I’m pretty sure that yogurt cake was the very first dessert that Jérôme ever made for me. It’s almost more of a snack cake than a dessert and is as simple as it gets – even the measurements are done in terms of your yogurt container! It’s definitely the first recipe that French kids learn to make with their parents or grandparents, and rightfully so: it’s quick and easy to make, it’s moist and fluffy every time, and it’s perfect for a small sugar craving after dinner or for a quick breakfast. It’s been a long time since we made one, but recently I was in need of something sweet and found myself without any chocolate in the house, and a fridge full of yogurt. I stirred up the batter in about two minutes flat, and 25 minutes later was rewarded with the crisp and browned-outside and moist and fluffy and slightly tangy-inside of this great dessert.
My favorite thing about yogurt cake is that you can do whatever you want with it. Start with an individual-sized portion of your favorite yogurt: plain, vanilla, cherry, lemon, apple pie… Whatever! You can do add-ins (chocolate chips or dried cranberries for example) and you could even frost it, although with its nice, crunchy exterior I wouldn’t recommend it. Our favorite is made with vanilla yogurt, but as I only had plain this time I just added some vanilla extract. It’s a great balance because it’s a cake that isn’t too sweet and doesn’t taste like over-indulgence, even when you eat it for breakfast.
Classic yogurt cake
Ingredients (makes one 8X8 inch cake):
1 individual-sized container of your favorite yogurt
2 containers of flour
1 1/2 – 2 containers of sugar, depending on how sweet you like your cake
3/4 container of neutral vegetable oil
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t vanilla extract (optional, if using plain yogurt)
There’s really no method here. Preheat your oven to 350°. Measure all of your ingredients with your yogurt container and place them in a large bowl. Add the eggs, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla if using. Mix with a spoon until the batter is smooth and most of the lumps have dissolved. Grease and 8X8 inch square pan with a little vegetable oil or line with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and a knife comes out fairly cleanly (this is a very moist cake so you may have some sticky crumbs).