french yogurt cake (using yogurt cup)

French yogurt cake (using yogurt cup) with 3 slices cut out and pictured from above with lemons and a jar of yogurt.

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 eggs

3 containers flour

(pinch of salt and any flavorings you wish to add, ie. lemon zest or vanilla extract)

Ingredients for French yogurt cake: eggs, yogurt, salt, baking powder, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, oil.

notes for recipe success

container size

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 
French yogurt loaf cake pictured from the side with a jar of yogurt and 4 lemons.

frequently asked questions about French yogurt cake

Can I make this cake gluten free?

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.

Can I make this cake dairy free?

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.

Can I add other flavorings or mix-ins?

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.

Can I use melted butter instead of oil?

Yes, you can use melted butter instead of oil. If you use salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe.

How long can I keep the leftover cake?

You can wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and keep them at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Can I bake this cake if I don’t have an individual yogurt container?

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:

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!

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french yogurt cake (using yogurt cup)


  • Author: Sepideh Campos

Description

A simple French yogurt cake that can be made at any time without using measuring equipment.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Using a 5.3 ounce yogurt container to measure, combine the ingredients in the following proportions:

  • 1 container whole milk greek yogurt
  • 1 container neutral flavored oil (I like avocado oil)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 containers granulated sugar
  • 3 containers all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)

If you don’t have an individual yogurt container, follow the standard ingredient measurements below:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup neutral flavored oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Note: if you use these measurements, start checking the cake after 40-50 minutes of baking.

Optional toppings:

  • Creme fraiche and berries
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • As is with tea or coffee
  • With fresh berries or a berry syrup
  • A dollop of yogurt and fresh berries

Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line an 8.5” loaf dish with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray, set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, oil, eggs, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk to combine.
  4. Clean and dry out the yogurt container. Use it to measure the sugar and flour as follows.
  5. Add the sugar to the bowl and whisk to combine.
  6. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Use a large rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the cake. It’s ok if the batter is a little lumpy, don’t overmix.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  8. Bake on the center rack of the oven until the top of the cake is golden brown and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean with a few moist crumbs, 60-80 minutes (check after 40-50 minutes if using the standard ingredient measurements)
  9. Remove the cake from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 30-60 minutes before slicing.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperatures with optional toppings or as is.
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