How to Make a Proper French Yogurt Cake


I have, for quite some time, been eager to join the French Yogurt cake club.  Excuse me, the proper French yogurt cake club.  There are plenty of good recipes out there for French yogurt cake (I’ve included some recommendations at the bottom of the post) but read any description and you’ll discover that a real one is made using a French yogurt jar to measure ingredients.  Much like a pound cake, come to think of it.

So, if you’d like to make the French version, you must find your jar of French yogurt.  This step is somewhat straight forward if you’re going to France and have the foresight to save some room in your suitcase for an oddly shaped, though not-at-all heavy, little glass jar.  Then, the jar sits on your counter; a trophy won with your vague knowledge of French.  Of course, this is a French recipe, so it cannot proceed simply from here.  My apologies if you thought it would.

No, now you must find the recipe using the jar measurements.  Since we Americans aren’t in the habit of making trips to France purely for jars of French yogurt, recipe writers have already converted the recipe into user friendly measurements.  This is quite helpful, until you want to make a proper French yogurt cake.  You may feel like your only option is to learn French.  Before you search for outdated French in Action tapes, let’s consider some alternatives.

Luckily, there are those out there who know more French than we do and have already translated the recipe.  They too are part of the unique breed who saves space in their suitcase for an oddly shaped glass jar, so they can make a proper French yogurt cake.


This is an all-too-lovely cake that has a texture somewhere between muffin and loaf cake.  It’s simple, an everyday affair, if you can call cake an everyday affair.  A slice, or wedge really, would be at home equally at tea time or after dinner (though, please, not at breakfast).  I could imagine both a doting grandmother making this cake — sans fruit, with a dusting of icing sugar or marmalade glaze — and a baking-savvy francophile.  The French yogurt cake, no matter how you measure the ingredients, is endlessly adaptable, a chameleon and code switch effortlessly.

I’ve made versions of this cake with both cup and jar measurements. They were both fantastic, though I may have preferred the jar version a touch more (sorry!).  Regardless, this is the kind of cake that everyone — from grandmothers to francophiles and university students to career people — should have in their arsenal.  It’s quick and simple, tasty and satisfying.

Okay, have I talked it up enough yet?  Are you ready to head to the kitchen? Here are the recipes I recommend for making French yogurt cake:

Orangette’s recipe for French-style Yogurt cake (I used this one!)

Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for French Yogurt Cake (another great one)

Chocolate and Zucchini’s recipe for Yogurt Cake (really want to try this one)

Beyond The Plate’s recipe for French Yogurt Cake with Rosemary and lavender (love the flavor twist)

Do you enjoy trying desserts from around the world?  What is your favorite foreign dessert?


8 thoughts on “How to Make a Proper French Yogurt Cake

  1. Bead 109Lorry

    While stopping for a quick bite in the cafeteria of the Louvre on my last trip to Paris, I decided to have a yaourt and quickly fell in love with the little jar. I actually washed it in the bathroom and brought it home with me; it ended up being my favorite souvenir! Who knew then that it would come in handy for cake making!?!?

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  3. FrancelovingMom

    The chocolate and zucchini recipe is terrific. It’s the first cake my daughter learned to make when she was five. Comes out perfect every time! Authentic and so easy!

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  7. Diana

    Do you have the receipt for Orangette’s recipe for French-style Yogurt cake? It’s not on her website and I would like to try it. Thanks.


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