French Vanilla Yogurt Cake

Sunday 16 November 2014

I had a tub of Vanilla Yogurt that needed using up yesterday and so I decided to bake it into a  cake.   A home must have a cake in it don't you think???  We were out of cake, so what's a gal to do but bake one!

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I found a recipe on Epicurious for a French Yogurt Cake and I adapted it to what I had on hand with most delicious results.  The original recipe called for plain yoghurt but I had vanilla and thought it would work well . . .  I have always loved French Vanilla Ice Cream . . .  but as I was baking this I found myself wondering what is it that makes French Vanilla . . .  French Vanilla???   I had to find out.

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This is the answer I found which came from my friend Bill Daley:

 Vanilla bean varieties are often named for where they're grown, like Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico. That's not the case with French vanilla. The name refers not to a vanilla variety but the classic French way of making ice cream using an egg custard base.

You can read his full article about it here in the Chicago Tribune where he writes a column entitled The Daley Question.

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So . . .  in order to make this a truly French Vanilla Yogurt Cake I tried to incorporate as much Vanilla into this as I could without it being overkill . . .  so that it smelled gorgeous when it was baking . . .  and it tasted gloriously rich and indulgent.

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The good news is . . . it didn't need full fat or Greek yogurt like the original recipe . . .  so it's also a bit lower in fat but still tastes fabulous and has a wonderful texture.  I added to the scent and flavour of vanilla by adding a rich vanilla glaze to the top . . .  and then grinding a bit of real vanilla pod over top with my vanilla grinder.   Result!  This is incredible.

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*French Vanilla Yogurt Cake*
Makes 8 servings

This moist yet sturdy cake is redolent with lovely vanilla flavours.   Scrumptiously moreish!  

210g of plain flour (1 1/2 cups)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
191g of caster sugar
165g of good vanilla full fat yogurt (3/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
120 ml of vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
2 large free range eggs  

To glaze:
130g of icing sugar, sifted (1 cup confectioners)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBS softened butter
milk to thin  

Optional garnish freshly ground vanilla pod 

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Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F. gas mark 4.  Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf tin and dust it with flour, shaking out any excess.  Alternately line with baking paper.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.  Set aside.   Whisk together the sugar, yoghurt, oil, eggs and vanilla to blend.  Fold in the dry ingredients, just to blend.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top over.   Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes prior to removing completely from the pan, again to cool on the wire rack.  (this is where baking paper comes in handy because if you have been smart enough to leave a bit of overhang you can just lift it out.)

Once the cake is completely cooled whisk together all of the ingredients for the glaze until smooth, using only enough milk to give you a thick drizzle.  Spoon this over the cake, allowing some to drizzle down the sides.   Dust with a fine grating of vanilla pod if desired.  Cut into slices to serve.


  1. We enjoy yogurt cakes too :)
    Looks good marie.

  2. I love yogurt in cakes! I have experimented many times with different flavors of yogurts in cakes too!

    I also love loaf cakes, yogurt cakes and vanilla. This would be the perfect cake for me! ;0)

  3. Thanks Monique! xx

    Lisa, I love yogurt cakes too. Yogurt gives cakes such a nice rich texture! Like sour cream without the calories! xx

  4. Look delicious! I love the glaze:)
    I love yogurt for bake too!

  5. Mmmmm, so vanilla-y!! Looks and sounds heavenly, friend! I'm going to have to give this one a try, I don't bake loaf cakes nearly often enough these days!

  6. Yum! I am a vanilla fan and I know I would enjoy this. Marie, what is caster sugar?

  7. WE have great minds together GLoria! Love ya! xx

    Thanks April! I think you will like this. After the first day it firms up nicely for slicing and putting into lunches! xx

  8. Carol, our granulated sugar is a lot coarser over here than what I like to use for baking and so I use caster sugar in my baking as it is a finer sugar. Not as fine as confectioners . . . but more like fruit sugar. You can use North American granulated or just whir some granulated in a food processor for a few secs. I hope you enjoy this! Oh heck, what AM I saying?? Of course you will!! xx

  9. What timing marie! I just made something very similar to this the other day!! In fact your post inspired it, though I used Ricotta that I had in the fridge and totally forgot about. whoops, but it did made a lovely cake.

  10. Sounds gorgeous Shen! I have some ricotta in the fridge too. I feel a cake coming on! haha xxoo

  11. It is so delicious! I just adapted Ina Garten's cake a bit. Here comes a shameless self plug but... I posted about it here:

  12. That looks so good Shen! Well done! xx

  13. Can you make the topping into a solid form to use as a chocolate alternative? If so how?

    1. I am not sure what you are asking Shamis, but if you are asking can you make the glaze more solid that is certainly possible by adding less liquid and more icing sugar. I have no idea what it would taste like however.


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