Sunday, 26 July 2015

Chocolate yoghurt cake


Sometimes, you don’t ‘want’ or ‘fancy’ cake…you NEED it.  I really needed chocolate cake this weekend; nothing fancy, just a handsome piece of sponge with a bit of icing.  This cake hit the mark – packed with chocolate flavour, it has a lovely light crumb and a simple topping that adds a rich mousse-like texture.

The inclusion of yoghurt created a light sponge; yoghurt’s impact on a cake fascinates me because it makes the cake light and airy but also adds moisture and the two seem like they should be mutually exclusive.  I’m no scientist; I just know it works!

The sponge is flavoursome enough that it could standalone.  It would also be perfect made into a loaf cake, cupcakes or individual sponges for a pudding.  It’s one of those recipes that can be adapted easily and should be filed away in your armoury of ‘awesome bakes’. 

Many years ago, I saw Ina Garten demonstrate a simple tip when you’re icing the cake on its final serving plate/stand.  Place four squares of foil on the plate, then the cake on top.  The foil will catch any drips of icing and you can them whip them away leaving a clean plate.  I use it all the time and always marvel that it’s the simplest tips that are always the most useful!

Served warm for dessert with custard or ice cream, or as a good slab of sponge with a cup of tea, this one is a crowd pleaser.  It’s not too sweet but, at the same time, it’s really cocoa-y without having the grown up bitterness that can sometimes go with that.  Even a bit of whipped cream and a few berries would make it look a rather smart dessert. 


For the cake:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
275g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
175g Greek style yoghurt
225g self raising flour
50g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:
25g unsalted butter
25g cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed
175g icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180C/fan oven 160C/350F/gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm round springform tin with baking paper.

Start by making the cake: beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and well combined.  It won’t become really light and fluffy because of the ratios involved.

Beat in the vanilla.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Beat in the yoghurt.

Fold in the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda and mix until just combined – don’t overwork it.

Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  It’s best to start checking at around the 40 minute mark but don’t worry if it takes longer.  Mine took just over 50 minutes.

Leave to cool in the tin for approximately 20 minutes before de-tinning and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

Now make the icing: place the butter and cocoa powder in a saucepan and melt together over a gentle heat, stirring all the time.  It will look a bit icky at this point!

Remove from the heat and beat in the milk and icing sugar; add more milk as required to reach a thick, mousse-like texture.

Put to one side while you prepare the cake for icing.

Place four squares of foil on the serving plate and sit the cake on these so that they will catch the icing drips and keep the plate clean.

Spoon or pour the icing slowly over the cake letting it run down the sides.

When the icing has set a little, gently pull out the foil from under the cake – and voila! A clean plate.  If the icing is very runny pop the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes to make it set.
Serve in generous slices.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Debs Dust Bunny said...

I love making cakes with yogurt. It's also a great addition to pancakes, makes them very light and fluffy. Lovely recipe, thanks for sharing!

Stuart Vettese said...

I love the icing 'dripping' down the side - at first I thought it was fondant. Very pro looking CC!

Mikey said...

I so noticed that about yoghurt too! Wondering if the addition of a bag of chocolate chips to the recipe would be too gauche?!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Mikey

I would never judge you for adding more chocolate! Follow your heart :-)

Happy baking

Maggie said...

I saw Ina on TV showing the icing trick - I love this one! I always need cake CC and what a lovely bake, yogurt gives great texture.

Baking Addict said...

That is one handsome cake - yes please! Love the first picture with the icing going halfway down the cake. I saw the same tips from Nigella - wonder who copied whom? :)

Angie Schneider said...

This is FANCY enough for me. Love its smooth and light texture even though the cake itself is so rich.

Choclette Blogger said...

Another of your wonderfully deep sponges CC - fabulous. I use yoghurt a lot in my cakes and it really does help with the lightness as well as moistness and flavour too.

Froggy said...

Hello Caked Crusader,

Do you think it is possible to freeze your cake once the icing is on?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Froggy

I can't see anything in the icing that wouldn't freeze, but my instinct is to freeze it un-iced just in case it makes the texture of the icing go odd

Happy baking

Jo said...

Great looking texture. I'd definitely cut myself a nice, thick wedge :)

For some reason yoghurt doesn't seem to have magical, light qualities in cakes for me. It nearly always makes my cakes sink. They come out of the oven looking beautiful and then gently sag and buckle as they cool. It's very confusing, but I'm determined to make it work one day!

Froggy said...

Hello Caked Crusader,

I made your cake and liked it very much. As you said, it was light and moist, and with a very good chocolate taste. The only thing, I had a bit of a problem with the icing: it was a little overly sweet. Is 175 g the good amount of icing sugar (but I tried an organic one for your recipe and it may not give the same result than a regular brand)?

manfaat yoghurt bagi kesehatan tubuh kamu said...

wooow, thats wonderfull

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

I agree.... sometimes only a chocolate cake will do and this one would definitely hit the mark. I too use lots of yoghurt in cakes and find it really helps the texture. With gluten free it is a particularly valuable ingredient as GF flours need so much more moisture.
The icing looks delicious too.....