A “Gâteau au Yaourt” (Yogurt Cake) is a simple French classic and is very often the first cake that kids learn to bake (I remember being taught to make a yogurt cake in our classroom when I was 6 or 7, using the yogurt pot as the measuring tool). It’s quick and easy, as you only need 1 bowl and 10 minutes of prep time. It’s moist, fluffy, and endlessly adaptable. It makes for a great recipe to have in your baking repertoire, that can be adjusted to any season or occasion.
A comforting Autumn Cake…
In this recipe, I flavoured the cake with vanilla, and nestled poached seasonal pears in the batter to turn it into a comforting Autumn cake. As the batter is not overly sweet, it goes perfectly with the syrupy poached pears.
I used bartlett pears (ripe), as they hold a great shape after being poached and baked (Bosc pears will work great too). For a quick version, you can use canned pears in syrup, and skip the poaching step.
It’s a delicious, homey cake – yet it’s elegant in its simplicity.
For poaching the pears:
1 cup (200g) sugar
3 cups (700ml) water
1 vanilla bean
For the cake batter:
½ cup (125g) unsalted butter butter, melted + 1 tbsp (14.5g) for the pan)
½ cup (143g) Greek yogurt or French-style yogurt
1 ½ cup (300g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups (375g) flour
1 ½ tsp (8g) baking powder
½ tsp salt
Icing sugar for decoration
Make the poached pears. In a large pot, combine the sugar, water, zest and juice of the ½ lemon and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer. Peel and cut the pears in half, remove the seeds and place them carefully in the simmering pot of syrup. Poach for 10 minutes (5 minutes on each side), until tender. Remove from the syrup and set aside in a plate to cool.
Make the cake batter. Pre-heat oven to 350F(180C) and grease a 9 inch springform pan with butter. Combine the melted butter with sugar. Mix in the yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt, until just incorporated.
Pour the batter in the pan. Cut pear halves in thin slices leaving one edge uncut. Place them on top of the cake (I was able to fit only 3 halves, fit 4 if you can). Dot not press them into the batter, they will set in as the cake bakes.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the cake is golden brown.
Let cool to room temperature and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
If you try this Poached Pear Vanilla Yogurt cake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or share a photo on Instagram. Bon Appetit!
The base recipe for the yogurt cake is adapted from The Kitchn.