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One ingredient can really make all of the difference, and that is especially the case with this recipe for French Yogurt Cake. Thick and creamy yogurt makes a double-featured appearance in both the cake and the frosting for one wondrously silky smooth bite.

France’s famous yogurt cake is supposedly the first recipe French children learn to make. It’s easy to measure, some versions portion out all of the ingredients straight from the yogurt container itself. The cake’s dump-and-whisk process is super low-key, meaning it can be made for any occasion. This cake’s no-fuss presentation makes for a pressure-free treat, that’s traditionally served plain or with a side of creme fraiche. Here, this French Yogurt Cake gets a companion of creamy frosting, highlighting the cake’s star ingredient.

There’s no fussing over the ingredients, most are pantry and refrigerator staples. The yogurt is probably the biggest variation from most cake recipes.

This cake requires the muffin method of preparation. In layman’s terms, this means the batter is formed with a simple whisking of wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls and then combining the two into one bowl.

After whisking the wet and dry ingredients, combine both into one bowl, whisking until there are no streaks of flour visible, and the batter is mostly lump-free.

Pour the batter into a prepared round cake pan. You can use an eight or nine-inch pan. Just note that the bake time will be slightly longer for the eight-inch cake, but only by a few minutes.

Once baked, the cake will have a cake dome on top. If you want to have a flat cake, use a knife to carefully remove the top (the cake top always makes for a delicious snack).

The frosting is the biggest variation from a classic French Yogurt Cake, which is generally without a topping or served with a side of the latter mentioned creme fraiche.

A bit of cream cheese stabilizes the Greek yogurt and powdered sugar for a spreadable frosting that doesn’t wilt. You may be wondering if you can use classic yogurt, but it is not recommended, as it has too much water and will make for a yogurt sauce instead of a yogurt frosting. Most yogurts can be made into a thickened Greek-style yogurt by placing the yogurt in a mesh strainer lined with a paper coffee filter. Set the strainer over a bowl or large measuring cup and let the yogurt drain for one to two hours. After that time, a majority of the water will have drained into the bowl.

With the frosting spread on top of the cake, you have yourself a quick and complete dessert!

Served alongside a ripe red berry makes for a great, slightly acidic contrast to the rich and creamy cake.

The cake has a moist and tender crumb. Using oil as the fat in the batter means the cake will stay fresh for several days. Tanginess from the frosting makes for a refreshing deviation from the cloyingly sweet frostings of today.

This French Yogurt Cake is truly a seasonless, unbounded recipe. It can be made any time of the year and for any reason, both big celebrations all the way down to the smallest of achievements.

This is a cake that states that every day is a holiday and a day worth celebrating.

Yield(s): Serves 6 to 8

20m prep time

35m cook time

32m inactive

Rated 4.4 out of 5
Rated by 47 reviewers

Allergens: Milk, Gluten

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For the Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Strawberries (for garnish)
To make the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9-inch cake pan with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
  3. In another bowl whisk together sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Gradually whisk the dry into the wet ingredients until there are no visible bits of flour and the batter is mostly smooth.
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean with a few moist (not wet) crumbs.
  6. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. If you want a flat cake, use a serrated knife to cut the cake top off.
To make the Frosting:
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and lump free, about 2 to 3 minutes on a medium speed.
  2. Change to a whisk attachment and gradually add yogurt, powdered sugar, and vanilla, whipping until smooth.
  3. Spread on top of cooled cake and garnish or serve with berries if desired.

Recipe adapted from Dessert First Girl.