French Yogurt Cake or “Cake au yaourt”

When you bake a lot, as with every other activity, you sometimes feel like whipping up a dessert with a small ingredient list, minimal mixing time and simple yet delicious results. IMG_6007This cake’s recipe is from Bon Appetit (May 2012) but could very well stem from a French “Classic Recipe” book since it is one of the most common and easiest desserts French family prepare on a regular basis. This is not a myth, I’m French…I should know. The “cake au yaourt” is also known for using a small yogurt container as the measurement for all ingredients as in this recipe on If you read French, you’ll see that the yogurt container also helps measure the sugar and flour quantities (if you don’t, fear not, i’m translating the recipe below.) But first, let’s try the Bon Appetit one.

You’ll need:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat pan with vegetable oil spray. Dust with flour; tap out excess.IMG_5991
  • Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.IMG_5992
  • Using your fingers, rub sugar with lemon zest in a large bowl until sugar is moist. IMG_5993 IMG_5994Add yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract; whisk to blend. Fold in dry ingredients just to blend.IMG_5995 IMG_5996 IMG_5997
  • Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. IMG_5998Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50–55 minutes.IMG_6006 IMG_6008
  • Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto rack; let cool completely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature. Enjoy!

Now for those of you who stuck with me until the end, here is the “French” recipe:

Prep Time: 5 minutes (yeah!!!  and note that there is no mention of cleaning time, because there is none! The yogurt container you use will end up in the recycling bin!)

Baking Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients: (for 6 servings – if you eat LARGE slices!!)

– 1 plain yogurt (individual size yogurt – the container will serve as a measuring cup)
– 1 “container” sugar
– 2,5 containers flour
– 0,5 container vegetable oil
– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1 TBsp rum (optional)
– parchment paper or spray for the pan.


In a bowl, pour the yogurt, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract and oil and mix thouroughly until mixture is perfectly smooth.

Cover bottom of pan with parchment paper or spray with oil spray. Pour mixture into pan.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 350F until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



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