This French yogurt cake (using yogurt cup) is a simple and delicious recipe that’ll come in handy the next time you want to bake without fussing around with measuring cups. The general idea is that you use an individual yogurt cup and measure all of your ingredients using this container. The recipe is so fail-proof that kids in France learn how to bake this as young as three years old.
When I first read about French yogurt cake in Bringing Up Bebe it immediately intrigued me. Kids in France bake this cake with their parents and it remains a beloved recipe well into adulthood. I may not be French but I’m planning to bake this cake with my son as soon as he can hold a whisk!
The simple (1-2-3) version of the recipe is easy to memorize:
1 container plain yogurt
1 container oil
2 containers sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 containers flour
(pinch of salt and any flavorings you wish to add, ie. lemon zest or vanilla extract)
notes for recipe success
Yogurt containers in France typically hold 4 ounces of product. Most individual yogurt containers in America hold 5.3 ounces of ingredient. The proportions of ingredients are more important than the actual measurements, so as long as you use the same container to measure everything you can use either size yogurt cup.
type of oil to use
It’s best to use a neutral tasting oil like vegetable oil. I prefer to use avocado oil but I’ve also had success with 1/2 olive oil + 1/2 canola oil.
baking time variations
A recipe made with a 5.3 ounce yogurt container and baked in a standard American loaf pan will take from 60-80 minutes to finish baking. If you use a 4 ounce yogurt container and bake the cake in the same size pan, it will take less time because you’ll have less batter. For a cake made with a 4 ounce yogurt container, check the cake after 40-50 minutes in the oven.
loaf pan size
The standard American loaf pan measures:
- Length: Approximately 8.5 inches
- Width: Approximately 4.5 inches
- Height: Approximately 2.5 inches
If you use a bigger or smaller baking pan, adjust the cooking time accordingly. Batter cooked in a larger pan will bake faster.
optional mix-ins for your cake
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 orange
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup fresh or frozen berries
frequently asked questions about French yogurt cake
Yes, you can make this cake using your favorite gluten free flour mix. Need help finding a 1-1 gluten free flour susbstitute? Check out this article on Food Network.
Yes, you can make this cake dairy free by using your favorite coconut yogurt. Try to use an unsweetened coconut yogurt if you can find it.
Yes, you can get creative and add any mix-ins you want. Some ideas include: orange zest, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Fold in the additions when you add the flour.
Yes, you can use melted butter instead of oil. If you use salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe.
You can wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and keep them at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Yes, you can bake this cake without an individual yogurt container. Simply follow the standard measurements in the recipe below.
If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to check out these other French desserts:
- fig and earl grey clafoutis
- french nectarine tart with almond cream
- le chocolat chaud – Parisian hot chocolate
If you get a chance to try my French yogurt cake recipe (using yogurt cup) or made in the standard way, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I’d love to connect with you as well! You can find me on Instagram where I like to share bits of my life in NYC and videos that accompany my recipes. Happy baking!Print