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Toddler Time: Yogurt Cake from Bringing Up Bébé

Ever since before I was pregnant I felt compelled to read the Bringing Up Bébé book bc I'm obsessed with French culture and wanted to get on board with their French-cool way of life from the get-go with my kid. Sounds kind of pathetic when I say it out loud but that doesn't make it less true haha! I bought the book when I got pregnant and somehow managed not to finish it over the past two years...gosh that sounds kinda sad, too!

Anyways, I did read the first half which included two things that stood out to me: how quickly French parents get their infants to sleep through the night (color me skeptical); and, the yogurt cake recipe. Basically, French families start baking with their kids at a very young age to teach them patience, how to follow instructions, and how to enjoy small indulgences in moderation. Okay so that doesn't sound pathetic at all -- that sounds amazing!

I've been waiting for Harlow to get old enough to try making the recipe with her...that and waiting for me to gather the courage to potentially turn my kitchen upside down! In the book, they talk about kids around the 3-4 age baking this cake regularly, but there is mention of early toddlers trying it, too. So while I know all the core lessons of making the "gâteau au yaourt" are still a bit lofty for a sub-20-month-old, it still felt like a fun thing for us to do together. And I thought maybe she'd surprise me and do better than I thought she would!

Turns out I was right! Harlow did amaaaazing. She poured each yogurt container into the mixing bowl with precision. I filled them myself bc that just didn't seem wise to expect her to do it well....I barely could as a 35-year-old adult! She was very curious to taste each ingredient and I usually encourage that except this time we were dealing with raw eggs. I had to get clean spoons several times bc she just wanted to keep licking them LOL! First time baking and she intuitively knew the best part about the whole thing -- licking the spatula!

To be honest, the only stressful part about it was me trying to take photographs of the whole experience. Usually I'd ask Mike to take photos but I got impatient and wanted to do something fun with her after her doctors appointment. If it weren't for me trying to troubleshoot that damn tripod and the lighting settings on my DSLR camera, it would've been smooth sailing. I'm telling you all this so that A) you don't feel intimidated to try this with your own toddler; and B) you'll understand why some of the photos look a little off. Oh well!



adapted from Bringing Up Bébé


Wet Ingredients

  • 2 six ounce containers plain yogurt (keep containers to measure out other ingredients)

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 containers granular sugar (adjust for your personal preference)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 container (slightly less) of vegetable oil

Dry Ingredients

  • 4 containers flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Optional Ingredients

  • Chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)

  • Berries

  • Powdered sugar

  • Crème fraîche



  1. Preheat oven to 375°.

  2. Coat a 9"x5" loaf pan or 9" round cake pan with cooking spray.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the wet ingredients -- yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, oil.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients -- flour, baking powder.

  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently stir to just combined.

  6. Add chocolate chips or berries, if desired.

  7. Bake for 35 minutes and use the toothpick test to check doneness. Cake should be crispy on the outside and spongey on the inside. If it's underdone, bake five minutes more.

  8. Let cake cool and enjoy with optional toppings and your favorite beverage! The book suggests tea.

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