When your sweet tooth gets a mind of its own and practically becomes its own entity, you start craving dessert on a daily basis. A little piece of chocolate or a sweet biscuit, anything to just satiate and calm the voice in your head that says “need. sugar. now!” Because I deal with this problem so often, I’ve gotten pretty good at coming up with easy dessert recipes that’ll satisfy my cravings on a whim. A piece of chocolate just doesn’t always cut it. Sometimes a girl just needs some cake. For me, cake is all about its moist, fluffy texture. As much as I love a good frosting, what my palate really craves from a slice of cake is that tender crumb that melts in your mouth, flooding your senses with the warm taste of vanilla, sugar, and butter. So, when that craving hits, I’ll often whip up this French yogurt cake, a moister, fluffier version of the American pound cake.
Ironically, the French actually don’t bake very much at home. Although, this isn’t that ironic when you consider the fact that there are amazing bakeries and pastry shops on every corner in France. Why spend your day making a mille-feuille or macarons when you can just walk down the street and pick up a delectable one made by an artisanal baker? So, when the French feel like making something sweet from their own kitchen to celebrate a birthday, special dinner, or just a family gathering at the home, they whip up this French yogurt cake. And it’s easy to understand why, because this French yogurt cake doesn’t require any fancy equipment, and is as foolproof as cakes get. No need to worry about the cake sinking in the middle or having to decorate it once it’s done. In fact, you don’t even really need more than a bowl and a whisk to create the batter because the French like to use the container from the yogurt that’s used in the batter to measure out all their ingredients!
While I’ve shared the recipe for this French yogurt cake in standard American measurements, I did include the “yogurt container” measurements as well, just for fun. Usually a standard tub of yogurt in France contains 1/2 a cup or 4 oz., so if you are going to measure out your ingredients in the French fashion, make sure you don’t buy a tub of yogurt larger than that. You can top your yogurt cake with anything you’d like, including fresh fruit, or in this case, a rose water cherry syrup. I used fresh summer cherries to make the syrup, which I stored in a jar in the fridge. The syrup is perfect for a cake like this, which just soaks up the cherry juices and becomes all the more delicious. I think you guys will love how simple this cake is to put together and what a wonderful afternoon treat it can be with a nice cup of tea or coffee.
French Yogurt Cake with Cherry Syrup
for the cake
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour 3 tubs of all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 c sugar 2 tubs of sugar
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 c plain yogurt 1 tub of yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c flavorless oil 1 tub of oil
for the cherry syrup
- 1 lb . fresh cherries pitted and sliced in half
- 1 c sugar
- 1 tsp rose water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest together, using your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs and whisk until pale yellow and light.
Add the yogurt and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Now add the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk until batter is smooth.
Use a rubber spatula to fold the oil into the batter; the cake batter will look glossy once you’re done.
Pour the batter into a greased 1 lb. loaf pan and bake the cake for approximately 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Flip the cake out onto a wire cooling rack and allow it to slightly cool.
Meanwhile, prepare you cherry syrup by adding the cherries and sugar to a large, wide saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar completely dissolves and the cherries have softened. Remove the cherries from the saucepan temporarily and raise the heat to high. Continue to cook the liquid in the saucepan until it’s reduced a bit and slightly thicker; it should be closer to a syrup consistency. Add the cherries back in and remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the rose water and mix to combine. Let the syrup cool to room temperature. Pour the syrup over the cake before serving.