This comforting lemon cake is a traditional French Lemon Yogurt Cake. It’s light, moist, tender and full of rich lemon flavor.
What is French Lemon Yogurt Cake (Gateaux de Mamie)
This delicious yogurt cake is a recipe that every French grandmother makes! In French it is called Gateaux de Mamie which means, Granny Cake. If you know me, I’m crazy about anything and everything French and I love the way French grandmothers measure the ingredients for this lemon yogurt cake – with yogurt jars!
On my first trip to Paris I brought a bag home of empty French yogurt jars because they were just so cute! In France yogurt is sold in small, round jars but you can now find them in the US too.
The grandmother’s would use the jars to measure their ingredients. One jar of yogurt, two jars of sugar, 3 jars of flour, and one jar of oil. But don’t worry, I’ve got the ingredients in cups for you!
- Yogurt. I use a whole milk plain Greek yogurt.
- Flour. All purpose, unbleached flour is best
- Sugar. Granulated sugar for cake and confectioners’ sugar for glaze.
- Oil. A mild flavored oil such as vegetable oil or canola oil.
- Lemon. We will use the zest for the cake and the juice for the glaze. Always zest your lemon first before juicing.
- Egg. Use a large egg
- Salt. Baking Powder and Vanilla Extract
How to Make Lemon Yogurt Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 3 cup bundt pan by spraying with non stick spray and lightly flouring. You can also use a 6 inch cake pan.
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
- In another bowl combine sugar and lemon zest to form a lemon-sugar mixture. Rub together to infuse sugar with lemon.
- Add in yogurt, oil, egg and vanilla. Stir to incorporate.
- Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are combined.
- Pour cake batter mixture into prepared pan.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Lemon Yogurt Cake Glaze
- Combine sugar, juice and cream to form a nice drizzling consistency.
- Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.
- Only mix ingredients until dry ingredients are incorporated. I recommend mixing in a bowl by hand, not with an electric mixer. Over mixing can make the cake tough.
- Spray and flour your cake pan for easiest cake removal.
- Always allow cake to cool in pan for up to 20 minutes before removing it.
I like to call this a comfort cake because it is the cake I make when I want to bring someone a bit of a comfort. The cake comes together easily and I usually have all the ingredients on hand. I can quickly make one for someone who may need a little cheering up and it’s the perfect amount of cake. The flavor of the cake is so comforting and it is guaranteed to brighten anyones day!
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I use instead of Greek yogurt?
You can also use regular plain yogurt, the same amount of sour cream or buttermilk.
Can I use butter instead of oil?
I found that oil works best in this cake, it makes the cake light and moist. Sometimes oil is better than butter. Just be sure and use a mild flavored oil such as canola, vegetable, sunflower oil or avocado oil. I don’t recommend olive oil.
What other size pan can I use?
You can also use a 6 inch cake pan or a pan that holds holds 3 cups of liquid.
Do I have to add the glaze?
No, it is totally optional but the glaze does give the cake some additional amazing lemon flavor.
Can I use orange or lime instead of lemon?
Absolutely, swap your favorite citrus for the lemon.
How long will yogurt cake last?
This cake will last for up to five days if stored in an airtight container. No need to refrigerate you can leave it at room temperature. The cake can also be frozen. If possible, I recommend freezing before glazing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then glaze before serving.
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For more delicious recipes try these:
Lemon Yogurt Cake
- 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest or zest of one lemon
- 1/3 cup whole milk plan Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 egg large
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp milk or whipping cream
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a 3 cup bundt pan or 6 inch cake pan with non stick baking spray. Lightly flour the pan too.
- In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl combine sugar and lemon zest. Stir to combine the two or use your fingers to rub it together.
- Add yogurt, oil, egg and vanilla to sugar mixture.
- Gently mix in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stir just until flower is absorbed. Don't over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes and then remove from pan and cool completely.
- Mix together powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice to get a nice drizzling consistency.
- After cake has cooled, drizzle the top with glaze, allowing it to drizzle down the sides.