3 March 2008

Chestnut yogurt cake


It seems as though every culture has their own, good oldfashioned, mother’s milk cake – the Chinese have their pound cake, the English their victoria sponge, the French love a moist ‘quatre quart’ as do the Swiss, and I was recently introduced to the wonderful world of ‘yoghurt / yogurt cake’ which has become a staple in my kitchen.

What makes this cake so perfect is that it is uncomplicated, yet versatile – to be served alone or with jam & butter, to accompany coffee, tea or milk as is your preference (or your age)  – speaking of which doesn’t appear to influence the love for this cake amongst children and adults alike. It is perfect for tea time, the gouter (aka snack) or just when you feel like something a little bit sweet.

I often come home at the end of the day with a hankering to bake but an aversion to spending hours doing so. The yoghurt cake is a great soulution, as it can be made using two bowls, in less than 10 minutes, with endless flavours and to really bring the selling point home it is as good as any cake can be for your waist line as it uses more yoghurt than butter. I have taken to making it on it’s own or with lemon zest, coco powder, vanilla bean and most recently purée de marron AKA chestnut purée.


Yogurt detail

Classic Yoghurt Cake

  • 225g white flour
  • 200g white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150g plain fullfat (2%) yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 70g butter (melted)
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F)
  2. Line a loaf tin or small shaped baking tins, with parchment paper (or use butter then flour)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yoghurt and white sugar. Next beat in the 2 eggs.
  4. In a seperate mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients : flour, sugar, and baking powder. Mix well.
  5. Now combine the yogurt mixture with the dry ingredients and mix until you have a very smooth batter.
  6. Finally melt the butter (see NOTES) and gently mix it into the batter.
  7. Fill the tin(s) – make sure the small tins are only filled halfway or they will overflow, and bake for 40-50 mintes for a loaf and 20-25 minutes for small cakes. I air on a shorter cooking time as my oven is powerful, and test the cakes with a tooth pick to see if they are cook.

Tooth pick test – gently poke the toothpick into the cake in various place (especially the very centre which takes the longest time to cook) and if the it comes out CLEAN the cake is ready. The top of the cake should also spring back slightly when you lightly press the top with your fingers.


Chestnut purée 2

Note: if the chestnut purée that you buy is very sweet to taste (with added sugar) I would reduce the sugar quantity in the recipe to 160-170g

  • 225g white flour
  • 200g white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 150g plain fullfat (2%) yoghurt
  • 150g chestnut purée ( made of chestnut & sugar – I buy the bio / healthfood variety with less sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 70g butter
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

Follow the baking instruction above for the CLASSIC cake, only add the chesnut purée to the yoghurt/sugar mix before adding the eggs, and add the water at the very end after the butter. The chestnut purée makes the batter a little thicker, but the extra baking powder and water help with this.

NOTES: if you don’t have or want to use a microwave to melt the butter, I boil a kettle of water, then chop the butter into cubes, which I place in the small thin metal measuring cup from Ikea. I then place the metal measuring cup in a small bowl which I fill halfway with boiling water, which heats the metal and melts the butter!


  1. Lydia Says:

    I think I’d love this with cocoa powder — the bitterness against the richness of the yogurt would be delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    LYDIA: thanks for leaving a comment. The cocoa powder works really well but you need to use about 4 generous tablespoons – it gives a nice taste of chocoate that is not overpowering nor too sweet. Speak soon

  3. Sheltie Girl Says:

    This sounds simply delicious. It could probably be made into a gluten free version very easily. Thank you for sharing your recipe and your beautiful pictures.

  4. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    Sheltie: I don’t see why a gluten free version of this recipe wouldn’t work – please let me know how the recipe turns out as I would love to pass it along to a friend of mine who has a serious gluten allergy – she always appreciates new recipes.

  5. Kate Says:

    I’m going to try this as a gluten-free recipe as well. I’m tired of the pre-made gf cakes and being Celiac, I’m always looking for new ideas.

    I hope you’re well 🙂 I’ll let you know how it turns out.


  6. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    KATE: hi lovely, so pleased you left a note to say hi. Can’t wait to hear how this turns out. I will keep you in mind for other GF receipes, as I can understand that the pre-made cakes can get a little boring 🙂

  7. Sophie A. Says:

    Very cool pan! Cooking with yogurt is a great healthy alternative to butter :).

  8. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    Sophie: I have been reading this book called ‘antiCancer’ – which is a ‘how to’ book on ways to live & eat to help your body build defences against developing cancer. One of the most important things they talk about re diet is limiting SUGAR & eating good fats like YOGURT 🙂 So this cake is a staple in my house

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