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Easy peasy yoghurt-pot cake

  • Preparation - 5 mins
  • Cooking time - 20 mins
  • Serves 12
  • Calories per serving - 175kcal

This is a really simple cake, perfect for putting together during a study break. It’s made with yoghurt, which gives a lovely light texture. And because you use the pot to measure the other ingredients, there’s no weighing and measuring – and minimal washing up.

The recipe is super flexible when it comes to flavour, as well. Once you know how to make it, you can play with flavourings and add-ins to your heart’s content. Berries or dried fruit and nuts work well. A few of my favourite versions are below. You can use whatever yoghurt you have – Greek, natural, low-fat, full-fat, flavoured, fruity, skyr, coconut, soya – they all work! It doesn’t have to be a 120g pot. If you’re using a bigger pot then aim for roughly 1 egg per 150g yoghurt. For pots under 100g, only use 1 egg. For the rest of the ingredients, it’s all about the ratio. As long as you use the same yoghurt pot to measure the other ingredients it will come out fine.

Likewise, you can use any oil you like and change the flour to wholemeal or gluten-free. However, it is important that the flour is self-raising. If you only have plain flour, add 2 tsp of baking powder.

Method

1. Set your oven to 180°C. Put cupcake cases in the dimples of a 12-hole bun tin or grease and line a loaf tin.

2. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the yoghurt, scraping down the sides of the pot to make sure you’ve got it all. Mix with the egg until evenly combined. Then wash and dry the pot.

3. Using the empty yoghurt pot, measure 1 pot’s-worth of vegetable oil and add it to the bowl. Then measure 2 pots of sugar and 3 of self-raising flour (now you see why I tell people this cake is as easy as 1-2-3…). Add a pinch of salt and mix well until you have an even batter with no visible wet or dry patches.

4. Throw in any optional extras you fancy (see below) and mix again gently.

5. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases or fill the loaf tin and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 20 mins for cupcakes of 45 mins for a loaf. The cake should be risen and golden brown. Check doneness with a skewer or toothpick – it should come out clean. If there are still moist crumbs clinging to it, give it a little longer. When it’s ready, cool in the tin until ready to handle then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pot of yoghurt (approx 120g)
  • 1 pot of vegetable oil
  • 2 pots of caster sugar
  • 3 pots of self-raising flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • any additional ingredients (see suggestions in Method)

 

Variations and suggestions
  • Berry Brain Boost – Use self-raising wholemeal flour and add one pot of blueberries. The wholemeal flour will ensure a slow release of energy, meaning you should be able to concentrate for longer. And blueberries have been shown to improve brain function and memory.
  • Chocolate Orange – Substitute one of the pots of flour for cocoa powder and stir in a couple of tablespoons of marmalade or the zest of an orange.
  • Banana-Nut Choc-Chip – Use no oil and only one pot of sugar (soft, light brown if possible). Instead, stir in 2 mashed bananas and half a pot each of chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Sprinkle with more nuts and a little demerara sugar before baking for a crunchy top.
  • Lemonia – Use Greek yoghurt and olive oil for a rich, dense cake. Add the zest of a lemon to the batter and, whilst it’s baking, make a drizzle for the top with a squeeze of the lemon’s juice, an extra spoonful of yoghurt and enough icing sugar to bring it together into a loose icing. Spoon a little over the top of the cakes when they come out of the oven.
  • Spiced Apple Crumble – Before you mix the batter, make a quick crumble topping by rubbing together 50g cold butter with 75g flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add 50g caster sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Use no oil for the cake and only one pot of sugar. Instead add 2 pots of stewed or grated apple. Sprinkle on the crumble topping before baking.
About the author

Clare Heal is a journalist-turned-chef based in north London. She runs Sycamore Smyth, a one-woman catering company and cookery school, providing good food to people who don’t want to cook and cultivating kitchen confidence in those who do.

Check out Clare’s website or Instagram.