Have you read the book Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman?

It’s a good read.  The book follows one new mom as she navigates the world of parenting while living in Paris.  Throughout the book, she compares American parenting methods with French methods.  While there is a lot I don’t agree with in the book, one thing I found fascinating was how the French bake with their young (and I mean really young!) children.

In the book, Druckerman mentions a French friend’s 3 year old daughter who bakes a yogurt cake (gâteau au yaourt) all by herself. She explains that this is the first cake recipe that French children are taught due to the easy directions that include using the empty yogurt container to measure out the other ingredients.  Druckerman explains that it is French a belief that baking is a lesson in patience as children have to wait until it is done baking to enjoy their snack. Also, it teaches children counting, measuring and fractions. French children start baking with their mothers as early as one year!

Needless to say, I had to try it out! My son enjoyed dumping the ingredients into the bowls. He needed help measuring and cracking the eggs, but besides that, he was on his own. The cake turned out delicious and my son was so proud he had made it all by himself that he was enticed to try a piece (which further reinforces my belief that when children have a more active part in the baking or cooking process, they’ll be more inclined to eat it).

Yogurt Cake (gâteau au yaourt)
Adapted from Bringing Up Bébé

2 (6oz) containers of plain yogurt (keep containers for measuring the other ingredients)
2 eggs
2 containers sugar
1 tsp vanilla
just under 1 container of vegetable oil
4 containers flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 container mini chocolate chips or 2 containers of berries (optional)
Crème fraîche (optional)
powdered sugar (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
2. Coat 9″ round cake pan with cooking spray.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until just combined.
6. Add the chocolate chips or berries if desired.
7. Transfer mixture into the baking pan.
8. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden and the cake is springy. Let it cool.
9. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with the Crème fraîche if desired.


This post is linked up with Tasty Tuesday at Beauty and BedlamSlightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, and Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager

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9 Responses to Yogurt cake and French baking

  1. That cake sounds yum :) And it is great to get kids in the kitchen as early as possible.

  2. This looks yummy. I wonder if I can veganize this and still have it cook right. Something I need to try.

  3. Yum – My 3 year old daughter loves to cook with me and my wife. She even has her own tools. I’ll have to have her try this one out! With my supervision – of course :)

  4. I have been wanting to read this book for awhile. My boys are pre-teens, but I have no doubt there is still advice I could use. I look forward to this recipe, thank you for sharing it!

  5. What a wonderful recipe to make with kids- easy and delicious! My son enjoyed cooking and baking from a very young age and now as a young man he really knows his way around a kitchen.

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