This French yogurt cake recipe is the perfect option when you’re looking for something sweet, simple, and homemade to enjoy. Whether it’s with a cherry sauce drizzled on top, as showcased here, or a simple scoop of crème fraîche, you’re going to love this delicious cake.
French Home Baking
It may seem strange, but the French actually don’t bake very much at home. This is especially true for Parisians, and when you think about all the amazing bakeries and pastries shops nearby, it makes sense.
They can have high-quality, fresh baked goods within moments. That leads one to wonder, why spend a few hours 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?
But the French have a deep appreciation and love for home cooking and baking, which is why you will find them baking something delightful from time-to-time, right at home in their own kitchen.
This French yogurt cake is a staple for French home cooks.
This French yogurt cake recipe can be whipped up to celebrate a birthday, special dinner, or just a family gathering at the home. Its versatility and ease make this cake one to add to your baking arsenal.
French Yogurt Cake Recipe: Why Yogurt?
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!
In general, yogurt is often used in baked goods to produce a moist and fluffy result, essentially a lighter crumb.
So not only does the yogurt produce a lovely cake, but the tub in which it’s sold in in France is often the perfect size for measuring out the rest of the cake ingredients.
In France, you’ll often find yogurt sold in 1/2 cup or 4 oz containers. So a cake recipe like this might list 1 tub of yogurt and 3 tubs of flour (i.e. 1 1/2 cups of flour). Because it is less common to find plain yogurt in tub sizes like this, I’ve simply listed out the standard American measures in the recipe card below.
Topping Your Cake
You can top your yogurt cake with anything you’d like, including fresh fruit or a fruit syrup. I used a cherry syrup that gets soaked up by the cake crumb and makes this cake even more irresistible.
Other favorite toppings include jams, crème fraîche, and ice cream.
When I eat a slice for breakfast, I often add nothing and simply enjoy its lovely texture and aroma on its own.
The cake has a tender, moist, fluffy texture, with a crumb that melts in your mouth, flooding your senses with the warm taste of vanilla and sugar.
In a way, this French yogurt cake can be thought of as a lighter and fluffier version of the American pound cake. I highly recommend giving this cake a try the next time you’re in the mood to baking something perfectly sweet and easy!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup flavorless oil (canola, grapeseed)
- 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 just 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 cool before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 8 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 5g