Italian Lemon Breakfast Cake (Ciambella) with spelt flour

Italian Lemon Breakfast Cake (Ciambella) with spelt flour

Italian Lemon Breakfast Cake with Spelt flour is traditionally baked in a bundt tin. This lemon cake is moist, not too sweet and a delicious breakfast cake to enjoy with a coffee. I love the crumb of this cake, dense yet velvety and a lovely crust on the outside, almost like a butter or pound cake. The perfect treat for the weekend or for a special occasion like Mother's Day.

What does Ciambella mean?
This cake is known as Ciambella, which means doughnut or ring cake in Italian.

Why is the cake moist?

The trick to this super moist cake is adding in yoghurt and oil. However, if you'd rather add in butter, then that should work but I haven't tested it this way. Or swap out the yoghurt for milk (maybe add a little less).

Takes – 10 minutes prep.
Bakes – 40 mins
Make – 16 slices
Baking tin – 9 inches (10 cups) bundt tin or a 23cm springform round tin

Ingredients for 10 cup ring tin

  • Large eggs – 3  
  • Lemon zest - whole lemon about 2 tsp
  • Sugar – 150g (3/4 cup)
  • Spelt flour – 250g (about 1+3/4 cups)
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon (pinch)
  • Olive oil or a neutral oil – 100ml (1/2 cup)
  • Greek or natural yoghurt – 230g (just under 1 cup)
  • Lemon juice – 1 to 2 tablespoons depending on taste
  • Icing sugar to decorate


Step 1
PREHEAT oven 180˚C, 160˚C fan, and grease with melted butter into all the lines of the bundt tin, flour a little.

Step 2
WHISK eggs, sugar, and lemon zest for 2 minutes. Then add lemon juice, oil and yoghurt then mix for only 30 seconds.

Step 3
WHISK flour, baking powder and baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Then add the flour a little at a time. Only combine for 30 seconds on medium. Do not overmix. Ensure the batter is smooth and there's no flour left at the bottom of the bowl.

Step 4
SCOOP the cake batter into the prepared baking tin (it should be a little thicker than normal. Bake in the warm oven for 30-40 minutes until golden brown, covered with a tent of foil if the top is browning too much. Check the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer, if it comes out clean it is ready. Cool for 10 minutes then flip out of the cake tin. Cool completely then sprinkle with a veil of icing sugar to serve. It tastes better when the cake is cooled and not too warm. Store in a sealed container for up to 3 days, and freeze for up to 2 months. A perfect cake to make the day before ready to enjoy for breakfast with a coffee.

Sue Maree P Baking Tips

  • Non-dairy – replace the yoghurt with plant-based milk, add only half a cup to 3/4 of a cup
  • Eggs – replace the eggs with flax eggs
  • 5 cup bundt tin – divide the recipe by 50%
  • Why is my cake hard? Check the oven temperature is correct you may need to cook it lower. Did you swap the baking tin? If so, a square cake tin with cook faster than this round ring tin. You may need to bake the cake for 10 minutes less.