I've wanted to try my hand at a making at French Style Yogurt Cake for quite awhile. The reason it's never happened (until now) is because to me, there never seemed to be an appropriate time. This cake isn't fit to be a birthday cake and it's not quite as easy to give away as cookies or quick breads. I like to think of it more as an everyday kind of cake, but everyday cake has never really been part of my vocabulary.
I always think of cake as a frosted, decadent, decorated, and towering confection to be eaten on holidays and special occasions. But this cake is none of the above. Instead, it's light, airy, and simple- perfect for a mid-morning snack with a cup of tea or as a part of "this complete breakfast."
My cakes came out very light in color because I seem to have overlooked the part of the recipe that said to bake "until the top is golden brown;" however, the taste didn't seem to be affected at all. The applesauce, as you may have guessed, is not part of the original recipe and neither is the non-fat yogurt. While you could of course make a full fat version, mine came out very moist, if not a little gummy (I think this sometimes happens because of the applesauce). So even if you aren't in to the idea of applesauce, I think low or non-fat yogurt are both perfectly viable substitutions.
Mini Yogurt Cakes
Adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini
makes 12 mini cakes or one 8-inch round
1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
scant 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Lemon version: add the juice and zest of one whole lemon plus 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
Almond Maple version: add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and a scant 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a cupcake pan. In a large mixing-bowl, gently combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together - be careful not to over-mix the batter.
If you would like to make both versions, split the batter into two and add the necessary extras listed above. If, however, you would like to just make one of the versions, double the amount of add in's since you will be using the full amount of batter- you could also make neither version and just have a plain and simple yogurt cake).
After you've mixed in all the desired ingredients, pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan, and bake for 25- 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown (oops I did not read that part and took mine out a bit early- the insides were still fully cooked though) and a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes, and transfer onto a rack to cool.