A very popular and easy French cake, it is often the first recipe children learn. The container of the parent component is just as important as the component itself.
Yogurt cake, or yogurt cake, was all the rage when yogurt began to be sold in small packages in the early 1900s. The jar itself serves as the unit of measure for the other cake ingredients.
Simply place the yogurt into the mixing bowl, then use the empty saucepan to measure out one bowl of oil, two of the sugar, and three of the flour. Separately mix the wet and dry ingredients, then blend. The loose mixture is poured into a mold and baked.
The result is a moist, moist cake with small crumbs that looks like pound cake, but is surprisingly light thanks to the use of oil instead of butter, and the light taste of yogurt balances out the sugar.
In this recipe from our Cook What You Have book, which relies on staple foods to make easy meals, unfortunately we couldn’t use the container to measure our ingredients because yogurt pots in the US come in many sizes. But after standardization, we boosted the flavor by adding grated citrus zest and cinnamon (or allspice and ground ginger or a combination of all three) to the mix.
To lighten the cake, beat the eggs with the sugar to incorporate air into the batter. Citrus juice whisked with powdered sugar makes a quick frosting, though the cake is just as good without it. Or, you can simply sprinkle sugar over the uncooked mixture for a crispier crust.
Feel free to use whatever citrus you have on hand: lemons, limes, oranges, or even grapefruit. Cake will keep up to three days, well wrapped and stored at room temperature.
Yogurt cake with citrus fruits and spices
From start to finish: 1 hour (15 active minutes), plus refrigerate makes an 8-inch cake
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 2 teaspoons of yeast
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ground allspice, or ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon table salt, divided
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated citrus peel, plus 2 tablespoons citrus juice, plus more if needed (see main note)
- 1 cup full-fat yogurt or 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt, diluted in 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil or another neutral oil
- 1 cup powdered sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sit sideways.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, white sugar, and cream until well blended and light in color, about 1 minute. Add the yogurt, then beat until well combined. Add the oil and whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until no traces are left. The mixture will be very runny.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out in the center of the cake, about 45 minutes.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake onto the wire rack, lift the pan, and turn the bread upright. Leave to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours, before glazing.
In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon salt, then gradually whisk together to make a smoothie. The frosting should be smooth with the consistency of plain yogurt. If it’s too thick, add additional juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, to get the right consistency.
Place the rack with the cake on a folded baking sheet. Using a spatula, spoon the frosting over the top of the cake, leaving a little frosting on the sides. Leave the mixture for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Editor’s note: For more recipes, visit Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at 177milkstreet.com/ap