Yogurt cake recipe
Thursday, August 16, 2012
I went through my photos, trying to find a photo of the finished yogurt cake. This one, above, isn't typical--it's a marbled version (add chocolate powder to remaining cake batter after emptying part of it in the pan. Pour over the top and bake). Pictured: a roof tile from our home. You can see the handwriting which records when the tile was made, the 30th. The year is not indicated.
Uncle Jacques' Gâteau au Yaourt
The first French yogurt cake I ever tasted was made by my mother-in-law, and bodyguard, Michèle-France. She explained that she had used her son, Jacques', recipe. I had no idea my brother-in-law could bake!
The genius behind this cake is that there is no need to use measuring utensils. You need only reserve the yogurt container as a measure, once you've emptied the contents into the bowl.
- one small (individual size) container of plain yogurt (reserve for measuring the remaining ingredients)
- vegetable oil
- three eggs
- one package baking powder* (about 2 teaspoons)
Instructions (Easy as 3-2-1...):
Fill/empty the yogurt container...
...3 times with flour
...2 times with sugar
...1 time with vegetable oil (if I'm out of vegetable oil, I'll use olive oil or butter...)
First combine yogurt, beaten eggs & sugar. Next, add flour and baking powder, stir. Add a pinch of salt... Pour in oil and mix well (Uncle Jacques recommends using "un fouet" (whisk) to mix the batter. Pour into a cake pan (or muffin tin) and bake for 30 - 40 minutes at 350°F (175C)
Extras: Jacques suggests adding sliced (canned) pears (drained from their syrup) to the top of the cake before baking. The pears will sink nicely into the cake for a sweet "second version".
I sometimes mash up bananas and add them... or sneak in some grated zucchini or carrots. Chocolate chips are great inside, too! Or pureed pumpkin! Add walnuts :-)
Try replacing the sugar with maple syrup!
Having trouble with the sound? View this video on our YouTube channel. Then look for the "speaker" icon in the lower left corner of the video.
You can use many kinds of cake pans, like this Bundt pan, for your yogurt cake. I like to toss in goodies, in the middle. Fresh strawberries are lovely there, too! In the first photo, a bread pan was used, and in the video, above, I used a round cake pan.
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I've made it the past, but I've had to gluten free and haven't tried it with rice flour yet.
Posted by: Shane | Friday, August 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM
I love the photo of the cake, roof tile and pine cones. It looks like an autumn scene.
Thank you Jean Marc for commenting on some of our wild guesses. I'm sure that most of us figured that they were not impossible but more likely improbable.
I'm left with pondering that "delicate hint" from the previous post and now wonder if the hint lays in Kristin's written words: "fork in the road". I wonder if there has been a "write a book/column VS. write a blog" fork-in-the-road? In any case, we will cheer you both on, whatever it may be! (She is getting very good at writing cliff-hangers!!!)
Posted by: Karen Whitcome - Towson, Md USA | Friday, August 17, 2012 at 02:54 PM
You read my mind when you said, "Do you want the yogurt cake recipe, I just posted it here." Thank you! Cheers~
Posted by: Carrie @ Season It Already! | Friday, August 17, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Your mother-in-law certainly did not tell you 300 F. For those of us living in the 21st century the metric equivalent is 150 C.
(it's 149 actually).
Sounds like a nice easy cake for me to make and hopefully impress my friends.
The secret has got to be an advance from a publisher then.
Posted by: Mike Hardcastle | Friday, August 17, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Kristin - I have made this cake three times since you first posted the recipe eons ago and it always turns out weighing 100 kilos -what is the secret???????????
Posted by: Peggy in Central Florida | Friday, August 17, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Mike, thanks for the warning. I put todays cake into the oven at 160c -- I think 180c is the correct temp. The cake turned out. Also, the time ranges from 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the oven. (I see some US recipes list the oven temp at 350F for the cake.
Peggy, Im guessing it was the size of yogurt you used. I use the individual serving size. I guess it is 6 ounces? or one cup? Can anyone help?
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, August 17, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I have to try this...this is too temptingxx
Posted by: Mona | Friday, August 17, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I wonder... This cake batter sounds like it would be good made into an upside cake. I like to put peaches and a mix of butter and brown sugar on the bottom of a cast-iron pan, add peach schnapps to the cake batter (old Bon Appetit recipe), and bake in the oven. Let sit a few minutes and invert.
The Bon Appetit batter was a bit more complex to make (whipping egg whites and folding them in), but your recipe sounds easier and like it would be just as good.
My guess: you're buying vacation property near the sea somewhere?
Posted by: Cyndy | Friday, August 17, 2012 at 07:21 PM
My grandmother gave a recipe to me that is almost identical with a substitute of milk instead of yogurt. My favorite fruit for her recipe is blackberries, but I've used other fruit with good results too. Now I will try yogurt instead. Your home looks beautiful! I'm hoping you have another book being published, and sounding rather self-centered I will add that I hope I will be following in your footsteps likewise.
Posted by: Debbie Ambrous - Opp Alabama presently | Friday, August 17, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Oui et bon jour frenchie ones. I would adore to have the traditional recipe for that large apple tart which includes a bit or armanac and how can an Cally-fornie personne obtain amanac? Perhaps if you have apple trees you could produce it! I am breathless in anticipation of the grand-secret!
Posted by: Harriet Provence Van Eps | Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Posted by: Harriet Provence Van Eps | Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I will try the recipe tomorrow with chocolate some grand marnier and fresh rasberries....or strawberries, which I have. Actually it seems to have all sorts of possibilities....hmmm, will let you know.
I am still thinking the secret has something to do with the wine. Perhaps partnering with a California winery. I think it was Mondavi and Rothschild that partnered about 20 years ago.
Posted by: [email protected] | Saturday, August 18, 2012 at 10:38 PM
I have just recently rediscovered this cake. I grandmother made it for us. It is know as grand-mére baking. I asked my sister to clarify that our grandmother used to make this. She does not like sweets so she did not remember. It sent me on a search through ancestry dot com. Our gggrandmother left Le Harve France and sailed with her husband and 8 children, the youngest were one year old twins. I even found them on the ships register. She also made a chocolate genoise with a jam filling. Just delish.
Posted by: Madonna | Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 02:53 AM
The recipe looks delish. I will try it with apples.
As for the secret, it must have something to do with the sea and I too think you have acquired a seaside vacation property.
Posted by: Kathleene in the SF Bay Area | Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 08:08 PM
First cake very tasty but strange. Temp and baking time does not work in Southern California by the ocean.reworking recipe and will forward adaptations. Love your photos-the colors are wonderful. Look forward to each new post. Grand dogs.Three wonders from the Humane Society live with me enjoying each new day.
Posted by: Penny charpentier | Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I'm just in the final minutes of the yogurt cake's stay in the oven. I had set the temp at 300 to start, but after 35 minutes, figured it needed to finish at 350. It's been another 10 minutes, and probably needs 5 more.
I chose to do 1 cupful of plain sugar and 1 of brown sugar.
I cut the oil in half because another recipe I made recently had called for a US half cup and that turned out to be too much.
I added some grated zucchini and chopped walnuts.
I baked it in a loaf pan, knowing that "un cake" in French is really like an American sweetbread.
It smells yummy! Can't wait!
Posted by: Carol D. | Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Yogurt cake - sounds yummy! This is ideal for birthday celebrations and other happy gatherings. Putting a candle on it would be nice, so why not? And I do agree that chocolate chips are the best toppings that can make this cake more delicious!
Posted by: Joseph Carr | Tuesday, November 06, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Kristin, I think we need a final clarification, but I am guessing that it really is baking POWDER that should be used (not baking SODA). This may be the problem that some readers are having with the heavyness issue. Recipes with baking soda need an acid in order to generate air bubbles to make things light. Baking powder has both baking soda and a compound that makes into an acid when it is combiined with a liquid - so it would work in your recipe.
Posted by: David | Monday, December 10, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Hi David,.it should be baking powder, or levure chimique. Sorry for the confusion and I hope everyone enjoys this easy cake. Its so fast to make and so satisfying.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Monday, December 10, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Following my post a little earlier, I tried it (with baking powder) and I used a flavored yoghurt (raspberry) cooking it for the prescribed time and at the prescribed temperature, and it turned out just fine. Thanks, Kristin.
Posted by: David | Monday, December 10, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I am amazed that you were able to add mashed bananas. Whenever I try to use bananas in a regular cake recipe, the cake turns into a soupy mess. You need baking soda rather powder for bananas I think, if I remember my banana bread recipe correctly.
Posted by: Catherine | Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Hello Kristi: I tried the yaourt cake aux pommes yesterday and it seemed...heavy. :-( I did use levure chimique Alsa. But it was all wet until one hour later at 350 degrees F, instead of 30 minutes. What did I do wrong, should I have used cake flour instead of the whole grain all purpose that I have?
Posted by: Millie | Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 02:45 AM
So sorry about that, Millie. I see, from googling *yogurt cake* that times range anywhere from 25-45 minutes. I wouldnt open the oven door before 30 minutes... but the cake, in my little oven, takes close to 40 minutes. Oven size and other factors could explain things. Try again, it is fast and easy. Im going to try my Moms recommendation--and add cranberries! Off to soak those now (the kind I can find in France are dried cranberries...)
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 09:50 AM
Kristin, your video so impressed me that I simply had to try it immediately! I added raisins to the basic mix and baked it in a loaf pan for 40 minutes initially at 180 Celsius. I tested it and found that it needed more cooking, and 5 more minutes was perfect. Easiest cake I ever baked, and even my wife was impressed! The next one will have banana and walnuts. Thanks for the lesson and the recipe!
Posted by: Johan | Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Hello Kristin,I tried out your recipe. The cake was Fab!!! I had added Orange peel n pineapple essence as well.. it came out really well. I baked it at 180deg Celsius for 25mins... I dont know if the one you make turns brown because mine was yellow but light brown on the circumference. It was well cooked though.
Posted by: Ujwala | Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 07:15 PM
So good to read about your cake, Ujwala. Yes, mine sometimes turns golden... when it doesnt burn :-) Will have to try your orange peel idea. Mmmm!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, December 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Johan, I like to use loaf pans for this one, too. Also, Bundt (I think they ar called) pans make a nice shape (and you can fill the hole with fresh strawberries, when the cake has cooled!) So cheered by your feedback!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, December 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Je reviens pour te dire, chère Kristin, que cette fois, j'ai réussi à faire mon gâteau au yaourt et aux pommes. Que c'est bon! J'y ai ajouté aussi du rhum. Merci pour la recette et pour tes encouragements. Bonne journée!
Posted by: Millie | Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 08:47 AM
So good to see your note, Millie, and ooh là là rhum! Jean-Marc might like this addition, and find additional use for the bottle his aunt brings each year from Martinique ;-)
Re sugar: for those who might be wondering: I have heard back from a few readers that diminishing the sugar to 1.5 cups is not such a good idea... but it you are adding a lot of fruit, it might work (ie several mashed bananas)
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:10 AM
I love Smokey--Jones would never have been so patient. This is the cake that I used to make in Spain, but had forgotten the recipe. Thanx.
Happy New Year.
Posted by: mary | Friday, January 04, 2013 at 07:46 PM
I'm so excited to try this recette. I will add some Rose Water and a touch of vanilla just because I like those flavors.
Happy New Year to your family!!
Posted by: Alicia | Sunday, January 06, 2013 at 01:43 AM
I made this cake, adding lots of frozen raspberries. It took over an hour to bake, but e
veryone loved it!
Posted by: Jo-Ann Taylor | Monday, January 07, 2013 at 08:20 AM
Just made your cake for the first time. I thank you for sharing such a versatile and easy recipe! The only thing I added was vanilla extract and some lemon zest. I topped it with a lemon-blueberry glaze and you can see the result here:
Posted by: April | Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 02:27 AM
I put 1/2 the sugar, added a small box of blueberries and 1 tsp of peach shnoppes. Spead the batter inside my cast iron pan and baked at 350 for 40. minutes. Voila! I cut it like a pie and served it with strong coffee. Merci Beau coupe! Spell check cie vous plait : )
Posted by: Diane | Friday, March 01, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Thanks for these latest notes. April, I tried the lemon zest and vanilla -yum! And, Diane, will hope to try it with blueberries this summer.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, March 01, 2013 at 09:26 PM
So inspired by this recipe & your video with Smokey that I hopped up from a relaxing Friday evening avec ma mari and made a cake! Had all the ingredients and added lemon zest, blueberries, vanilla & almond extracts. Topped it with lemon glaze. Après le diner avec mes amies ce soir invited them over for le gateau et French roast French press cafe. It was a hit! Merci!
Posted by: Pam | Sunday, March 03, 2013 at 06:19 AM
I'm a teacher and we just had a snow day, so I made the cake to celebrate a day off! I made a slight change in the original recipe: used only one part sugar. I also added 1 TB lemon juice and the grated zest of one orange. I had to bake it for 50 minutes to get it done in the middle. It turned out well and is delicious! I want to try some other variations such as the addition of blueberries or maybe swirls of cinnamon and sugar in the batter. So many possibilities!
Posted by: Denise Cunningham | Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 01:17 AM
I adore making this cake. The secret of success for me is using a cast iron skillet.I add a can of sliced peaches, drained, to batter. Merci mucho for the recipe.
Marjorie Peck Cannon
Posted by: Marjorie Cannon | Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Added dessicated coconut and the zest and juice of a lime with a topping of lime glace icing on the top, delish.
Posted by: Lindylou | Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 05:37 PM
I love your videos and hope you do more. How about making videos of your favorite places to go there where you live and your town? Would love to see that. Keep making your videos. Everyone enjoys them. I live in a little Norwegian feel town called Poulsbo near Seattle. Would love to visit France someday! Looking forward to making your cake. Should it be 350 degrees for around 40 minutes? And us baking powder instead of the soda? I see many versions to time and temperature. Everyone is offering what they did when baking. Wondering before I bake this, what is the best... Enjoy your blog which I subscribe to and you videos, too!
Posted by: Kim Singer | Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Thanks, Kim, for the wonderful encouragement! Re the cake: baking powder is the one. And 350 degrees is correct. As for how long to cook the cake: I think I wrote between 35-45, but I have noticed, in the comments above, how this varies. Good luck and bon appetit!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 11:03 AM
Coincidentally just pulled out your yogurt cake recipe. Will make, with pears, to bring to family Christmas Eve. It has been a huge hit every time I make it.
Thank you sharing.
JOYEUX NÖEL et BONNE ANNEE to you and your family.
Posted by: Ronni Ebbers | Friday, December 20, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Very interesting blog and it’s very helpful for me. This is a great article and videos loaded with unique information. I really enjoyed the content and agree with your views. Thank you for sharing, just love the entire post and beautiful collection of. And I make sure to visit your site often. I would like to thank you for sharing this information.
Posted by: online cake delivery in Hyderabad | Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 11:52 AM
you can also use ricotta, and add zest of lemon. Fantastic, it is a corsican recipe.
Posted by: Jack Dickers | Sunday, March 01, 2015 at 03:17 PM
I've made this many times, and all adore it. My best is when I add drained canned peaches. Makes a very moist cake.
Posted by: Marjorie Cannon | Monday, March 16, 2015 at 05:35 PM
The cake sounds great! I'm going to try it, but . . . 175 degrees C = 347 degrees F, not 300. At 300, the cake will not bake correctly. I've checked the conversion manually and by google. Please correct.
Posted by: Ruth Fuchs Hallett | Friday, January 08, 2016 at 01:00 PM
Lose the dog! Geez, you can't even cook w/out that wretched dog panting and being totally in the way. Very unappetizing and off-putting to have some mangy dog hovering around food prep for humans. Seriously, we know you're needy, but show some couth in the kitchen.
Posted by: Ondas | Friday, January 08, 2016 at 01:31 PM
Thank you, Ruth, for catching that. I have updated the post.
Check out todays word:
FIRST FRENCH ESSAIS: Venturing into Writing, Marriage, and France
How to open a bottle of wine with a book!:
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 08, 2016 at 03:48 PM
How rude and so very germaphobic American. Smokey is not a mangy dog, and better behaved and cleaner than many children and they seem to be allowed in a kitchen. Get over it.
Posted by: Kris in Brittany | Friday, January 08, 2016 at 04:46 PM
Je suis d'un faire un voyage avec ma famille parce que ma fille joue hockey sur gazon dans en Floride. L'an denier, j'ai fait le deux gateaux yaourts. Je les aimais beaucoup. Est-ce que tu as fait cinquante a la fois? Je pense que je voudrais les faire une fete au printemps. J'écrite en français parce que ma fille fait ses devoirs français. J'espère que vous aimez bien mon français. J'ai fini à apprendre le français, il y a trois ou quatre ans.
Posted by: Janine Burge | Friday, January 08, 2016 at 05:00 PM
Thank you, Kris! Thanks so much! Smokey thanks you too.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 08, 2016 at 06:40 PM
Janine, Jaime beaucoup votre commentaire en francais! Et non, je ne fais quun gâteau à la fois.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 08, 2016 at 06:46 PM
Au contraire - lose Ondas! "Wretched, mangy, uncouth"? Wow, I think this person has been listening to The Donald a bit too much, peut-etre? No need for your "unappetizing" nastiness here, Ondas. Go troll somewhere else!
Now to Kristin - Smokey is such a beloved part of your blog, we love to see him in all your posts, as he is clearly attached to you at the hip. Thank you for doing this sweet how-to video and for including your BFF.
Posted by: Sheryl in Denver | Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 12:37 AM
Hi Kristin. I got a hankerin' to try your yogurt cake. I Googled on -yogurt cake Kristin- and voilà - yours was the FIRST hit. I read the comments. As for the baking powder vs. soda...If you use an acid component to the recipe - yogurt, buttermilk, bananas (yes), you MUST use baking soda. The soda does something to neutralize the acid of the moist binder. Otherwise, it will come out heavy and damp and have a pronounced acid flavor. Tonight I will use greek yogurt and a 6-oz measure because I don't buy individual yogurts (too much sugar). I will also try 350*F because a batter/dough that heavy needs to rise quickly. Will let you know how it comes out. I may add some lemon rind (or maybe sherry) & a glaze. Anticipation..... Luv ya!
Posted by: Augusta Elmwood | Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 02:11 AM
Salut Kristi, "levure chimique" is baking powder. Baking soda is "bicarbonate de soude", "bicarbonate de sodium", or simply "bicarbonate" (which is the term I remember from my time en France). Bon appétit !
Posted by: pamarama | Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 03:00 PM
Le chef dit: 1- A rubber spatula would be helpful to get all the batter out of the bowl; 2- A baked-off cake is good to show your viewers, after you have prepared the batter; 3- some sugar-and-cinnamon-glazed apples would be good on top.
Posted by: DAVID LAROUSSE | Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 09:33 PM
Salut, Kristi - I enjoyed your video, merci! I'll make a yogurt cake tomorrow. I'm also planning to make gingerbread since Sunday is Christmas, which made me think of another addition to yogurt cake... spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger :), to make a yogurt spice cake.
Posted by: Cate | Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 05:48 AM
My favorite version is with the sour cherries - Delish!! Tart and sour goes beautifully with the sweetness of the cake. the Sour cherries in USA can be found frozen, or in a jar (pitted preferably)
Posted by: Daniela | Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 06:31 AM
Hi Kristin, loved seeing Smokey help you. What a good dog! I just made your cake and am unsure of the results. I used a 5.3 oz cup of Trader Joe's nonfat Greek yogurt in vanilla bean. My cake doesn't look or taste much like a cake. Maybe it's the Greek yogurt, or because its nonfat? I did a eat a few bites of yogurt first to get the size closer to 4 oz. like you guessed yours was. I also added a pinch of French fleur du sel, as opposed to our American table salt. Hmmm. Maybe I shouldn't have, as I don't think it mixed in very well. And when you suggested muffin tins, I tried my mini Bundt cake pans, because they're muffin sized, and cooked it at 350 for 20. I don't know, it's a little dense and not really sweet, even with the two cups of sugar. Maybe I'll try again with a regular, whole milk yogurt. Merci!
Posted by: Terri | Saturday, November 04, 2017 at 01:42 AM