Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Caramel //

Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Caramel //

She had me at “every French person I know knows how to make a yogurt cake.” So, with Dorie’s guidance I bound into the kitchen hoping that a cake will transform me into a perfectly coiffed French woman who drinks thick, black coffee for breakfast, crisp baguette and runny cheese for lunch and steak frites for dinner. I half expected that with one bite French r’s would dance out of my mouth the way I dream about Breton salted butter dancing into it.

It’s clear to me why a cake like this one is known in every French home. I mean it’s not that they are all avid bakers and have loads of cake recipes up their sleeves, instead they prefer to leave the baking to the professionals, so says Dorie. But this cake is so easy to know as it comes together quickly and is suited for morning, afternoon or after dinner. The presence of yogurt and olive oil may have one believe that it’s not entirely unhealthy. And really, it’s not too sweet (especially if you leave off the caramel, but why do that?) but rather pleasantly balanced and simple enough to dress up with fresh fruit, softly whipped cream, a bit of jam, shavings of dark chocolate, or just leave it be.

Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Caramel //

Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Caramel //

The cake, however, left me still struggling with my French pronunciations, I continue to crave burgers more often than paté, I prefer flats to heels and I’m not afraid to take out the garbage in my pajamas. And yet, Dorie assures me that I have “the ability to be just right, no matter the moment.”

Okay fine, she wasn’t talking about me, she was talking about the cake. Which indeed is just right, no matter the moment, but I prefer to think that she meant that to be true for both people and cake. It doesn’t mean we always are right but I like to think that we all have that ability at any given moment. Regardless, with this cake in my arsenal I’m choosing to believe that I’m one step closer to being French.  

Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Caramel //

IMG_3333Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Caramel //


Dorie's Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Caramel

Makes one 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf or an 8 or 9-inch round


Unsalted butter, for greasing the loaf pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

3 blood oranges

1/2 cup plain, Greek-style yogurt (I like to use full-fat)

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup mild olive oil or another neutral flavor oil

For the cake: Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter a loaf pan.

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

In a large bowl add 1 cup of the sugar. To that add the zest of 1 of the blood oranges. Rub the zest into the sugar until mixed well and irresistibly fragrant; for a minute or two.

To the sugar add the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and oil and then whisk until well combined.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and combine until no traces of flour remain and a glossy batter has formed. Take care not to mix too vigorously to avoid a tough cake.

Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for about 50 minutes, or until golden on top and a knife inserted deep into the middle of the cake emerges clean.

While the cake bakes prepare the caramel.

Slice off the peel of the oranges then slice deep purple/scarlet flesh into rounds. Then, in a skillet set over medium high heat add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in an even layer. Give this pan your undivided attention for the time being as caramel tends to initially be a bore and then *poof* it’s nearly burnt.

Leave the pan be until the sugar starts to caramelize and then you are free to give it a gentle stir. Wait until all the sugar is dissolved and the color of the caramel is shockingly mahogany before you add the orange slices. Break up some of the orange to release the juices. The caramel will seize initially and then return to a sauce once the juice warms up. Try to keep some of the orange pieces intact if you want some to decorate the top of the cake with a few oranges.

Set the cake on a baking rack to cool for 10 minutes while in the pan then cool completely on the rack. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Strain the caramel and pour it all over the top of the cake. Add the pieces of reserved orange to the top. Then serve just warm or let cool completely

31 Responses to “Dorie’s Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Caramel”

  1. Leslie Howard

    Lovely–I do like Dorie’s stuff! But–what is “in tack”?

  2. mary-clay | the open oven

    oh, how I adore Dorie Greenspan. what an encourager. though I’m about as French as french toast, Dorie could convince me otherwise. what a lovely cake! maybe adding this to my repertoire would make me a little more French.

  3. Tracy Wood

    This is lovely and very different to the recipe a French friend gave me years ago, which has a lot of rum in it. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks. x

  4. Allison

    If you put a teaspoon of food grade glycerine in the batter your cake will remain nice and moist.
    A french pastrychef gave this advise to my mother years ago and it always worked

  5. Charlotte / The Fox + The Knife

    It is true that in France everyone knows how to do this cake. It is actually the first recipe I learnt as a kid.
    It is really simple if you bake it in France because you can buy an individual yogurt pot (125g or 4.4 oz) that you use as a measuring cup (the recipe is 1 pot of yogurt, 1/2 pot of oil, 3 pots of flour, 2 pots of sugar, 3 eggs and baking powder).
    The recipe is really versatile too, I’m happy to see it on your blog 😉

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      This is so amazing! Thanks for sharing. Next time I’m in France (In JUNE!!) I’ll be sure to grab a yogurt pot so I can make your version.

  6. Aysegul

    I think as food bloggers we all have a bit of a French lady inside of us. And Dorie’s recipes are just a way of meeting with that lady and entertaining that side of our creativity. This cake and the way it is photographed is no different. Elegant, beautiful, and inviting… As it always is in this beautiful blog that I love reading so much.

  7. Kate

    Simple cakes like this one make the world go round. Lovely, lovely photography!

  8. Allyson

    I too wish to be the perfectly posed French woman. It seems like this cake is as close as I can get. At least it sounds like an excellent consolation prize.

  9. Katie

    Lovely! Do you think this would work for muffins/cupcakes to bring to my book club? What baking time would you suppose? Thanks!

  10. Kelley

    I couldn’t click on this one fast enough! I wonder if Greek yogurt is as fashionable in France as it is here.

    • Taste of France

      Yes, Greek yogurt is all over the place. Actually, yogurt takes up an entire aisle in French supermarkets. The variety is staggering. And then you also can get artisanal yogurt at the market.
      The French are big on these kinds of simple cakes. Also quatre-quarts (four quarters), similar to a pound cake: 250 grams of flour, 250 g sugar, 250 grams salted butter, 250 grams eggs (3 big ones). (250 grams is 1/4 of a kilogram)
      Kids take a wedge of cake to school for their “quatre heure”–four o’clock, when they have a snack, or “goûter.” Snack is at 4 because school goes until 5 and dinner is usually around 7. Hard to hold off unless you have a snack!

  11. Shantanu Sinha


    This something very delightful 🙂

    Nice French recipe to enjoy. The name is incredible #blood_orange_caramel.
    Loved your pictures. Thanks for sharing this among.

    Have a great week.
    Shantanu sinha

  12. Anthony

    Awesome, this yogurt cake looks so sweet and delicious, I will try to make this for my kids and hope they love it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  13. jesse collins

    How long about would you say I should cook the oranges in the caramel? Does it need to reduce or thicken at all?

  14. Lee

    Hi Ashley, first of all great site. It’s a real treat to see all your delicious recipes, especially the images. Are you a professional photographer too 🙂 They are absolutely stunning, I can almost smell the oranges and hear the clatter of the forks on the plates. Fantastic!

    I love your story for this one too, it really makes you feel like you are in a small French kitchen somewhere watching a great creation come to fruition. As an avid orange lover I am definitely going to try this one out. Especially as I am not used to cooking yoghurt into cakes so it will be a treat for me if it comes out half as good as yours looks

    Once again Ashley, thank you for the great site. I can see you absolutely love what you do and it shines out both in your photo’s, your posts and your site in general.

  15. Michelle

    Looks absolutely scrumptious!! Thanks for sharing. How long does the cake keep, and should it be stored at room temperature?

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Wrap it up well in plastic wrap and it will keep for at least three days. It actually improves in flavor the day after and even the second day after it’s been baked. No need to refrigerate.

  16. Kathy

    This yogurt cake recipe looks very cool and delicious. I will try this recipe soon. Thank for share with us !