Yogurt Cake is a staple of French home baking: it is very easy to make and I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like it.
What’s notable about the method is that it calls for two (half-cup) tubs of yogurt, and you then use the empty tubs to measure out the rest of the ingredients. This no-scale recipe is a rare exception to the French usage, in which quantities are measured by weight rather than volume.
It is very popular with kids, who love a simple, moist and fluffy cake. But what they particularly enjoy is that they can make it almost entirely on their own, perched on a kitchen stool. There is no complicated step, no scale to fiddle with, and with the intensive sandbox training they have, they are usually experts at the emptying and filling of small-sized containers.
The basic gâteau au yaourt recipe lends itself to a lot of great variations. You can add citrus juice, zest, or peel for a delicious lemon or orange cake, you can add chocolate chips or nuts to the batter, you can slice the baked cake in two and spread a layer of jam in the middle, you can frost the cake with a chocolate frosting… Whatever strikes your fancy.
I especially like this variation, in which I fold raspberries (fresh or frozen) into the batter, and substitute almond flour for part of the flour. The berries bring delightful tart notes, and the almond flour make the cake even moister.
We typically have this as an afternoon treat, but it is such a subtly sweet cake, it would be perfect for breakfast or brunch as well.
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- 240 ml (1 cup) plain yogurt (two 120-ml ou 1/2-cup tubs, which is the French standard)
- 1 1/2 tubs (3/4 cup) sugar (I typically use blond unrefined sugar), plus 1 to 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
- 1/2 tub (1/4 cup) oil
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tubs (1 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1 tub (1/2 cup) almond flour (you can also use almond meal or finely ground almonds)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) raspberries (fresh or frozen; no need to thaw if frozen)
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Line a 22-cm (9-inch) round cake pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, put the yogurt, the 1 1/2 tub sugar, the oil, and the eggs.
- Whisk together until combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix it in with a spatula until you can't see white traces of flour. Do not overmix; some lumps are OK.
- Pour half the batter into the cake pan. Cover evenly with half of the raspberries.
- Pour the other half of the batter, and add the other half of the raspberries on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining sugar.
- Put into the oven to bake, for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is springy and a cake tester comes out clean. If it looks like the top of the cake is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil for the rest of the baking time.
- Allow to rest on the counter for 15 minutes. Lift from the pan, and transfer to a rack to cool.
- Serve slightly warm or completely cooled.
This post was first published in May 2014 and updated in July 2017.