Gâteau au Yaourt.

I finished Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table – over the weekend and have been making many of her recipes. Especially her French ones.

One of the recipes that she shares in her book was for a Gâteau au Yaourt inspired by Clotilde at Chocolate & Zucchini. It is a simple, everyday cake in France. It’s the cake that inspired a certain curly-haired musician in New York City to find Molly’s blog, Orangette. He was researching French yogurt cakes for a dinner party. (Are there many men who do this?) An inspiring recipe, no? Since I have to bake a cake every week for my Thursday night cake decorating class, I decided this cake would be my inspiration. Here’s to all things French. I might not be able to express the love of their language in words, but I can do it in cake.

I actually made Clotilde’s recipe. Molly actually shares a slightly different recipe than Clotilde’s than in her book.

The cake rose so beautifully and had this soft gold color.

I have to make the Wilton’s icing recipes. However, rebel that I am, I refuse to use Crisco. It does make the icing set better, but I really dislike the lard-like taste. I also don’t want to use artificial butter flavoring to disguise the unpleasant taste like they suggest. Alas, I use butter. Real butter.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing
adapted from Wilton

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 T cocoa powder
  • 1/2 T merengue powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 3 T milk


1. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about one-two minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for another couple of minutes. You may need to add more milk if icing is too thick.

I also had a little pink icing left over from last week. I used the Wilton Buttercream icing recipe (using all butter). I used this icing to make the swirly pink flowers that we practiced for the better part of class.

Okay, here was the big kicker yesterday. My cake carrier broke the minute I was about to walk out the door with my cake, cake decorating tool box, and two other bags filled with essential cake supplies (there is A LOT of things you need for cake decorating class). Broke! My cake fell top first on the floor. I stared at it horrified. I thought that my Gâteau au Yaourt had just bit the dust. But it didn’t break (which made me love this recipe even more!) and the light layer of chocolate frosting was damaged but not that bad. I was able to scoop the cake up and flip it back on a plate. I took it to class, hopeful that I could make it look pretty.

Voila! It’s pretty and spring-like. Better yet, it tastes good. It was kind of wild having a pretty cake all to myself last night. I cut myself a slice, curled up with The Dude, and watched Fantastic Mr. Fox.

About Sarah

Always thinking about my next meal.
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7 Responses to Gâteau au Yaourt.

  1. jordan says:

    Did you see a similar recipe on Smitten Kitchen a few days ago? Lime yogurt cake with blackberry sauce, I think, but I made mine with lime, lemon, and mandarine zest and juice. Totally easy (I am not an experienced cake maker) and really delicious- the yogurt really does something delicious to the cake batter!

    • Sarah says:

      I did! I didn’t have any lemon or limes on hand, but I think the zest would make it extra flavorful. Yogurt cakes are everywhere these days:) I also feel like the yogurt makes it a little bit healthier….probably even more so if you don’t cover the cake with buttercream frosting!

  2. Sharlene says:

    The cake looks so lovely you can’t tell at all that you had dropped it. But what a horrifying moment! I nearly had a similar accident baking for a friend’s birthday a couple weeks ago. To save time I was frosting it on my cooling rack on a paper plate and bit by bit it was working its down without my noticing until it slide right into my stomach. I nearly cried. But it turned out okay and no one knew the difference :)

  3. What a beautiful looking cake!! YIKES! it fell on the floor?

    You are some baker!!

  4. Chef Dennis says:

    what a fantastic cake….the yogurt must help it stay moist…frosting and decorations are perfect…and great images!!

  5. Pingback: GOOD READS: A Homemade Life – Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table « daily nibbles

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