Clotilde Dusoulier's Yogurt Cake (Gâteau au Yaourt)

June 19, 2017
7 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

Gâteau au yaourt is the definition of an "anytime cake"—not only because you'll want to eat it anytime, but because you can make it anytime, too. According to Clotilde Dusoulier, whose blog Chocolate & Zucchini is one of our favorites, yogurt cake is one of the first desserts French children learn to bake, simple as it is.

You don't even have to cream butter and sugar—or get out the measuring cups. If you use a two 4-ounce tubs of yogurt, you can use those as your guide: Add 1 1/2 tubs of sugar, 4 tubs of flour, and 1 scant tub of vegetable oil.

From Chocolate & Zucchini. —Sarah Jampel

Watch This Recipe
Clotilde Dusoulier's Yogurt Cake (Gâteau au Yaourt)
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Makes one 10-inch cake
  • 250 milliliters (1 cup) whole milk plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 160 grams (3/4 cup plus 1 scant tablespoon) sugar (1 1/2 yogurt tubs—see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 80 milliliters vegetable oil (1 scant yogurt tub—see headnote)
  • 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour (4 yogurt tubs—see headnote)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 350° F and line a round 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Fold the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, mixing only until all traces of flour disappear. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden and a tester comes out clean.
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Laura Lavernia
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  • Shelley Austin
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I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.

24 Reviews

Laura L. August 30, 2020
Too much flour. About 1/2 a cup too much. Had to add more oil and another egg. Recipe would be better with 1.5 cups flour instead of 2. Light and fluffy, not too sweet
Camille August 23, 2020
I LOVE this recipe -- I make it when I want a simple and super-moist any-day cake. (I usually skip the rum because I don't tend to have it on hand.)

However, I make one big adjustment... I only use about half (or a little more) of the flour the recipe calls for, and to me it's incomparable difference. The cake comes out incredibly moist and spongey, but still holds its shape.
Sharon January 19, 2020
How is the apple prepared that is shown in the video that tops the cake
H October 15, 2019
Clothide’s original recipe calls for a tablespoon of rum (I use either Gran Marnier or Poire William instead. I wouldn’t leave the extra flavor out and am surprised not to see one here). It’s a great recipe to play with—add mini-chocolate chip alone or with dried cherries! Like others, I’ve sliced a plain version horizontally and layered either jam or, yum, lemon curd. I’ve also used 2 square 7” pan and cupcake molds, adjusting the baking time. Have used both European style and thicker Greek yogurt—the difference isn’t profound enough to require an extra trip to the yogurt aisle. Clothide also recommends sprinkling sugar on top before baking for a delightful light crunch.
Danuta G. August 14, 2018
This was my mother's go-to cake recipe, using either creme fraiche, sour cream or the cream from the top of bottled milk (yoghurt was unheard of back in the 50s where we lived). Each time she made it, it was a brand new cake for me; different cake tin, different spices or herbs, different liqueurs, whatever fruit was in season. I had forgotten how wonderful (and easy) this recipe was!
Shelley A. August 14, 2018
I've made a similar cake adding the zest of 1 lemon at the end before pouring and popping diced pears (tinned, and drained) when the batter is in the cake tin. When cooked and cooled, scatter with icing sugar and serve with creme fraiche. A winner!
Shelley A. August 14, 2018
I've made a similar cake adding the zest of 1 lemon at the end before pouring and popping diced pears (tinned, and drained) when the batter is in the cake tin. When cooked and cooled, scatter with icing sugar and serve with creme fraiche. A winner!
Christy February 3, 2018
I just tried this recipe and it is my new favorite cake recipe! It is super easy but it makes a beautifully simple cake with a nice crumb. I like serving this with some jam and whipped cream. It is also nice with a little bit of lemon zest in the batter.
Barbara P. January 14, 2018
I wonder: Can I bake this in a 10 or 12-inch long loaf tin? That way you could toast the slices, which might be nice.
nutcakes November 10, 2019
You could bake it in any size pan, just expecting it to be done earlier or later, depending on thickness. This cake likely won't benefit by toasting like a pound cake. It is very moist.
Emily S. October 16, 2017
So easy to make, and pretty plain and simple--although I felt like it might be missing something. Tried it with whipped cream and once with bananas, but I think something simpler, like maybe a little cinnamon or vanilla. Or citrus maybe I'll try it again with some tweaks. Also I baked mine for 30 minutes and it was pretty dry. I thought it probably overbaked, but thought I'd check if that is typical or not.
nkathleent September 1, 2017
My cake turned out tasting a little like raw flour in the center, and was much more dense than I expected. Would cake or pastry flour solve this, or would simply sifting the AP flour suffice?
Nora August 1, 2017
I plan to try this soon. I appreciate the discussion of yogurts. I always have Greek in my fridge. Will have to add something else to my shopping list. Has anyone done a mocha or chocolate variation?
Sauertea July 6, 2017
The European style yogurts are definitely preferable. I use the Trader Joe's Whole Milk European Style Yogurt. Strauss Family Yogurt would probably work as well. The woman who introduced me to this cake made her own yogurt which gave the cake its moist delicate quality. I was talking about this cake in my French class and the teacher who is French suggested slicing the cake in half and spreading a thin layer of fruit jam across the middle. I am definitely going to try that on the next go round.
Jana E. July 6, 2017
Realizing this should have been obvious, but a tip for those who tend to default to Greek yogurt: I think the more liquidy yogurt varieties are better here :) Nice flavor, was a bit too stiff with the Greek yogurt.
Sauertea July 3, 2017
Ooh really good suggestions!
Lisa July 3, 2017
It is so easy to make. I added Grand Marnier and orange zest. It is very light, yet delicious.
Maria June 29, 2017
my cake is in the oven, but I suspect there was too much flour for the liquids in this recipe as the dough was very tight and sticky and did not "pour" into baking pan. I may have mismeasured, but if I make again I will cut back the flour to 1.5 Cups. Fingers crossed.
Nyasha June 28, 2017
Made this for work today & it flew off the plate. GREAT recipe! Thank you for sharing!
I went for a lavender-coconut taste profile. Lavender scented sugar + Siggi's 2% coconut skyr + coconut oil (scant yogurt cup volume, or 740g).
If I make it this way again, I'll probably eek back on the coconut oil, bc the cake came out very rich. Minor tummy ache for me, but def worth it.
sophie June 23, 2017
Add a little orange zest in the dough and let some fresh orange juice soak in just as it comes out of the oven - delish!
Sauertea June 23, 2017
Oh that sounds great!
Anita June 27, 2017
Clever idea, Sophie! I can't wait to try that! I also think some finely chopped pistachios on top might be nice..or maybe some rosewater? :) Seems like a great, blank canvas!
Rima July 14, 2017
Maybe some ground cardamom as well will give it warmth, it does seem like it works with many different flavor combinations.
Sauertea June 22, 2017
Great article. It brings back many memories of my year abroad in Angers. I lived with an amazing family. My landlady treated me as one of her own. She was a great cook. The thing I remember most was her gateau au yaourt to which she added apples. It was light fluffy and magic. At the time, I did not realise that this was the go to recipe for simple french desserts. I thought about this recipe for years. She had shown me the basic steps but I did not have all the proportions. Finally thanks to Google and the emergence of food blogs I was able to find a recipe. The first time, I made it I was transported back to the kitchen in Angers. Unfortunatley we lost touch over the years, but every time I make gateau au yaourt, I think of Madame and silently thank her!