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Gâteau au Yaourt: French Yogurt Cake

Gâteau au yaourt, or French yogurt cake, is a rustic anytime cake. It’s for any season, any time of day, any occasion. You can serve it with berries and an extra dollop of yogurt for a summer breakfast or with a slather of lemon curd and a hot cup of Earl Grey on a cold winter afternoon. It is a reliable favorite for any moment needing a simple slice of cake.

yogurt cake slice with a dollop of yogurt, strawberries, and blueberries
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While working on this recipe, I asked a few French friends about it, trying to get ideas about the ratios and texture. There seemed to be no consensus on the specific ratios, but the nostalgia for this cake was universal. They explained to me how their grandmothers and mothers made it all the time, how it was the first cake they learned to bake, and how they used the yogurt pots to measure the ingredients.

Countless versions exist, but this recipe is based on the following ratio: 2 jars yogurt, 2 jars sugar, 4 jars flour, 2 eggs, and 1 jar oil, where one jar is about 1/2 cup.

gateau au yaourt slice with blueberries, strawberries, and yogurt
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Gâteau au Yaourt: French Yogurt Cake

Ingredients:

Yields 1 standard loaf cake

MetricCups
240g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

230g yogurt
200g sugar
2 large eggs
120ml (100g) neutral oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup yogurt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup neutral oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)

1. Preheat the oven:

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). 

2. Prepare the pan:

Grease a standard loaf pan generously with butter and dust with flour. Tap out the excess flour and set it aside.

3. Mix the dry ingredients:

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. Whisk together the egg and sugar:

Whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl.

5. Fold in the flour mixture:

Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the flour mixture until just combined.

6. Bake the cake:

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan.

Bake the cake at 175°C (350°F) for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Storage:

Store the cake airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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