At first glance, this bare bones recipe may look like something from a technical challenge on Great British Bake Off, but the absence of measurements is intentional. This is what I like to call a “no-measure cake” (as in, no measuring spoons or cups needed), and the recipe is so foolproof it’ll turn even the most challenged cooks into a star baker.
Over the years I’ve tried a lot of tricks, techniques and ingredients to make my cakes as moist as possible. Adding mayo works well. Strictly buttermilk is great too. But yogurt is my go-to cake moistening agent. Since I don’t typically keep large containers of yogurt on hand, I wanted to create a recipe that used all seven ounces of an individual yogurt container at once. One day, while scraping the yogurt into a mixing bowl, I suddenly had an epiphany: If this yogurt container is just shy of a cup, could I use this to measure the rest of my ingredients?
“Get it, girl,” I thought while simultaneously air high-fiving myself. (Don’t judge, I just prefer to test my recipes alone.)
But, as it turns out, I wasn’t the first person to think of this idea. The OG Domestic Goddess of baking, Nigella Lawson, beat me to the punch… obviously. And she’s not the only one. Yogurt Pot Cakes are quite popular (and have been for some time) in Italy. But studying her brilliant recipe gave me the assurance I needed that creating a yogurt cake of my own was a good idea. Thanks for the boost of confidence, girl! (Yeah, I said that to myself, too.)
I decided to take my cake in a more chocolatey direction. But with the addition of cocoa powder also came an addition of some warm water (coffee would work well, too). And, to achieve a bit of a lighter textured cake, I chose to use self-rising flour. This truly is baking at its laziest, and the result couldn’t be more delightful.
1 7-oz container plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
1 container sugar
1 container canola oil
2 large eggs
2 containers self-rising flour
1 container cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 container coffee or warm water
Powdered sugar, for dusting
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Empty the Greek yogurt container into a large mixing bowl. Now, using the container as your measuring device, add one yogurt container full of sugar and one yogurt container full of canola oil to the bowl. Then, add in two large eggs. Using an electric hand mixer, beat mixture until smooth.
Now, still using the empty yogurt container to measure, add in two container-fulls of self-rising flour and one full container of cocoa powder. Beat on a low speed until lump free, and slowly add in a full container of warm water (or coffee, for intensified chocolate flavor) and a pinch of salt. Mix until smooth. Once smooth, pour the batter into a prepared 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick, when inserted into the middle of the cake, comes out clean. Let cool.
Release the cake from the spring form pan and dust with powdered sugar, if desired. The cake goes well with a dollop of whipped cream.
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