I have made the gateau au yaourt (yogurt cake) from Chocolate & Zucchini no less than three dozen times. Clotilde describes it as one of the first cakes French children learn to bake, because its proportions are very simple and it requires nothing more than a mixing bowl and wooden spoon. That's precisely why I like it, too: It comes together in about five minutes, and for very little effort you get a sweet, moist, gentle cake flavored with vanilla that melts in your mouth and keeps well for a few days on the counter.
Of course, I can never leave well enough alone, and this cake takes on additional flavors very well. A little grated lime zest in the batter, plus a tangy lime glaze on top, and the French nursery tea-time cake is sophisticated enough for dessert.
Lime yogurt cake
adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain yogurt (low-fat is fine)
- 1/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest and juice of 2 limes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup powdered confectioner's sugar
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, oil, sugar, vanilla and lime zest. In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. (Note that sifting is not strictly necessary, but I always do it because I once made a cake without sifting and bit into several large lumps of baking soda. Yuck to the millionth power.)
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend with a large spoon or spatula just until everything is incorporated. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, mix the lime juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl until smooth. When the cake comes out of the oven, poke some holes in the top with the toothpick, then pour the glaze over the cake. Serve straight from the pan when it has cooled to lukewarm.
If you prefer to serve the cake on a nice plate instead of out of the baking pan, take it out of the oven, wait 5 minutes, turn it out onto a rack, and glaze the cake on the rack. When the glaze sets and the cake is cool, move the cake to your serving plate with a large spatula (or two).