French Yogurt Cake


I have to say first, that this recipe was born from having leftover yogurt in the fridge. My folks were in town and my mom bought Greek Activia (Raspberry) to eat for breakfast. I don’t like yogurt, but I didn’t want to throw it out, so I found this recipe. Once I started reading the list of ingredients, I became very curious to know what made it “French”. After a little digging, it turns out that this recipe is a staple in the French home. All of the ingredients are always on hand and they are measured in a yogurt cup which is a half cup serving. Cool. Time to get to work.

The recipe is very straight forward, so I really didn’t run into any trouble putting this together. Except for one thing. I’m using a raspberry-on-the-bottom yogurt, so I’m trying to be as careful as possible not to get any of the raspberry bits into my mix. I wasn’t super successful, and so now my batter looks kinda dirty. Oh well.


The baking was coming along ok until I decided to check on the cake around 45 min in. I forgot to move my oven racks and so the cake was starting to brown a lot on the bottom. I pulled the cake out gently and saw that it needed another 10 or so minutes. Of course while pushing the rack back into the oven, it got stuck and my pan shook violently (ok, not violently, but it shook). This would not end well. Fifteen minutes later I took the cake out of the oven and there was a little dip in the center as expected. No worries, because the cake tasted great. It was dense, moist, and full of lemon flavor. It was like a good snack cake that would be nice with a cup of tea. This is something that would be very easy to whip up if you have friends coming over and wanted a little something sweet to serve. Or, if you wanted to get really fancy, you could make a glaze, or serve it with berries. Bon appetite!


French Yogurt Cake


  • nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a standard (8 1/2×4 1/4″) loaf pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Whisk 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, rub 1 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest in a large bowl until sugar is moist. Add 3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; whisk to blend. Fold in dry ingredients just to blend. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto rack; let cool completely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.  

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