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French Yoghurt Cake with a Lemongrass Syrup Fiona Uyema

Easy Yoghurt Cake with Lemongrass Syrup

French yoghurt cake, or Gâteau au yaourt, is so simple to make that it’s traditionally one of the first desserts French children learn to bake. For this recipe I’ve fused French and Southeastern Asian flavours by adding a lemongrass syrup, it adds just the right amount of sweetness and fragrance to take this classic bake to the next level.
Course: afternoon tea, Dessert
Cuisine: asian fusion, French
Keyword: cake recipe, easy cake, french yoghurt cake


For the Yoghurt Cake

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 250 ml whole milk natural yoghurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt

For the Lemongrass Syrup

  • 2 tbsp lemongrass paste or 1 lemongrass stalk, bruised and chopped finely
  • 250 ml water
  • 125 g sugar
  • 1 lime juice & zest reserved


  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the cake pan with parchment paper - this is important, as it takes a while for the centre to bake, the parchment will protect the edges from burning.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine well the yoghurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • In another bowl, whisk thoroughly together with the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Gently fold the flour mixture into the yoghurt mixture, mixing only until all traces of flour disappear. Be careful not to over-mix the dough - this is what will give the cake a great texture and a wonderful crumb. Over-mixing will deflate the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden and a tester comes out clean.
  • While the cake bakes, prepare the syrup. Place the lemongrass paste, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat, often stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool, sieve the syrup, discard any pieces of lemongrass, and add the lime juice and half the lime zest.
  • When the cake is baked, let stand for 10 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Poke holes all over the top with a toothpick. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the syrup over the top of the cake. Wait five minutes for the syrup to sink and repeat. Repeat four times. Slice and enjoy!


  • Stalks of lemongrass can be tricky to source in the supermarket, but you can often more easily find the tubes of readily crushed lemongrass - it imparts a really great lemongrass flavour without any need for chopping!
  • If you can’t find lemongrass, you can make simple lemon syrup by mixing the juice of 1½ lemons and 85g caster sugar.
  • If you like, you can make the syrup ahead of time. Cool, cover and chill overnight to allow the flavours to infuse.
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