Yoghurt cake recipe – no scales required!

Although this blog has only been in existence a few weeks, if you have been with me since the beginning, firstly thank you, but also you’ll know about my love of cake. Despite my complete lack of aptitude, I’ve always loved baking and baking with my kids makes me extremely happy. (The mess that follows does not!)

I find scales tricky and although I can use them, I need to take my time and and give it my full concentration. When the munchkins are around, both of these things are near impossible! It doesn’t stop us, I just kind of guess what the scales are telling me and hope for the best (lack of aptitude, right there).

Recently, I came across a genius recipe for a French Yoghurt Cake which solves my blindness-related scales dilemma. In fact it doesn’t require scales at all. I first read about it in Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, a fabulous book about the virtues of French parenting from an American perspective. The idea is that you use the contents of a pot of yoghurt as the first ingredient, then use the empty pot to measure the rest of the ingredients – no scales necessary! I played around with the recipe a bit until it was right for me and my girls. It’s a very forgiving recipe, which also helps. It’s so easy that apparently French children from the age of 3 make it on their own… not sure there would be any cake mixture left for the oven if I left my 3 year old to it! I gave my 7 year old nephew verbal instructions and he produced a delicious cake and found it – well, a piece of cake! (Sorry – it had to be done!)

My version of Bringing Up Bebe’s French Yoghurt Cake:


  • One 125ml pot of yoghurt (can be natural or flavoured. I’ve used a blueberry Oykos and a strawberry Activia and both worked well. It doesn’t have to be exactly 125ml, anywhere from 110ml and 130ml will be fine. Dairy free coconut yoghurt is great too.)

(use the empty yoghurt pot to measure the following ingredients)

  • 2 pots self raising flour (or plain flour with 2 tsp baking powder)
  • 3/4 pot vegetable oil
  • 1 pot sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • Optional: Add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or the zest of half a lemon. You could also add a handful of blueberries, raspberries, raisins or chocolate chips.


  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon (or electric whisk if you prefer)
  • 2lb loaf tin, lined and greased.


  • Preheat your oven to 180C.
  • Empty yoghurt into the mixing bowl and use the pot to measure out the remaining ingredients, adding them to the bowl as you go.
  • Add eggs and aalt.
  • Mix really well until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add any optional ingredients you choose and mix in gently.
  • Pour into your lined tin and pop into the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. If it’s not ready after after 45 minutes, put it back in the oven and check again every 5 minutes.
  • Place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before turning out.
  • Put the kettle on!!!

We usually have some version of the ingredients in the cupboard so this has been a great recipe on occasions that call for an impromptu cake (which let’s face it, is pretty much any occasion). It’s not only good for visually impaired mums who don’t want to do battle with the talking scales, it’s also great for older kids to make on their own and one to make on holiday when you don’t have all your baking equipment with you.

Give it a whirl and let us know how it turned out in the comments below!

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