes came out very aromatic, with a great and balanced taste. I made some changes i.e. used honey instead of sugar and followed the advice given about using less oil and honey. I also used corn oil instead of olive oil and the result was very good. I also used self raising flour with two tsp. baking powder. The cupcakes sank a little in the middle, but they still looked good. On the whole, a very good recipe, with healthy ingredients and satisfying results. Bravo!

  • Reply soberana May 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I made these and the flavor was great – but I substituted honey for the sugar and maybe that made it more liquid (although the batter was still perfect – like cake batter) and therefore, when cooked, the bottom of the cupcake was very oily and mushy. They still tasted great but I wondering if there is a way to make them with honey but reduce the oil and honey so that they are more cakey when cooked. Any suggestions?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN May 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      I have not tried making them with honey, but great idea! Here are some suggestions: Use less honey than total amount of sugar since honey is heavier and sweeter. Reduce the oil rather than the lemon or yogurt which provide the lemony and tangy taste. Also a rule of thumb in regards to substituting with honey is to reduce the liquids by 1/4. So for every 1 cup of honey you use, you reduce liquids by 1/4 cup. So I would reduce the olive oil by about 1/4 of a cup. Good Luck!

  • Reply Katina Kantzia May 17, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Your muffins look great and “sound” delicious!
    Nothing like the Mediterranean way of eating!

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