If you are part of the “Bringing Up Bébé” cult, you probably remember the author, Pamela Druckerman, writing about a wondrous dessert practically all French children can make by themselves called gâteau au yaourt (roughly translated as “yogurt cake”).
2 six-ounce containers plain whole-milk yogurt (use the empty containers to measure the other ingredients)*
2 containers sugar (or just one, depending on how sweet you like it)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Just under 1 container vegetable oil
4 containers flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 container chocolate chips (optional, but who are we kidding here? Optional, ha!)
Crème fraîche (optional, for serving)
The idea is to have young children help with a simple recipe so they become more invested in the entire process of making food while developing patience as they wait for it to bake for a later snack time (le goûter, supposedly served at precisely 4:30 p.m. every day). The recipe uses yogurt cups as the measuring tools, making it easy for little hands to understand proportions, and easy for you, as an adult, to clean up later.
My one-and-a-half-year-old son and I made this recipe a little while back and while I am not so sure he developed the patience or good manners French children probably have, we dis make a truly delicious cake as a fun rainy-day activity (which in reality was all I really wanted anyway).
So the next time it’s a little chillier/rainier/Midwestern spring-ier than you’d like, try it out! You will not be disappointed.
Gâteau au yaourt recipe (yogurt cake)
Recipe found in the book Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Use vegetable oil to grease a 9-inch round cake pan or a loaf pan.
Gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; mix gently until ingredients are just combined (don’t overmix)
If using (which you absolutely should, by the way), add chocolate chips (or any other flavorings you like)
Bake for 35 minutes, then five minutes more if the cake doesn’t pass the knife test. It should be almost crispy on the outside, but springy on the inside. Let it cool. This cake is delicious served with tea and a dollop of crème fraîche.
*A quick note on this recipe: I cannot for the life of me find the 6-ounce yogurt cups with whole milk yogurt (whole milk plain yogurt is a must for this recipe!) this recipe calls for. However, I have found that Siggi’s Icelandic Yogurt (found at Mariano’s) in 4.4 ounce containers work perfectly, keeping everything else in the recipe the same.