French Yogurt Cake with Blueberries

French Yogurt Cake
French Yogurt Cake

Recently, I was faced with the delicious dilemma of figuring out what to do with an abundance of blueberries from a friend’s berry patch. I had been reading about the simple cake known as French yogurt cake and decided that blueberries would make an appealing addition.

Requiring nothing more than a couple of bowls, a whisk, and a loaf pan, French yogurt cake (gâteau au yaourt) is a cinch to make. It was popularized in North America by Pamela Druckerman’s best-selling 2014 book, Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. Druckerman tells us that French mothers often make it with their young children and serve it for the traditional goûter (snack) around 4:00 pm.  Empty yogurt containers are frequently used to measure the ingredients. As the size of yogurt containers on this side of the Atlantic may not be consistent with containers in Europe, I prefer to use standard measuring cups.

I like to incorporate whole grains into my baked goods, so I use 50 percent white whole-wheat flour in the batter. If you prefer, omit the whole-wheat flour and use 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour.

I am pleased to add this recipe to my repertoire of simple baked goods for summer, and I hope you enjoy it as well!

¾ cup all-purpose four

¾ cup white whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon or 2 small)

½ cup neutral oil, such as avocado or canola

½ cup whole-milk plain yogurt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup fresh blueberries

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat an 8 ½ by 4 ½-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or brush with softened butter or oil. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Coat the paper with cooking spray, butter, or oil.

2.  Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar and lemon zest in a medium bowl until well blended. Add oil, yogurt, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently with a flexible spatula until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Fold in blueberries. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan; smooth the top.

4. Bake the cake until it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, the top springs back when touched lightly, and a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges and turn the cake out onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper. Turn the cake right side up, and let it cool completely, at least 1 ½ hours. Just before serving, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Slice. 

The cake will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. To freeze the sliced cake, place a piece of wax paper between each slice before wrapping to prevent the slices from sticking together.

Makes 1 loaf, about 12 slices.

Per serving: Calories: 220. Total fat: 11 grams. Saturated fat: 1 gram. Cholesterol: 30 milligrams. Sodium: 150 milligrams. Carbohydrate: 30 grams: Fiber: 2 grams. Sugars: 18 grams (added: 16 grams). Protein: 3 grams.

Patsy's Kitchen

Blueberry-Lavender Variation: Lavender is an exquisite complement to blueberries. To add a subtle lavender flavor to this cake, grind 2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender buds in a clean spice mill (such as a clean coffee grinder reserved for spices). In Step 2, add the ground lavender to the egg-sugar mixture.

—Patsy Jamieson