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A simple and iconic French cake gets updated with citrus and spice
Milk Street Bowtie Yogurt Loaf Cake with Coriander and Orange

Yogurt Loaf Cake with Coriander and Orange

1 hour 15 minutes active, plus cooling

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Yogurt Loaf Cake with Coriander and Orange

Free

In France, gâteau au yaourt, or “yogurt cake,” is a dead-simple anytime cake that uses an entire container of yogurt, then employs the empty container as the measuring device for the flour, sugar and oil. The crumb is fine and moist, similar to a pound cake, but not nearly as rich. Since there is no standardized sizing for yogurt in the U.S., we devised a recipe with conventional measurements, and we flavored the cake with ground coriander and grated orange zest. Toasting the coriander softens its flavor and brings out its aroma; in a small skillet over medium, toast the spice, stirring often, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer to a small bowl or plate to cool. Macerated fresh berries are the perfect accompaniment to the cake. Toss sliced fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with a little sugar and let stand until juicy. Tightly wrapped and stored at room temperature, the cake will keep for up to three days.

1

8½-inch loaf cake

Tip

Don’t forget to flour the loaf pan after misting it with cooking spray to ensure the cake doesn’t stick. Make sure to invert the baked cake out of the pan after about 10 minutes of cooling. This also will help prevent sticking as well as prevent the sides from becoming too moist. And the cake will cool faster, too.

1 hour

15 minutes active, plus cooling

228 grams (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander, toasted (see headnote)
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3 large eggs
214 grams (1 cup) white sugar, plus 2 teaspoons for sprinkling
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
120 grams (½ cup) plain whole-milk yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
Ingredients
  • 228

    grams (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

  • 2

    teaspoons baking powder

  • 1

    tablespoon ground coriander, toasted (see headnote)

  • ¼

    teaspoon table salt

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 214

    grams (1 cup) white sugar, plus 2 teaspoons for sprinkling

  • 2

    tablespoons grated orange zest

  • 120

    grams (½ cup) plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ½

    cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

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Reviews
Cynthia F.
June 16, 2022
Awesome-Best ever
Not only was this quick to make but the best, moist flavorful pound cake i have ever had. This is a definite keeper recipe.
Ginny K.
June 7, 2022
Good anytime of day
This loaf cake is light and fluffy, with a mild coriander taste. The yogurt keeps it moist without becoming dense. A favorite in my kitchen!
Sharon D.

Any thoughts about converting this to a gluten free cake?

Lynn C.

Hi Sharon -

We haven't tested this, but would recommend trying it with a gluten-free flour blend.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Iliana M.

I did this yogurt cake. I use 3/4 c APF and 1/2 c almond meal flour (because I did not have all amount of APF) Also I am trying to continue increasing the Almond Meal Flour because the whole flour affects my stomach. I addition I used the Stevia brown sugar mix to lower the calories.

I have to tell that it came great; soft fluffy soft. The taste of coriander can be detected and give a "mysterious" toach to the palate meaning good. I will do this again and changing further the APF; experimenting is good! Thanks Milk Street for this recipes.
IM

David G.

Based on your testing, any recommendations to replace the orange zest? A key member of my household despises orange in cooking.

April D.

David - another citrus zest will work nicely here, if that works for your household member. I'd turn to lemon as a first option, as it will echo the subtle citrusy notes in the coriander, though grapefruit or lime would also be nice options.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Alex A.

In the headnote it says to toast the coriander. Is it grinding whole coriander and then toasting? Or toast the whole coriander and then grind it? We have the whole Herati coriander and we love it.

Lynn C.

Hi Alex -

For this recipe we are toasting the ground coriander to freshen it up since, once ground, spices tend to lose a bit of their potency. While I would normally say it's fine to use freshly ground coriander in all of our recipes - in fact, we prefer it - for this one, I'd stick with pre-ground. The goal for this cake is a more subtle coriander flavor and I fear the freshly-ground spice would be too overwhelming here. Hope that helps!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Anne N.

This loaf cake is delicious. Toasted with butter. I didnt have yogurt in the house and substituted whole milk sour cream and it came out great. Of course, I immediately went out and bought oranges and yogurt to make it again. slice wrap and freeze to have with coffee

Joan C.

The only plain yogurt I have is Greek style. Can I use it without making any other changes to the cake?

Lynn C.

Hi Joan -

I checked in with the recipe developer, Diane Unger, and she said that Greek-style yogurt would be too thick and would not work well in this recipe.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lori P.

I used unsweetened cashew yogurt in place of the whole milk yogurt and it turned out delicious. Also, my husband said it was not necessary to wait the 1 1/2 hours until completely cooled before slicing.

Shane B.

I had to bake this for an hour, sometimes more, as the toothpick always came out with very wet batter at 40-45 min. I used grapeseed oil, and I’m testing my oven. My oven so far is heated above what I set it for (I set it for 350 and it tested hotter at 355). Any thoughts?

Lynn C.

Hi Shane -

We aren't 100% sure why it may have taken longer to bake, but we always recommend following the visual clue in a recipe (in this case, "Bake until a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out with few crumbs attached") rather than following the times. Ovens cycle through temperatures to "maintain" the temperature you set on the dial. So, at any given time the temperature inside the oven can run hotter or colder depending on what temperature the oven is identifying as the overall temperature at the time. When checking the oven temperature using an oven thermometer, make sure to place the thermometer in the center of the oven - where the food would sit - and check the temperature a minute or two after the oven has preheated. This will give you the most accurate reading.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Justin J G.

Ran thru first attempt with this cake today and I experienced the same problem Shane has described. Was meticulous with ingredients. Did not deviate from any base recipe ingredients (yogurt, flours, etc.), equipment, or oven setup. This cake was not remotely finished at 45 mins under 350 degrees F. My oven temp is known to me as I have a secondary oven thermometer; I baked this cake at prescribed temp zone. I bake all sorts of breads and dessert goods weekly, and have not had a problem like I did with this recipe. This is my first Milk Street recipe to not complete correctly. Mine was satisfactory at 60 minutes.

Justin J G.

In the end, this is a first-class cake. Excellent flavors, well balanced. Family devoured it all in a less than two days.

Cat G.

Wondering if the bake time deviation could be due to flour and varying levels of moisture and humidity?

Justin J G.

In the end, this is a first-class cake. Excellent flavors, well balanced. Family devoured it all in a less than two days.

Debi H.

Just wondering if it would be helpful to give an ideal internal temperature for the recipe instead of cooking times? You always see it with meat but not with baked goods?

Cat G.

Wondering if the bake time deviation could be due to flour and varying levels of moisture and humidity?

Justin J G.

Ran thru first attempt with this cake today and I experienced the same problem Shane has described. Was meticulous with ingredients. Did not deviate from any base recipe ingredients (yogurt, flours, etc.), equipment, or oven setup. This cake was not remotely finished at 45 mins under 350 degrees F. My oven temp is known to me as I have a secondary oven thermometer; I baked this cake at prescribed temp zone. I bake all sorts of breads and dessert goods weekly, and have not had a problem like I did with this recipe. This is my first Milk Street recipe to not complete correctly. Mine was satisfactory at 60 minutes.

Justin J G.

In the end, this is a first-class cake. Excellent flavors, well balanced. Family devoured it all in a less than two days.

Cat G.

Wondering if the bake time deviation could be due to flour and varying levels of moisture and humidity?

Justin J G.

In the end, this is a first-class cake. Excellent flavors, well balanced. Family devoured it all in a less than two days.

Debi H.

Just wondering if it would be helpful to give an ideal internal temperature for the recipe instead of cooking times? You always see it with meat but not with baked goods?

Cat G.

Wondering if the bake time deviation could be due to flour and varying levels of moisture and humidity?

Mick C.

Any ideas why ours came out somewhat uncooked in the center. We made no substitutions and the cake tester actually came out clean. We used a metal loaf pan. Will try again but would like to know what we could change.

Lynn C.

Hi Mick -

Did you possibly use Greek-style plain yogurt? Greek-style is thicker than regular plain yogurt and could cause gummy spots that would appear uncooked while the remainder of the cake would otherwise be fully baked.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Mick C.

Thanks. No we used whole milk, non-Greek yogurt. I just went to the fridge to double check. We did use metal cake tester that came out clean. Maybe should have used a wooden toothpick. We baked for over 45 minutes. Probably just needed more time in our oven.

Mick C.

Thanks. No we used whole milk, non-Greek yogurt. I just went to the fridge to double check. We did use metal cake tester that came out clean. Maybe should have used a wooden toothpick. We baked for over 45 minutes. Probably just needed more time in our oven.

Debi H.

I made it with cardamom (roasted and ground) instead of coriander and it was outstanding. I think this recipe would allow for a lot of different substitutions and it'd still be moist & delicious.

Mary O.

Amazing! The taste was fabulous and a little exotic. Incredibly easy to make and I followed it exactly. But I do echo some earlier comments. My oven is calibrated and I have an independent thermometer in there to be sure I was at 350 and it took a bit over 50 min to cook completely. 40 minutes was obviously not nearly done when I looked at the toothpick. No problem, I always test to see when done. Will make again and maybe twist it up with different spice and citrus combos. Family loved it.

Jonathan W.

Would reducing the sugar somewhat have any negative effects on the final product?

Michael Y.

This cake is a major winner. It is really easy and amazing even without toppings or whatever. Like others, I had to bake it for between 45 and 50 minutes.

Moonbeam S.

So, this didn’t turn out for me like it for most here, unfortunately. The orange overpowered the coriander, maybe I should’ve used the new coriander I recently bought... but, my thinking was this recipe sounded like a good idea to use what was left first. All I had on hand was fat free yogurt so that must make a difference, because it was not done in the middle & dry on the bottom.
I will attempt this recipe again because the coriander intrigue ms me. But, I think my changes will be: stick to the recommended yogurt, cut back on the sugar a bit, fresh ground coriander, and no orange zest , or 1/2 o. zest.

Abdul E.

I have a 6 cup loaf pan i can use to make this. Can you please tell me how many cups of batter this will make?

Lynn C.

Hi Abdul -

A 6-cup loaf pan is usually a 9x5 loaf pan, which is too large for this recipe. This recipe calls for an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 pan, which generally has a 4-cup yield. So, if you try to make it in the larger loaf pan the cake will be very squat and dense.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

maureen s.

Followed the recipe exactly. Nice and easy to make. Will make again.

Jo Ann K.

What about cutting back on sugar? Somewhere I read that desserts need not more than 1/2 cup sugar. We like desserts that are not all about sweetness.

Lynn C.

Hi Jo Ann -

I'm not sure where you read that, but we definitely don't agree with it. We don't know any baker worth their salt (or sugar!) who would make a blanket statement on how much sugar every dessert recipe needs given the variation in recipes. Baking recipes rely on a pretty delicate balance of ingredients to succeed. Sugar in baked goods not only adds sweetness, but performs many other essential functions. It keeps baked goods soft and moist, adds tenderness, leavens, and provides stability, such as in a meringue. But it's not just its presence that matters. Its presence as it relates to and in proportion to the other ingredients in the recipe that makes the difference. Baked goods get their shape and structure from proteins and starches, which firm up during baking and transform soupy batters and soft doughs into lofty muffins and well-formed cookies. But because they build structure, proteins and starches can potentially make baked goods tough, too. The sugar in a batter or dough snatches water away from proteins and starches, which helps control the amount of structure-building they can do. The result? A more tender treat.

It is here that tinkering with a recipe’s sugar can have a dramatic effect. When, for example, a loaf of pound cake has a nice shape and an appealing texture, the sugar, proteins, and starches are in balance. But if you tip that balance by using more or less sugar than the recipe calls for, the result could be so tender that it lacks the structure to hold its shape, or it could be shapely but too tough.

Lucky for you, our recipe developers have done the work to determine the exact proportion of flour to sugar to eggs to fat that is necessary to get that perfect moist, tender and lofty cake.

Hope that helps!
The Milk Street Team

Carla F.

Could this be baked as muffins?

Lynn C.

Hi Carla -

Though we haven't tested it as muffins, this cake has more of a pound cake texture than a traditional loaf cake so we wouldn't recommend converting it to muffins.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Jessica D.

I made them as "cupcakes" for my daughter's second birthday and they turned out wonderfully. Unfortunately I cannot remember what timing I used, but I definitely cooked them much less.

Frank B.

I also followed the recipe to the letter. I read the comments about the cooking time. Mine was fully baked after 40mins. Possibly due to the altitude here. I live at 1100m (3600ft)

Marianne S.

Excellent recipe…. Surprisingly light and yet moist. The crisp texture of the crust is a nice counterpoint to the interior. I did toast whole coriander seeds and then freshly ground them and the spice was pleasant and subtle. The only suggestion I would add is to sift the dry ingredients together before adding.

Halina T.

I made this cake with 2 changes after reading many comments. I used lemon zest instead of orange, because I prefer it and have Meyer lemons, and I cut the sugar back to 3/4 cup. It came out fantastic after about 47 minutes in the oven. My husband immediately asked me to put it in frequent rotation! In future, I will try the cardamom substitution for coriander. I loved how subtle the coriander was, definitely added “something” undefinable and mysterious to the taste. I am wondering about the advisability of adding fruit, like blueberries, but worry it will become too wet. I may make a blueberry compote for serving on the side.

Sallie S.

Made this today, with lemon zest instead of orange. Was on a call when the timer went off and just grabbed it out of the oven, perfectly done. I used grape seed oil, and for a change actually measured my yogurt and flour to the gram using the kitchen scale, and at 350 it came out dead flat perfect, as my mother would say. Can’t wait to make again! (I used whole milk Chobani yogurt, for reference.)


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Yogurt Loaf Cake with Coriander and Orange

Get Ready to Cook

1

8½-inch loaf cake

1 hour

15 minutes active, plus cooling

Tip

Don’t forget to flour the loaf pan after misting it with cooking spray to ensure the cake doesn’t stick. Make sure to invert the baked cake out of the pan after about 10 minutes of cooling. This also will help prevent sticking as well as prevent the sides from becoming too moist. And the cake will cool faster, too.

Ingredients
  • 228

    grams (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan

  • 2

    teaspoons baking powder

  • 1

    tablespoon ground coriander, toasted (see headnote)

  • ¼

    teaspoon table salt

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 214

    grams (1 cup) white sugar, plus 2 teaspoons for sprinkling

  • 2

    tablespoons grated orange zest

  • 120

    grams (½ cup) plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 2

    teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ½

    cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

Step 1 of 4

Prepare Oven and Pan

All-purpose flour for the pan

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Mist a 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, dust evenly with flour, then tap out the excess.

Step 2 of 4

Combine Ingredients

228
grams (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour
2
teaspoons baking powder
1
tablespoon ground coriander, toasted
¼
teaspoon table salt
3
large eggs
214
grams (1 cup) white sugar
2
tablespoons grated orange zest
120
grams (½ cup) plain whole-milk yogurt
2
teaspoons vanilla extract
½
cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, coriander and salt. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and orange zest until well combined and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Add the yogurt and vanilla, then whisk until well combined. Add the oil and whisk until homogenous. Add the flour mixture and whisk just until no streaks remain. The batter will be very fluid.

Step 3 of 4

Bake Cake

2
teaspoons white sugar for sprinkling

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out with few crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes.

Step 4 of 4

Finish and Serve

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, lift off the pan and turn the loaf upright. Cool completely, about 1½ hours, before slicing and serving.

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