Traditional French Yogurt Cake (with Video)

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A Traditional French Yogurt Cake Kids Can Make, this simple yogurt cake recipe is one that French grandmothers have taught to their grandchildren for generations – and now you can share it with your littles, too!

This traditional French Yogurt Cake Recipe is a fun, stress-free recipe to make with kids and a delicious tea cake recipe to serve to guests. A delicious tea cake recipe made using a yogurt pot for measuring

Yogurt Cake Recipe

I always love baking with my daycare kids. They get all line up to wash their hands and then help each other put on their personalized aprons before gathering around the table to take turns pouring, mixing and tasting.

It’s messy, fun and the kids are always so proud of their creations.

One of the first recipes I always make with my newest group of three year olds is this French yogurt cake recipe. It’s a simple, traditional recipe that French grandmothers teach their grandchildren to make using just a yogurt pot for measuring – in fact, this cake is often called “Gâteaux de Mamie” instead of “Gâteau au Yaourt.”

The yogurt pot is such a brilliant “hack” – it reduces the likelihood that an ingredient will be measured wrong, and it also introduces the concept of measuring (and non-standard units of measure) to kids. Young kids have a harder time understanding fractions and the difference between “half a cup” or a “quarter cup” but they understand “1 cup” and “2 cups” perfectly well!

(Plus it cuts down on dishes to wash!)

The resulting cake is moist, fluffy and delicious – the kids will be so proud and you don’t have to suffer through an awful dessert just to make them feel good!

We’ve now made several different variations of this Traditional French Yogurt Cake recipe – including a Triple Berry Yogurt Cake that my daughter proudly served to out of town guests recently.

You can mix in chocolate chips, a bit of cocoa, cinnamon, different flavor extracts, seasonal spices, etc. You can also top the cake a variety of different ways, or just leave it plain. We’ve dusted it with powdered sugar, frosted it with a light whipped cream frosting, drizzled with chocolate, and for this version – we topped it with a light lemon glaze for a fresh summer twist.

(But most of the time we leave it plain… or I drizzle my slice with a bit of maple syrup because I’m a true Canadian!)

This yogurt cake is really the perfect tea cake to serve in the afternoon – the kids love it after naptime, while I love it with a cup of coffee. It also makes a great homemade gift. We often make it as a mother’s day gift for the kids to bring home for an easy Mother’s Day brunch recipe (and then dad doesn’t have to feel as bad if he’s a bit unprepared!)

It bakes up really quickly, so it can be a great recipe to make on a playdate and then the kids can stage a little tea party once it’s ready! (Pink iced tea would be the perfect beverage accompaniment.)

Can I use something other than plain yogurt for this recipe? Yes, you can swap out the plain yogurt for flavored or Greek yogurt, or use sour cream.

What type of oil is best in this recipe? Any neutral-flavored oil will be traditional, but I like using olive oil. (Italy and Spain both have their own versions of this cake and often use olive oil.) I would avoid using melted butter as it will make this cake more dense.

What do you serve yogurt cake with? Yogurt cake is traditionally served with, well, yogurt or a dollop of crème fraîche. Sweetened whipping cream would be the closest North American substitute. I also think this cake pairs excellently with some fresh fruit – and always a cup of coffee or tea.

Can this cake be frozen? Yes, the plain cake (with no glaze or frosting) can be wrapped and stored in an airtight freezer bag for up to two months. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Do I need to use self-rising flour? No, while that is the easiest flour to use, you can use the same amount of all-purpose flour and add a tablespoon of baking powder to this recipe.

As with most baked goods, this cake tastes best the day after it’s made, so if possible, prepare the day before serving.

For more dessert recipes using yogurt, check out:

 

Check out our quick video for how to make this traditional French yogurt cake recipe (as shown by my 6 year old daughter) and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab our free printable recipe!
 

Ingredients for Yogurt Cake

A small yogurt jar/container, holds approximately 125mL of yogurt, which is half a cup. (It’s okay if yours is slightly above or slightly below.) I provide the actual measurements in the recipe card below, but if you’re measuring in “yogurt cups” your increments are:

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: the yogurt container used should be 125ml, or 1/2 cup. If your container is smaller, just ensure that you add a spoonful extra of each ingredient.

Tip #2: we usually use a loaf pan – it’s the perfect size and ensures the cake isn’t too thin. The cake shown in these pictures is small, about 6″ wide.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

  • Large bowl
  • Wooden spoon <– no need to break out the mixer, as you want to avoid over-mixing this cake
  • Loaf pan or small cake pan

How to Make a Traditional Yogurt Cake

Preheat oven to 350F

Grease and line your loaf pan or small cake pan.

Combine all ingredients except the fruit in a large bowl, and stir well with a spoon until all ingredients are well mixed together and no dry patches of flour remain.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, until lightly browned on top and an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

 

Pin this Easy Yogurt Cake recipe:

A Traditional French Yogurt Cake Kids Can Make, this simple yogurt cake recipe is one that French grandmothers have taught to their grandchildren for generations - and now you can share it with your littles, too!

Grab your free printable for our delicious yogurt cake recipe:

Yield: 1 cake, 8 servings

Traditional French Yogurt Cake

Traditional French Yogurt Cake

This traditional cake is fresh, moist and light with a subtle, sweet flavor. Add fruit, flavor extracts or fun toppings to switch things up. The easiest cake recipe ever!

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease and line your loaf pan or small cake pan.
  3. Combine all ingredients except the fruit in a large bowl, and stir well with a spoon until all ingredients are well mixed together and no dry patches of flour remain.
  4. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, until lightly browned on top and an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

Notes

If you need to use all-purpose flour, add a tablespoon of baking powder to this recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 488mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 5g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

Pin this Recipe for Later

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This traditional French Yogurt Cake Recipe is a fun, stress-free recipe to make with kids and a delicious tea cake recipe to serve to guests.

For more easy recipes kids can make, check out our Kid-made Rainbow Grilled Cheese recipe or our Kid-made Foolproof Strawberry Tarts recipe.

Check out our other Breakfast Recipes here:

Breakfast Recipes

This traditional French Yogurt Cake Recipe is a fun, stress-free recipe to make with kids and a delicious tea cake recipe to serve to guests. A delicious tea cake recipe made using a yogurt pot for measuring  This French Yogurt Cake is the EASIEST cake recipe you will ever make - you don't even need to use measuring cups. Tender, fluffy and delicious cake perfect for brunch, an afternoon tea, or a light dessert  A Traditional French Yogurt Cake Kids Can Make, this simple yogurt cake recipe is one that French grandmothers have taught to their grandchildren for generations - and now you can share it with your littles, too!  This French Yogurt Cake is the EASIEST cake recipe you will ever make - you don't even need to use measuring cups. Tender, fluffy and delicious cake perfect for brunch, an afternoon tea, or a light dessert

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6 Comments

      1. Hi Alannah,
        I think that sounds delicious! Replace a bit of the flour with the cocoa powder and you may need to reduce or remove the oil completely to account for the banana. I haven’t tried it personally but it should work!

  1. To make self rising flour, add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 t of salt. One tablespoon of baking powder, as suggested above, is too much.
    And, 1 teaspoon of vanilla is too much! It overpowers everything else. Other recipes call for 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla for their yogurt cakes.

    1. Thank you, Karen, for your comment. The vanilla should definitely be to personal preference – I personally LOVE using real vanilla extract but artificial extracts I do find overpowering if substituted 1:1. I’ll include a note to gage that to personal preference and potentially start out on the lower end.

      Anywhere from 2 teaspoons to 1 Tablespoon of baking powder plus 1 cup of all-purpose (US/Canadian) flour is what’s recommended to replicate a European self-rising flour which traditionally has a different protein structure than North American versions, which you’re right, can be replicated with a 1 1/2 t baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt ratio to 1 cup flour.

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