A Delectable French Yogurt Cake

French breakfasts, simple and sweet, are a wonderful way to start the day. There’s nothing quite like a small slice of gâteau au yaourt – or homemade yogurt cake – washed down with a steaming hot café au lait.

French Yogurt Cake | Foodal.com

Yogurt cake is one of the easiest French culinary traditions to master. It is a great recipe to make with children, it’s incredibly versatile, and it can be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert, or as a goûter (snack).

Better yet… since yogurt is a type of fermented food with live active cultures, it is a healthy ingredient that helps you maintain a healthy gut microbiome!

One of the best things about this cake recipe is that it requires very few kitchen utensils to make, and no measuring cups. That’s because you measure your ingredients with your empty yogurt container instead.

This recipe was derived from an old and tattered French cookbook. It was not uncommon for the French (and other Europeans) to use a “pot” as a measuring unit, and by pot they meant the standard-sized container that the ingredient was packaged in.

The fact that standard sizes change with time (i.e. in the US, yogurt containers were reduced from 8 to 8 ounces in the mid-2000s) and differ from country to country makes dialing in these old recipes somewhat difficult. I’ve got this one calibrated fairly well, and I believe my version is close to the original.

This cake also lends itself to countless variations – see the recipe below for additional suggestions, and even feel free to explore our equally delicious two ingredient cake recipe that could be embellished with similar suggested variations!

If you’re the type of baker who feels like no cake is complete without icing, feel free use your favorite recipe for decorating. We recommend covering this delicious dessert with our equally delicious Swiss meringue buttercream!

French Yogurt Cake in the Pan | Foodal.com

This recipe starts out with store bought yogurt, but if you want to make this completely from scratch, plain (or flavored) yogurt can be made in a good food dehydrator, such as one of the Excalibur models.

Milk requires conditions higher than room temperature but lower than that of a typical oven environment to induce a good bacterial culture, and food dehydrators are perfect for this.

French Yogurt Cake with Strawberries | Foodal.com

Other appliances, such as the 7-in-1 Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cookeralso have the ability to control their interior environment and create conditions suitable for culturing milk.

Anyhow, that’s enough digression – let’s get to the recipe!

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Recipe for French Yogurt Cake | Foodal

French Yogurt Cake

  • Author: Lynne Jaques



Basic Cake

  • 6 ounces yogurt ((individual serving cup), plain or any flavor your choice)
  • 3 containers flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 containers sugar ((about 4 grams))
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 container cooking fat (softened butter or oil)

Optional Glaze

  • Juice from 12 lemons
  • 1/2 container confectioners’ sugar


  1. Empty the contents of one individual size container of yogurt into a mixing bowl. Using your empty yogurt container, measure 3 containers full of flour and add it to the yogurt. Add baking powder. Stir with a wire whisk until combined.
  2. Add two containers of sugar and stir. You can adjust the amount of sugar according to your preference. Add your cooking fat – butter or olive oil – and stir.
  3. Finally, add the eggs and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into a well-greased loaf pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake feels firm to the touch.
  5. Cool cake on a rack for about 15 minutes, then turn it out and cool completely.
  6. Optional finish: mix the lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar in a bowl and spoon it over the cake.


Here are just a few ideas for a fun twist on this simple cake:

Sweet variations: fresh or frozen berries, sliced apples with cinnamon, chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, sprinkles, or chopped nuts. To make an almond yogurt cake, substitute 1 cup of almond meal for 1 cup of flour.

I threw a couple handfuls of fresh strawberries in for the particular cake shown here. Frozen would also work well but I’d chunk them up in a blender first. Blackberries or blueberries can go in whole.

Savory variations: use plain yogurt to make a delicious savory loaf or mini muffins. Make bite-size muffins with bacon and blue cheese, or try a rich dinner loaf with gruyere.

Recipe fo French Yogurt Cake | Foodal


About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

22 thoughts on “A Delectable French Yogurt Cake”

  1. Wow you weren’t kidding about how easy it is to make this. When I was in Paris I used to eat this cake all the time, but only the sweet version, and with some coffee of course. I’ll definitely have to make the savory version sometime, sounds yummy.

  2. How interesting. I just had to make around fifty cupcakes & I decided to use yogurt so they wouldn’t dry up cooking that amount in the time allotted. Absolutely going to opt for a cake next time. This is a great recipe I can easily double or triple.

  3. I’ve never seen yogurt being used in a cake before now but I can imagine the kind of texture it would give – rich and moist. I love the way you can use the yogurt pot to measure the rest of the ingredients. Super easy!

  4. Well, that’s just cool measuring everything with the yogurt container. This would be a great recipe for letting the grandkids get involved. One of them loves yogurt, so she’ll probably be trying to taste test as we go.

    This looks really good. I enjoy breads and muffins (even though I shouldn’t really eat them often). This would be a good “baking with grandma” recipe, and then they can take the remainder home with them. Well, they can leave me a slice or two, lol.

    • I know I would enjoy cooking this with my grandma. It seems easy enough, easily modifiable and probably quick to make too. I’m not much of a baker so I prefer the easy recipes since I am not too good yet. I need to try this recipe.

  5. This looks like a very fine cake. I’ve never tried french yogurt cake before, it looks like I might finally get the chance. I assume it’s going to be soft and airy with a similar consistency to a common banana cake. I can’t wait to try it.

  6. I definitely fancy giving this a try but I am wondering how well it would work with soya yoghurt? Guess there is only one way of finding out. Looks really easy to do as well and I have some frozen blackberries left over from last year’s wild harvest which would go in there very nicely.

    • Oooh, wild blackberries sound like a great idea. I’m glad you mentioned it.

      I bet there are a lot of other options for making this as well, but I do enjoy strawberries too. I think the little ones might prefer the strawberries as well. My daughter and I would definitely like the blackberry version. That just makes me want blackberries right now.

  7. Am already envisioning this cake melting in my mouth…sounds like a good idea over a hot cup of sweet coffee or mocha latte…amazing that milk is not a requirement ingredient in this particular cake…makes me all the more curious and eager in wanting to bake…noted down in my baking schedule then and page bookmarked 🙂

  8. It’s crazy how easy this recipe is! When I first saw it I thought “Oh boy this is going to be really expensive and really time-consuming…”, but did you prove me wrong. I love yogurt, and while I’ve never used it in any baking I have heard that it makes your baked goods super moist and sweet (without any of the extra sugar). With the summer berry season coming up, I bet this would go great with all sorts of berries! I can’t wait to make a bunch of these and freeze it for personal eatery or for gifting. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. This is definitely something new and it looks very tasty looking at the picture and ingredients!
    I might try this recipe in the future since it’s very easy and doesn’t require a lot of ustensils. My kids will love if I try and make this since they love sweet stuff so much!

  10. How did you know that I absolutely love French desserts?! I’ve never tried adding yogurt to any of my cakes, but I know I’m going to try it soon on this recipe. This recipe looks absolutely delectable! I’m just going to try some store-brought yogurt, maybe with some fruit pieces in it. I’m guessing that the yogurt will make the cake much softer, moister, and creamier, and I always have a problem with my bread being too hard. Yum! And my family loves fresh fruit (who doesn’t?) so I’ll be sure to add in some fresh strawberry pieces, and I might even throw in some chopped almonds. I will certainly try this with my kids this weekend! The savory variation looks great, too, but I personally would rather try sweet. I don’t eat a lot of bread for my main meals. Thanks for the sweet recipe.

  11. I think to measure with the yogurt pot you’ve gotten the yogurt from is great. No need to convert grams with mililiters, no need to whip out the measuring cup — just count on proportions and mix it quick together!

    My favorite sort of yogurt cake — in September, after we go apple picking, we’ll peel and cut the apples in slices and then spread them out on the top of the yogurt cake before putting in the oven. I love the mix of cake and baked apples!

    • I remember eating what you’ve just described in your last sentence at my grandma, in Romania. She told me that’s a traditional cake there, I don’t think they used any yogurt though…

  12. My mouth is watering! Mhmmm….

    After looking at all of these photos I just want to drop everything and travel to a French populated area. I want to try this so badly!

  13. By the sounds of it, the hardest part of this recipe is reading about it and not having it in front of me. It looks so moist. I’m definitely looking forward to trying this. Thank you for the recipe!!

  14. This is a great recipe. In the picture, the texture of it looks just perfect and the crust is perfectly baked which I love. My 7 year old neighbor and I love to bake together. This recipe would be great for us to make together.

  15. Yogurt cake for breakfast? Sign me up. I have never heard of a recipe like this where you use “containers” as the measurement. Are there any more recipes like this? I would like to add dried cranberries to this. If a recipe is easy enough to master, I’m more than willing to try it atleast once. Besides, this might be a good thing to have to vary my breakfast meals.

  16. This is a great idea for a cake, sometimes it can be kind of boring to always cook and eat as well the same type of bread/cake, and this one seems to be the perfect way to get ourselves out of our comfort zone.
    I was amazed to se how many variations you can do with the exact same recipe, it’s simpler as just putting some fruits and other compliments to it and voila, we have cake variations for days.
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. I really want to make this cake, but I’m confused about the amount of sugar. It says 2 containers of sugar, but then next to it about 4 grams? 2 containers is much more than that so I’m not sure what to do now. Sorry if this is a really stupid question… Thanks or your help!

    • Thanks for your message, Mary. These are not stupid questions at all! If you read the intro, this recipe was originally adapted from an old French cookbook that didn’t use standard measurements in cups like we use commonly today. The writer uses a 6-ounce individual serving container of yogurt as her measuring vessel. But you are correct that this must also be a misprint – 2 yogurt cup containers of sugar would be closer to 400 grams. We’ll flag this recipe for testing and an update, to clarify the measurements ASAP.


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