Ciambella allo Yogurt (Easy Yogurt Cake), or otherwise called in Italy “Torta dei 7 vasetti“, is a simple, fast, and delicious cake made of yogurt (plain or flavored), and basic kitchen ingredients. You will use the yogurt container to measure your ingredients as follows: 1 container (vasetto) of yogurt (125 grams), 1 container of oil, 2 containers of sugar, and 3 containers of flour. That’s the ‘7 vasetti’ (7 containers). Plus 3 eggs and 1 sachet (packet) of baking powder. Now, how easy is that?
Song of the day: Spirito nel buio by Zucchero
Ciambella allo Yogurt, Easy Yogurt Cake, is the cake that I associate with my family in Italy. It is the type of cake my mother and I would make all the time to have at breakfast, as a quick snack, or even as our dessert at the end of a meal, accompanied by an espresso coffee. As far as popularity in my family, there is only one other sweet treat that can rival this cake, and that is our beloved Crostata.
Ciambella allo Yogurt, Easy Yogurt Cake, is one of those cakes that don’t make you run around to get fancy ingredients. Most of the ingredients are fridge and pantry staples:
- yogurt, at room temperature
- sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
- vegetable oil (I use peanut oil)
- eggs, at room temperature (we only buy organic free-range eggs)
- lemon, organic
- vanilla extract (optional)
- flour (I use type 0 or 00) (or 2 parts flour, 1 part potato starch)
- baking powder (in Italy it comes in individual sachets (packets) of 16 grams each and you usually add one sachet to a cake)
- pinch of salt
In this Cake, you use the yogurt container to measure the ingredients
The making of the cake relies on one small yogurt container. Not only does the yogurt go into the recipe, but you use the container to measure your other ingredients. The cake can be made with plain yogurt or any flavor you like. Although my mom’s recipe asks for plain yogurt, I have always used apricot yogurt. To me, it gives the perfect flavor, especially if you add a grating of lemon zest and -maybe- a touch of vanilla extract.
In Italy, most of the yogurts come in single containers of 125 grams. Nonetheless, this is a very forgiving cake and if your yogurt container is not exactly the same weight, I feel confident to assure you that it doesn’t really matter. I added the measurements in grams as well, so feel free to use that, although you will “lose” the practicality of the yogurt container.
Making the Yogurt Cake
It is such an easy recipe that you can definitely make the batter by hand using a bowl, a whisk, a spatula, and a flour sifter. Italian mix things up more with wooden spoons than with spatulas, and in fact, at my parents, I couldn’t find a spatula for the life of me, and had to use a wooden spoon to fold.
As a matter of fact, the batter comes perfect with a handheld electric mixer.
- I start by emptying the yogurt in a cup so I have the container available to measure the other ingredients.
- First thing, beat or whisk the eggs, with two containers of sugar, and the lemon zest until a bit frothy.
- Secondly, slowly, add 1 container of vegetable oil, followed by the yogurt, and the vanilla (if using), and keep mixing until incorporated
- Thirdly, add 1 container of flour at a time, and I usually pass it through a sieve. In the last container of flour add the salt and baking powder and sift together into the batter.
- Lastly, pour it into the prepared cake pan (whatever you’ve decided to use) and bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
This Ciambella allo Yogurt can be made in a bundt pan, in a loaf pan (and in this case in Italian it is called Plumcake), or in a round springform baking pan (20-24 cm). Whatever floats your boat. It is going to be delicious nevertheless. I used, as always, my mother’s small (20 cm) vintage bundt cake pan. Love that shape!
It is very versatile and you can turn it into a complete different cake just by changing the yogurt flavor, or adding some pieces of fruit in the batter, or chocolate chips, or a part of cocoa. Hope you’ll try all the delicious variations!
Cake for Breakfast? Yes, Please.
Ciambella allo Yogurt is the perfect breakfast cake. Simple, not too sweet, it has the right consistency if you, like me, want to dunk it in your coffee. I always quickly plunge it into my cappuccino and when I lift it to my mouth, the combination of moistened cake and coffee makes me happy.
Also, it works well as a snack, it is lovely with a cup of tea, and -why not- as a light dessert at the end of a meal. Being a simple, pretty wholesome cake, we have never added anything more than a dusting of powdered (icing) sugar but nothing prevents you from adding an icing or glaze.
Although my mom’s handwritten recipe book has recipes that sometimes give me a ‘headache’, lol, (no baking time, no instructions, no oven temperatures!), this Ciambella allo Yogurt, Easy Yogurt Cake is a trusted recipe that has been made countless of times. My mother makes it every other week and as soon as I come back to Rome, it is the first cake she asks me to bake.
What distinguishes this cake from any other is its moistness and rich surface. However, it has such an amazing subtle flavor that captivates my taste buds at every bite. Pair that with a nice morning cappuccino and I am the happiest camper in the world. If you could see me now you would see the smile I have on my face, lol.
Want to start experiencing a European-style breakfast? Get that container of yogurt and watch how easy it can be to be enjoying your own Ciambella allo Yogurt, Easy Yogurt Cake just like mine!
And don’t forget to let us know in the comments how you liked it!
Song of the day: Spirito nel buio by ZuccheroPrint
Ciambella allo Yogurt (Easy Yogurt Cake) is a simple, fast, and delicious cake made of yogurt (plain or flavored), and basic kitchen ingredients. You will use the yogurt container to measure your ingredients as follows: 1 container of yogurt (125 grams), 1 container of oil, 2 containers of sugar, and 3 containers of flour. Plus 3 eggs and 1 sachet (packet) of baking powder. Now, how easy is that?
- 1 x 125 g apricot yogurt at room temperature (empty the yogurt container and use it as your measuring “cup”)
- 2 containers (about 200 g) cane sugar
- 1 container (125 g) vegetable oil (I use peanut oil)
- 3 large eggs, organic free range, at room temperature
- the zest of 1 organic lemon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 3 containers (about 260 g) flour 00 (or 180 g flour + 80 g potato starch)
- 16 g (1 sachet) baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Butter and flour a bundt pan, or 20-24 cm cake pan, or loaf pan.
- Beat the eggs with the sugar and lemon zest with an electric whisk or by hand until frothy.
- Add the vegetable oil slowly and keep whisking, then the yogurt and vanilla (if using) and continue whisking until everything is well incorporated.
- Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder.
- Add the flour mixture a little at a time (or 1 container at a time) and blend well using an electric whisk or by hand until smooth and without lumps.
- Pour the cake batter in the prepared cake pan (whatever you’ve decided to use) and bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Take out of the oven and let cool on a rack before unmolding.
- Dust with powdered (icing) sugar and serve.
The yogurt cake can keep at room temperature, covered, for 3-4 days without losing its moist crumb.
You can use plain or flavored yogurt. You can add fruit, or chocolate chips, or a part of cocoa (add 2 Tbsp of cocoa and take out 2 Tbsp of flour). Whatever addition, it must be added at the end, after the flour mixture has been incorporated.