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!
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:
- Triple Berry Yogurt Cake
- Banana Bread Recipe with Yogurt
- Yogurt Bark
- Carrot Banana Bread
- Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse from My Fussy Eater on Youtube
- Yogurt Panna Cotta from Skinnytaste
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Mermaid Chia Seed Popsicles
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:
- 1 container yogurt
- 2 containers self-rising flour
- 1 container white sugar
- 1/2 container olive oil or vegetable oil <– any neutral oil will work, it keeps the cake light and moist
- 3 Eggs
- Vanilla extract, optional
- Salt, optional
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.
Grab your free printable for our delicious yogurt cake recipe:
- 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
- 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.
If you need to use all-purpose flour, add a tablespoon of baking powder to this recipe.
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New Star Foodservice 42917 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups Combo, Set of 8
White Lily Self Rising Bleached Flour - 80 oz
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.
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.