French Yogurt Cake

French Yogurt Cake


I wasn’t going to bake tonight, I thought I needed a break, but then I decided it might be fun to make something new and then watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. We have a friend of the family competing tomorrow. Go Nicole! And even though I’m not watching them live, I recorded it all and I’m having fun watching the insane, over-the-top show in London. So why not make a French Yogurt Cake? With a lot more lemon than the recipe suggests? Go haywire!

First things first, I zested the lemons. The recipe called for a tablespoon of zest, but I just took all the lemons I had on hand — which turned out to be three — and used ‘em all.

lemons and zest

That done, I whisked together the flour (used all purpose, not wanting to weigh this cake down), baking powder, and kosher salt.


In a separate bowl, I added the lemon zest to a cup of sugar and mixed it with my fingers until the two ingredients became one.

lemon zest with sugar

hand mixing

sugar and zest are one

To that I added Greek yogurt (I didn’t have the whole milk kind, just Fage 2%), canola oil, two eggs, and vanilla.

wet ingredients

It looked a lot better after I whisked it together.


I folded in the flour.



I poured it into a loaf pan, and then, for no reason at all, I picked up one of the zested lemons, poked out the seeds, and squeezed some juice all over the top, then lightly sprinkled some demerara sugar on across it. I just made that part up.

in pan with lemon and sugar

The recipe said to bake it for 50-55 minutes, but I set the timer for 40 and then enjoyed the wonderful lemony smell that filled up the kitchen while I cleaned up. At 40 it was done, and when I took it out of the oven I was very happy with the results of my improvisation. It looked so good!

fresh from the oven


I let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then took it out and left it to cool completely, despite a hovering Dave who was anxious to try it. It was easy to stall him by explaining that increased deliciousness is the reward of those who wait. (Fresh baked goods are wonderful but you don’t want the temperature to overpower the flavor.)

Finally it was ready. Warm but not hot. I sliced it open.

sliced cake


It lived up to the smell.

It was wonderful.

It’s a little too wonderful for me, unfortunately, not being a Weight Watchers sort of lemon loaf, but that’s okay. Truth is, the flavor is perfect and the texture is nice but a BIT heavy or dense, so I think less oil and more yogurt would benefit everybody. I’m glad I put in the extra lemon because it has a wonderful intense flavor, and I’m convinced the reason it doesn’t get tart is that step of mixing the sugar and the lemon zest together with your fingers.

And now as I finish writing this, it’s morning, and the kids have already devoured pieces of it and asked for seconds. (Yes, even Juliet!) I’ve been baking for Read It All Up® all week, so it’s been a while since I made something that Dave & the kids can all get excited about. Mission accomplished.


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