Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Yogurt Pot Cake

I always feel that a house is not a home unless there's a cake in it... I know I keep telling you all (and trying to convince myself) that I don't have a sweet tooth, but we all know it's a big fat lie... I mean if I had to choose to eat between a savoury or a sweet dish, I'd most likely pick the savoury one.  But in an ideal world, I'd have both.

Currently at home we have not one but three cakes which makes me feel very safe when I need my sweet fix or something to nibble with my morning coffee or cup of tea in the afternoon. It was mom's birthday yesterday, so obviously there's a birthday cake (three layers vanilla sponge cake with strawberry jam and buttercream), a banana bread and this yogurt pot cake...  

This is a Nigella recipe; and the first time I bake this cake, I copied the recipe by watching and pausing the video (I haven't bought the book at the time)... and in the video, there was no mention of the (plain) flour quantity, in fact no mention of it... just the cornflour.  I thought that's odd... a cake with just cornflour? wouldn't it make the cake chewy and sticky? But I tried it anyway... and the result was as expected.  The cake was glutinous and just not the right texture... I mean it's still pleasant (the fact that we still demolished the whole cake) but I knew something's missing. 

When I got the book, I immediately look for the recipe for this cake and there I found the use of plain flour along with cornflour!  So, perhaps it's an editing mistake on the video, skipping one whole step to the recipe. Now, the recipe is called yogurt pot cake because most of the ingredients are measured in a yogurt pot... but I find this tricky because the size of yogurt pot I use is different to the one that Nigella uses.  Plus, I am more comfortable with the metric system. So here I give you the complete list of ingredients in metric.  But if you want to test the pot system, it's 1 pot yogurt, 2 pots sugar, 1 pot oil, 1 pot cornflour and 2 pots plain flour.   

I have my own method and I make my own addition though, but it's just my preference.  I add the zest of one lemon instead of 1/2 lemon, because I really want to taste the lemon.  I know, I know the cake is not called lemon yogurt cake, but if there's lemon in it, I wanna make sure it's there... not just in the background. Also instead of using vanilla extract, I use the seeds from one vanilla pod or use vanilla paste.  I quite like the look of little dots of vanilla seeds throughout the yellow cake in each slice. If you want you can use cake flour in place of the flours specified.  Because essentially cake flour is already a mixture of plain and cornflour. 

Thank you to the yogurt, this cake has a light, soft crumb and I especially love it when it's still a bit warm... and I think you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Yogurt Pot Cake
Recipe by Nigella Lawson

3 eggs, separated
250 gr caster sugar
150 gr plain yogurt
150 ml vegetable oil
175 gr plain flour
75 gr cornflour
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tsp icing sugar, to serve

1 x 22 cm savarin or ring mould (or 22 or 23 cm springform cake tin)

Now, start by preheating the oven to 180 C and grease your ring mould or cake tin with a little vegetable oil.

Whisk the egg whites until you have firm peaks, then set it aside.  In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until airy and light before adding the yogurt. I use freestanding mixer if you're wondering. 

Then add in the vegetable oil... I add it a little at a time because I don't want to deflate the mixture.  Turn the mixer on low and add the flours.

Then scrape the sides with a spatula, making sure all the flour is incorporated into the batter.  Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla.  Now gently fold in the egg whites.  

Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30 - 35 minutes.  You'll notice that the sides of the cake will begin coming away at the edges and a cake tester will come out clean when it's done.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool to a wire rack for ten minutes or so before turning it out. 

When it's cooled, transfer the cake to a platter and dust the top with icing sugar... and you know the what to do next.


  1. yoghurt cake is highly underrated for it's simple elegance... this looks gorgeous and I LOVE your cake tin... x

  2. Sounds like a good idea although as you say, the size of the yogurt pot does vary so much! And good to know that a cornflour only cake doesn't work!

  3. This sounds so very delicious! I wish the flour could be changed out for GF ... as I find I need to limit glutens but I still like to have my cake and ...

  4. Hi Micheal,

    You must be loving baking and cakes a lot... Me too! I reckon that my kitchen is like a heart of our house and like my home to be filled with baking and bakes...

    Your yogurt cake looks great! Simple and beautiful!


  5. Oh this is great - I SO agree - cake is a needed in life!! yours looks and sounds great - love Nigella and can't wait to try this :)
    Mary x

  6. I'm with you.. cake is life!! And this cake could sustain me for quite a few days... or maybe hours :) Looks and sounds delectable, Michael!!

  7. This cake looks delicious and I have been making it for years now!
    I have always used pots for mesuring, but now I think I will give your version a try!

  8. Michael, this cake looks delicious, moist and nice texture...and yes, yogurt sounds great...I am glad that you figured it our...the ratio of flour and cornflour :)
    I have all the ingredients handy...I should give this a try...
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a great week!

  9. Michael, In my daughter's house, this is the kind of cake you will mostly find under her 'cake dome' that she keeps out on the counter top. Simple, elegant, super moist and so delicious with coffee, tea, or just by itself on a 'lazy afternoon' for a nice snack!

  10. I made mine without the fancy tin. I don't think it quite baked properly, but it was still delicious!

  11. I wish I had read this yesterday. Made the cake via Nigellas instructions and it was a disaster. I had watched the show many moons ago, and after finally buying a savron mould I set about making it last night. Anyway, will defo try it again now......with the flour! ps Thank you.