The Fresh Loaf

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For Elsie, my favorite yogurt cake

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

For Elsie, my favorite yogurt cake

This is like the little black dress of cakes, although I think that technically it's more a quick bread than a cake. It's a French basic, typically taught by grandmothers to their grandkids. All measurements are done by volume, using a half-cup yogurt tub that is standard here. It's a nice change after you've cleaned up your bake and put the scales away.

Here's the basic recipe:

The dry

  • 4 tubs flour*
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • .5 tsp salt

The wet

  • 2 tubs full-fat yogurt**
  • 1.5 - 2 tubs blond cane sugar (depends on taste and add-ins)***
  • .5 tub oil
  • 3 eggs

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C
  • Dump one container of yogurt into a large mixing bowl, rinse and dry the tub.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, measure out your dry ingredients, whisk them together and put aside.
  • Back to the wet.
    Add your second tub** of yogurt, then the sugar and give things a good stir.
  • Then measure in your oil and your eggs, whisking between each addition
  • Now would be a good time to stop and oil your baking vessels. This recipe makes a batch that fills the 20cm loaf pan in the photo, plus a dozen very tall small cupcakes. Set everybody up on a sheet pan
  • Dump any add-ins to the bowl of dry ingredients and give them a toss to coat them in flour; this seems to help prevent everything from sinking to the bottom.
  • Tip the dry ingredients into the wet by thirds, mixing gently and making sure there are no bits of dry flour -- but don't work it so much that you get gluten development.
  • Fill your baking vessels 3/4 - 7/8 full and bake. Bake time will depend on your add-ins, but I set the timer for 30 minutes, by which time the cupcakes are usually done. You want them to pass the clean-skewer test. Usually, if the kitchen starts smelling like dessert, it's time to check.
  • Let cool on a rack and enjoy!

Notes

* While the "original" recipe calls for AP flour, I use just about anything I have at hand, which usually means bread flour and anything that needs to be used up. I systematically swap out one tub of flour for almond meal or grated (unsweetened) coconut. And here, one tub of flour was swapped out for a tub of cocoa powder.

** 130g of starter (even discard, if it's not too old and funky) can be swapped in for the second tub of yogurt. I've never tried this with a flavored yogurt, but if using grated coconut, a coconut-flavored yogurt could be fun.

*** You're limited only by your imagination: dried, candied, fresh or frozen fruit (no need to thaw if frozen, but extend your bake time); any kinds of nuts, chocolate or butterscotch chips, cocoa nibs, citrus zest, candied ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg… I've even chopped up a tired-looking apple and tossed it in.

A sprinkling of sugar just before baking will give a nice, shiny crust with just the slightest crunch to it. Otherwise, top with flaked almonds or walnut halves or whatever.

Please do report back with your variation!

Keep on baking!

Comments

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Yogurt gives quick bread and pancakes moisture and a slight tang so I often include it in baked goods. It's nice that your version isn't crazily sweet or oily but still appears pretty decadent. I think I'll make some chocolate muffins using your formula this weekend. Let me think... Hazelnuts and candied orange peel?  :) I'll let you know how it turns out!

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

In that case, would you use ground hazelnuts instead of almond meal as part of the flour substitution?

You can dial down the sugar as much as you like. I did try it with just one tub of white sugar and found it not quite sweet enough for the add-ins (I think it was apple and chopped prunes).

I hope you like it!

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

I didn't sub ground hazelnuts for part of the flour because they're a bit pricey and not readily available in supermarkets... I scalded down the recipe by a quarter and made 3 regular muffins. The ratio was the same except that I put 1 egg instead of 1.3333....eggs :) For the flour, a quarter of it was unsweetened cocoa powder and the rest was Indian atta. I optioned for homemade ghee instead of oil. Since I put milk chocolate chunks and candied orange peels inside, we feel that they are sweet enough for our taste at 1/4 tub of sugar (which means 1 tub for 4 tubs of flour). 

We like the texture: it's moist and slightly crumbly, just how muffins should be! Thanks again for the recipe!

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

But if 3/4 of the recipe gave you only three muffins, those things must be huge!

I made a batch over the weekend and got this!

Glad you enjoyed them.

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Not scaled down by "a quarter" but "three quarters"! So I divided everything by 4 and made 1/4 of the amount listed. There was also an error in the egg amount (should be 0.75 not 1.33 for the original ratio). Blame my carelessness... I hope this haven't caused too much confusion.

You know what? My mom loved the muffins so much that I'm considering making another batch with carrots or maybe bananas :)

syros's picture
syros

Oh my. Well, just made another batch of Hamelman's 5 grain SD, so this will have to wait. My levain popped the lid of the container because I didn't put it in a large enough bowl, so instead of 12-16 hours, it was almost 9 hours. Will see how it comes out!

Carole, I love your creations. 

sharon

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

But thanks anyway. I crib recipes from all over and then play "what if" with them, based on available time, ingredients, equipment and skill level. That's all!

That Hamelman 5GL is a good one, isn't it? Can't wait to see it.

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I make it on a regular basis to take to my pottery group. My daughter won a first ribbon with it when she made it for a fall fair. Here is our version. I don’t usually put the glaze on it but the fair rules stated it needed a glaze. 

I use a 2/3 cup measure instead of a large individual yogurt tub. Any yogurt will work. I’ve used thin plain yogurt or very thick Greek yogurt. And like Carole said, AP or bread flour will work. I have strong bakers flour in the house these days and that’s what I use. 

French Blueberry Yogurt Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze

Batter

2/3 cup yogurt (1 tub)

1 1/3 cups sugar (2 tubs)

3 large eggs

2 cups all purpose flour (3 tubs)

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp grated lemon zest

1/3 cup vegetable oil (1/2 tub)

Handful of blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not thaw)

 

Glaze if you wish

1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tsp salted butter

 

Cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended. 

3. Add the flour, baking powder, and zest, mixing to just combine.

4. Add the oil and stir to incorporate. At first, it will look like a horrible, oily mess, but keep stirring, and it will come together into a smooth batter. 

5. Butter and flour a Bundt cake pan. Sprinkle some of the blueberries on the bottom of the pan. Pour and scrape part of the batter over the blueberries. Repeat sprinkling of blueberries and layering of the batter finishing with a layer of batter.

6. Bake for 50 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 

7. Cool cake on a rack for about 20 minutes; then turn it out of the pan to cool completely.

 

Glaze:

  1. 1. In a large Pyrex measuring cup, combine the sugar, and lemon juice.
  2. 2. Add in the butter, then microwave on high for 45 seconds.
  3. 3. Take out the measuring cup and whisk until smooth, making sure there are no lumps.
  4. 4. Let it sit for a few minutes then pour it over the Bundt cake.

One of my pottery friends suggested using orange zest and fresh/frozen cranberries. I am going to give that a shot next time I make it!

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

So I grok that your individual tubs are bigger than the ones we have here? Ours are more like half-cup, as opposed to your 2/3 cup…

It is an easy enough cake to make on the spur of the moment -- if you're out of starter you can just use all yogurt -- every once in awhile I take some cupcakes to my favorite vendors at market day. It's so simple to make people happy sometimes.

I've done fresh cranberries in this, it works a treat. Like I said, you can throw anything at this batter and it's always a no-fail!

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

and the 2/3 or so cup size. I’ve gone to a 2/3 cup size because it fills my bundt pan nicely and I find using a bundt pan more decorative when taking it out somewhere. The original recipe I used also called for a full tub of oil but I cut it back and it doesn’t seem to affect the cake at all. You have salt in yours where mine doesn’t. I’ll gave to try a pinch in it next time.

Such an easy and delicious recipe. First time I saw it made was by my aunt in Cholet. 

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

in the past and never actually noticed the difference. However, with this much cocoa powder, I do add just a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper. It's great! And my add-ins go in by the handfuls, until it looks like the batter won't be able to support any more.

syros's picture
syros

Thanks for the recipe! Looks like I might try this one!

Abe's picture
Abe

I love cake but because there's only me to eat it I rarely make it. Just wanted to say what lovely recipes all round and I might make some small cupcake versions. Just one question though… A recipe is done from the beginning to end with one tub then I can understand it makes no difference as to the size. But when part of the recipe is in tubs and the other in tsp or the like then it might make a difference. So what kind of size are we talking about when given in tubs? Can you give me an idea of one tub in flour, yoghurt and water in grams? Our yoghurt sizes do differ here.

BTW: I love this channel and wish to make everything on it :) https://www.youtube.com/foodwishes

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

if the tub holds 1/2 a cup or 2/3 of a cup. The measured amounts in terms of teaspoons stay the same. Same thing with the eggs. I don’t increase any of those and it works out just fine. That’s the beauty of this recipe. 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

out next time I make it to give you an idea in grams. 😊

Abe's picture
Abe

Much appreciated :)

You are right of course. Cakes like this are forgiving and that's their beauty. But seeing everything by weight gives me a better idea.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

that you have a yogurt maker? Does it have a bunch of those little glass jars? How much do those hold? Bear with me, there's a method to my madness…

:-D

BTW, tub of yogurt weighs 125g (see photo)

Abe's picture
Abe

But it just comes with a very large tub (or small bucket) and a strainer.

If I use that tub then i'll be making cake for about 100 people. I'll be in an even bigger predicament :)

So that's 125g of yoghurt. How does that compare to the same tub with flour?

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

have one with the little jars. If we start with the premise that the 125g of yogurt is a half cup, and that a cup of flour weighs 130g, then you'd want around 65g per tub; the cocoa powder would probably weigh in the neighborhood of 40g? and sugar, about 100g per tub? I'm getting lost.

I'll probably be making this again over the weekend, and can give you weights (must remember to take notes). How's that? ;-)

Abe's picture
Abe

You have thought correctly!

https://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_measures/yogurt_converter.html

125g yoghurt, according to traditionaloven.com is 0.5 cups. Everything else falls into place.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

But I'll still try to remember to weigh things when next I bake. That's a pretty cool conversion site. Must remember to bookmark it.

And that foodwish site is dangerous; I just happened onto a Georgian cheese bread and am itching to make it :-D

Abe's picture
Abe

sometimes it's easier to google search (for example) "convert 1 cup of "x" into grams" and traditional oven comes up within the first few results and it takes you straight to the correct conversion page. Actually easier then going onto traditional oven to find the product you wish to convert.

You like that too :)

I've had my eye on it. Loads of great videos and every single one so well done. A lot of baking goodies too. I hope you get into it and post them here on TFL.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

"Two hands, one salary!" How I wish I at least had a bigger kitchen so I could do mise en place for multiple bakes. Those videos are deadly! Makes me want to retire and just do this (and put on scads of weight!)