Need a dessert recipe that’s one-bowl, no-mixer and out-of-this-world delicious? Grammy’s Easy Chocolate Yogurt Cake is all that, and more!
When I opened two emails last week, within 24 hours, requesting a chocolate version of our beloved French Grandmother’s Lemon Yogurt Cake, I knew it was time to go into my mad scientist mode. I pulled out sugar, flour, cocoa, Greek yogurt, eggs, and oil. A few attempts later (and an incredibly wonderful smelling kitchen), Grammy’s Easy Chocolate Yogurt Cake had evolved. Who’s Grammy? That’s me!
I never imagined when I posted the French Grandmother’s Lemon Yogurt Cake recipe several years ago that it would end up becoming one of the most popular recipes on the blog. Yes, I know it’s a crazy name. The original French name for the cake is Gâteaux de Mamie (translated: Granny Cake). The story’s told that grandmothers all over France have become renowned for making this simple, delicious lemon cake. When I read about the charming history that goes along with the recipe, I decided it deserved the fun name.
I’ve gotten email comments from readers all over the world who love this super easy cake that can be thrown together in minutes. It’s a one-bowl, no mixer cake that’s simple, elegant, moist and flavorful, all at the same time.
Changing to chocolate
The chocolate version was a bit of a challenge because cocoa powder can cause baked goods to have a dry texture, if you add it to a recipe without making other modifications. I decided to decrease the amount of flour a bit and increase the yogurt to compensate for this problem. After a few tests, I think I got it just right; a delicious, moist, super chocolatey.
One of the really nice things about the French Grandmother’s recipe is that there’s no icing to make or to have to spread on the cake. Just a super simple syrup glaze that gets brushed on while it’s still warm. I wanted a similarly simple finish for my easy chocolate yogurt cake and decided on a chocolate chip-pecan topping that’s quick to put together. The topping turned out to be not only easy – but beautiful!
An easy and elegant finishing touch
How does it work? While the cake bakes, put together a batch of easy glazed pecans. Just combine butter, sugar and chopped pecans in a small saute pan and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and shiny. Turn onto a sheet of parchment paper and set aside. After the cake is cooled a bit, sprinkle the glazed pecans over the top. Let the cake cool just a bit more, then sprinkle liberally with chocolate chips (I like to use two sizes for a pretty presentation.) That’s it! Voila – a cake that looks like it came from a fine bakery!!
Cafe Tips for making this Easy Chocolate Yogurt Cake
- Be sure to grease your cake pan well and to line it with parchment paper. You want the cake to slide out of the pan easily, without any sticking. I love these parchment paper circles. I store a stack of them right in my cake pans so I have them at my fingertips. They come in 8-inch and 9-inch sizes.
- Since this cake doesn’t require a mixer, it’s important to use the right tool for mixing it up. Use a whisk to mix up this cake. A whisk will help incorporate air into the batter making the cake lighter. It will also help eliminate lumps quickly, without over mixing. A decent whisk is inexpensive and will last for years.
- I use a whole milk Greek yogurt for this cake. Low-fat would also work.
- You can use your preference of chocolate chips for the topping. I like to use mini and regular size chips. The mini chips I use are semi-sweet and milk chocolate regular size chips. The two different chocolate chips are not only delicious but make for a super pretty presentation.
- Be sure to wait the 15 minutes before adding the pecans and chocolate chips. Otherwise, the cake will be too warm and the chips will melt into little puddles. Still tasty, but not nearly as attractive!
P.S. Want to hear the other side of the French Grandmother’s Cake story? A reader left this comment:
This was always the very first thing that French kids learned to bake because it was so… easy.
This easy chocolate yogurt cake would also be perfect for kids as it’s just as simple. So there you have it, these yogurt cakes are perfect for young and old alike – both for making and enjoying!
Need a dessert recipe that's one-bowl, no-mixer and out-of-this-world delicious? Grammy's Easy Chocolate Yogurt Cake is all that and more!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup sunflower oil or other mild tasting oil
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips more or less to your liking, I use mini semisweet and milk chocolate regular size, 3/4 cup of each
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray an 8-inch cake pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium-large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sugar until completely combined.
Make a well in the center and add yogurt, eggs, oil and vanilla. Whisk well until all ingredients are incorporated and batter is smooth.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 15 minutes then turn out onto a plate or serving platter (flat bottom of the cake will be facing upwards. Top with glazed pecans in an even layer. Scatter chocolate chips over the top between the pecans. Allow to cool before cutting and serving (if you can).
While the cake is baking make the glazed pecans. Place a piece of parchment paper or greased foil on a work surface.
Combine butter, sugar and pecans in a medium size non-stick pan. Cook for 4-6 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar has melted and pecans are golden brown and shiny. Turn out onto prepared parchment paper or foil and spread apart with a fork. Allow to cool while cake finishes baking.
See Café Tips above for further instructions and tips.