O Magazine: Bonding Through Baking + The Recipe for French Yogurt Cake






And it’s these variations that I love.  I love that baking and cooking with the groups have given people the confidence to take my recipes and make them their own.  The members say they’ve learned so much by being part of the groups — no one’s learned more than I have.  

And it’s not just about food, although that is what brings us all together; it’s about friendship, generosity, sharing and community.  And it’s about passion, too.

Thank you Laurie.  Thank you Howie.  Thank you Rachel Mount, the editor at O Magazine who had the idea for this story.  And thank you every member of TWD and FFWD.  Each of you has touched my life in an extraordinary way.

As for the food … You can find the recipes for the members creations at O Magazine (scroll down) and here’s the recipe for the French Yogurt Cake that Joel Brown riffed on to make his cupcake (don’t miss his icing — it’s great).


Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours


Makes 8 servings

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup ground almonds (or, if you’d prefer, omit the almonds and use another 1/2 cup all-purpose flour)

2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 cup sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt

3 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower

1/2 cup lemon marmalade, strained, for glazing the top

1 teaspoon water, for glazing the top 


Getting ready:  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously butter an 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch loaf pan, place the pan on a lined baking sheet (page 000) and set aside.  Whisk together the flour, ground almonds, if you’re using them, baking powder and salt and keep near by as well.

Put the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and, working with your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is moist and aromatic.  Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla to the bowl and whisk vigorously until the mixture is very well blended.  Still whisking, stir in the dry ingredients, then switch to a large rubber spatula and fold in the oil.  You’ll have a thick, smooth batter with a slight sheen.  Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes for the round cake or 50 to 55 minutes, or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan; it will be golden brown and a knife inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean.  Transfer the pan to a rack, cool for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan.  Unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.  

To make the glaze:  Put the marmalade in a small pot or a microwave-safe bowl, stir in the teaspoon of water and heat (on the range or in the microwave oven) until the jelly is hot and liquefied.  Using a pastry brush, gently brush the cake with the glaze.  

Serving:  In France, this cake is usually served with a little sweetened crème fraiche, but it lends itself to other toppings as well.  Fresh soft fruit, like sliced peaches or plums, is a natural with this as is berries with a touch of sugar.  And, because the cake is plain and just a little tangy from the yogurt, it pairs happily with lemon cream, curd or mousse and is delicious with chocolate mousse or chocolate sauce.

Storing:  Wrapped well, you can keep the cake at room temperature for at least 4 days and, like many pound cakes, it will be better one day later than it was the day it was made.  If you do not glaze the cake, you can wrap it airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months; glazed it’s best not to freeze the cake.



Dorie Greenspan