French Yogurt Cake


Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

sliced yogurt cake on a white kitchen towel

There’s no denying that the French know what they’re doing when it comes to food. Perfect crusty bread carried still hot from the oven, ham sandwiches slathered with rich butter on both sides, the late afternoon cup of espresso with a bite of extra dark chocolate on the side. They’ve perfected the art of these indulgences. So it’s no surprise that in this French “cake”, the addition of a bit of yogurt turns it from dessert into appropriate breakfast material.

lemon and white sugar in a glass bowl
Earlier this summer, by the time I got to the May Bon Appétit, Frank had already made his way through, and had, himself, folded over the corners of the pages he liked.I loved flipping through and seeing what he was drawn to. When I came across this recipe, I quickly realized that it would have been ripped out by yours truly even had Frank not beat me to it. The finished cake came out just as portrayed in the magazine’s photo – sunny yellow and moist, with a distinct crumb. Though slightly sweet, the brightness of that lemon and the knowledge that it’s made with yogurt really does make this a cake worthy of breakfast. Of course, it really would be lovely at any other time of day as well.

More Easy Cake Recipes

Favorite Tools

Pin this now to save it for later

Pin It Now
sliced yogurt cake on a white kitchen towel
5 from 1 vote

French Yogurt Cake with Lemon

It's no surprise that in this French "cake", the addition of a bit of yogurt turns it from dessert into appropriate breakfast material.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10


  • Loaf Pan
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Cooling Rack


  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon finely grated Lemon Zest
  • 3/4 cup Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 9×5 loaf pan with butter or oil. Dust with flour; tap out excess.
  • Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and kosher salt in a medium bowl.
  • Using your fingers, rub sugar with lemon zest in a large bowl until sugar is moist. Add yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract; whisk to blend. Fold in dry ingredients just to blend.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50–55 minutes. (If the surface becomes darker than a golden brown while baking, cover the pan with foil and continue baking until cooked through.)
  • Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto rack; let cool completely.


From Bon Appetit May 2012 (adapted only in that I doubled the lemon zest called for in the original…I felt it benefited from even more lemony kick).


Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $4.00
Calories: 171
Keyword: easy recipe, easy snack cake
Like this? Leave a comment below!Jump to Comments
Want to save this recipe?
Get it emailed to you directly! Enter your email below.

About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

5 from 1 vote

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Hi Jess and Frank

    I’m not quite sure of how the cup measurements work – would you please be able to advise of the measurements in grams?

    Many thanks


  2. Yum! Spring is in the air here and this cake would be perfect for some weekend baking (or breakfast).

    I’m glad my husband doesn’t like food mags so I don’t have to share 🙂

  3. French yogurt cake is one of my favourites quick and easy cakes. Somehow, the fact that it’s made with yogurt makes me feel a little less guilty about indulging. 🙂
    I usually use a recipe I snagged from Orangette years ago, but I just might have to try out the BA version next time I’ve got a craving, just to see how it compares. It certainly is an eye-catching photo!