breakfast/brunch/mini/recipes/small batch

Small Batch Sundays: French Yogurt Lemon Loaf Cake

Posted January 27, 2019 by Stephanie

Hello! Are you looking for a perfect sized small batch loaf cake to bake for the week ahead? Maybe you want to have cake for breakfast everyday but don’t want a giant calorie bomb slice? This small batch French yogurt lemon loaf cake is for you!

I’m on a roll with the small loaf cakes – if you call two loafs a roll, anyway. I’m officially obsessed. I love having cake around for breakfast and since it’s smaller than your typical loaf slice, I don’t even feel bad about it. This yogurt cake (found via Bon Appetit) is nice and sturdy, easy to make, and unlike all of my other small batched recipes that use divided eggs, uses one whole egg.

Apparently yogurt cake is a thing that all French people know how to make, according to the internet anyway. Unfortunately, I don’t have any French friends who can confirm or deny this for me. It all sounds very romantic anyway: you buy a small glass jar of yogurt from your charming neighborhood corner store and use the glass container to measure out the flour and sugar, mix everything together and bake it. It’s like the French version of Betty Crocker and it’s one of the first cakes that people learn how to make.

It is absurdly easy to make and there’s even a nice tactile meditative portion where you rub lemon zest into sugar to make it all lemon-y and fragrant. From there, it’s just a question of mixing the sugar with yogurt, an egg, and oil. Then it’s dry ingredients into wet and a agonizingly long-ish bake while your house fills up with the most amazing baking cake smell.

Happy small batching friends! Please let me know in the comments if there’s anything in particular that you want to small batch. It doesn’t have to be baked goods, either. It can be solo meals or small meals for two!

PS – I made this particular loaf before we went on a little snowboarding trip, and I snuck a slice into my snowboarding jacket pocket, and it survived very nicely. I had it as a snack on the slopes :)

French Yogurt Lemon Loaf Cake |

French Yogurt Lemon Loaf Cake |

French Yogurt Lemon Loaf Cake |

French Yogurt Lemon Loaf Cake |

French Yogurt Lemon Loaf Cake |

Small Batch French Yogurt Lemon Loaf Cake
makes 1 small loaf

  • 3/4 cups (90 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

via Bon Appetit

Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil and flour pan a mini loaf pan (6×3 inches or a pan that fits 2 cups liquid) or line with parchment paper.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, use your finger to rub the lemon zest into the sugar until it is fragrant and moist. Whisk the lemon zest sugar together with the yogurt, oil, egg, and vanilla.

Fold the dry ingredients in, just to blend.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack. Enjoy!


  1. Agnes says:

    You’re right : le gâteau au yaourt (yogourt cake) is the first thing kids learn to cook in France ! You can add vanilla, melted chocolate or apples instead of lemon.
    Glad you like it !
    Agnes, a long time french reader for Paris !

    1. Stephanie says:

      aww thanks for being a longtime reader agnes! and thank you for letting me know that some stuff on the internet is true! how cute that it’s one of the first things kids learn how to cook in france. i’m excited to try the melted chocolate version!

  2. i love your mini loaf pan!!! where is it from?

    1. Stephanie says:

      it’s from tokyo! mini pullman pan :)

  3. Sophie says:

    I loved this! Perfect thing to whip up last minute on a lazy sunday afternoon! Thank you for your efforts scaling these recipes down, keep them coming!

    1. Stephanie says:

      ooh you had a chance to make it! awesome!! i’m totally going to continue with small batch sundays :)

  4. Winnie says:

    Could you post a recipe for small batch earl grey yogurt cake?

    1. Stephanie says:

      ooh yes, excellent idea!!! :)

  5. sarah says:

    can i double for family size loaf?

    1. Stephanie says:

      yes, absolutely!

  6. T Speed says:

    Thought on using coconut yogurt in place of Greek yogurt? How might that go…?

    1. Stephanie says:

      absolutely, it’ll work and give it a very slight coconutty flavor!

  7. jane says:

    Absolutely delicious. Trader Joe’s only had whole milk Greek yogurt with vanilla bean so I omitted the vanilla extract. Being happily single I appreciate the small batch recipes.

    1. Stephanie says:

      yay! excellent idea on the vanilla yogurt :)

  8. kit says:

    Delightfully easy! I didn’t have a mini loaf pan, so I divided it between 4 standard muffin cups. They baked through in about 30 minutes.

    1. Stephanie says:

      ooh four muffins :) perfect! thanks for letting me know that they work in tins and the timing!

  9. zoe says:

    can I add in a bit of lemon juice to give it a more lemony flavour?

    1. Stephanie says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *