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I was always a baker. I remember watching my Mom and Amma bake and wanting to emulate them… I wouldn’t let them show or teach me how to bake, only taking their help place my concoction of flour, eggs and yogurt in the oven. Concoction because I never followed a recipe, just went ahead and mixed ingredients the way I wanted and poor Papa would end up eating whatever I had made. It was much later that I learned that what I had been making was a French Yogurt Cake or Gateau au Yogurt. It’s a cake that the French make using the containers in which yogurt is sold in their stores.

Today, as I re-create this recipe, I’m flooded with memories of watching these two women in the kitchen as I was growing up. My Mom and my Amma, a mother-figure who brought me up, were my role models. Mom would watch and read recipes, noting them down in diaries, while Amma, who had never learned to read or write, would make them from memory. In her later years, as memory began to fail her, she asked me to note down the recipe for her. It’s only apt that for Mother’s Day, I bake a cake that they would make so often, and thankfully, I now follow measurements! The recipe is updated with a few touches of my own, and I hope you’ll enjoy making it this Mother’s Day.


Serves: 8

Time taken: 10 minutes (prep) + 40 minutes (baking) + cooling time + 15 minutes (icing)



– Sugar: 200 gms

– Zest of 1 lemon

– All-purpose flour: 216 gms

– Baking powder: 1 ½ teaspoon

-Baking soda:  1 teaspoon

– Pinch of salt

– Eggs: 2

– Yogurt: 256 gms

– Vanilla extract: 1 teaspoon

– Canola or sunflower oil: 1/3 cup



– Icing Sugar to dust

– Edible Flowers for decoration


INGREDIENTS: For the Sauce

– Seeds of 2 pomegranates

– 120 to 140 gms icing sugar (depends on sweetness of pomegranate seeds)

– Pinch of rock salt



– Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line the inside of a 26 cm round springform cake pan with parchment paper.

– Rub the lemon zest into the sugar and set aside.

– In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt and set aside.

– In the bowl of the stand mixer, add the yogurt, sugar, vanilla extract and beat using the paddle attachment until combined.

Stand Mixture


– Pour in the oil in a slow, steady stream, until combined. Add 1 egg at a time, beating for it to get combined properly after each addition.

mixing it up

– Sift in all the flour and beat briefly only to combine. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then release the sides of the pan and allow the cake to cool completely.

french yogurt cake

– In the meantime, puree the seeds of the pomegranate in a blender and strain through a mesh strainer to separate the juice from the pulp. Sift in the icing sugar (to taste) into the collected juice and add a pinch of rock salt. Whisk together.

– Dust some icing sugar on the cooled cake and decorate with edible flowers. Serve with a drizzle of Pomegranate Sauce.

french yogurt cake

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