A Simple First Yogurt Cake for Kids to Bake Themselves

With plenty of time indoors, it seems like a good time to return to a few favorite activities—like letting kids bake their own cake! Here’s one with an illustrated recipe that the kids can easily follow. We did this one when Hudson was three-years-old, so the printable recipe cards are designed for non-readers (and you’ll notice my kids are a lot younger in the photos). I’m looking forward to letting both kids do every step on their own this time! 

Gâteau au Yaourt—a French yogurt cake—is a popular goûter (or afternoon snack) in France, rumored to be one of the first things children there bake. The idea is that (almost) the entire, simple recipe can be made off the measure of a 1/2-cup yogurt container. Here’s how we did it…

Yogurt Cake Gateau Recipe Kids Bake Alone Cooking Kitchen First Cake

You’ll Need:

  • 1 serving yogurt (1 serving is one  4.75-oz yogurt cup in this case, but you can also just use a 1/2-cup measure)
  • 1 serving oil
  • 2 servings sugar
  • 3 servings flour
  • 3 small eggs (we used two extra-large)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla (my yogurt was vanilla flavored, so I skipped this)


I first drew the outline of the recipe on our chalkboard for our then three-year-old, but here are two links to kid-friendly printable versions of the recipe, illustrated for non-readers: First, Ingredients only. And second, a version illustrated with quantities.

Combine all of the ingredients. Mix until smooth, and pour into a well-buttered 9″ baking dish. Ours took just shy of 30 minutes at 350 degrees to be done, but I’d suggest checking it with the clean-fork-test as soon as you smell it.



I set out all of the ingredients (like a proper sous-chef) and then showed him the recipe on the chalkboard. Each time we started a step, I asked him to count how many servings we needed based on the illustration.

We washed our hands and got started…

I had to help a bit a few times (scraping the last of the ingredients out of the jar after each dump; pouring into the jar from heavy bags or boxes—though he could have spooned things in himself; and cracking eggs), and I did all of the oven-related steps.

But he even did a fantastic job cracking the eggs. Tip: I had him use a separate bowl in case some shell made it’s way in (it did) and told him to open the egg like a book.

Of course, after handling eggs we washed our hands again.


Yogurt Cake Gateau Recipe Kids Bake Alone Cooking Kitchen First Cake

Eek! Look at those squishy little toddler wrists!

He poured all of the batter into the pan. (Raw eggs means no licking the bowl, but he was so engaged he forgot to ask.) And while we waited for the cake to bake, we practiced our clean-up skills.


The hardest part of all was waiting. We tried the cake by itself, first. Delicious! It was dense but not heavy at all. It’s a little bit sweet, but not saccharine—just right. It reminded me so much of an olive oil cake that I’ll try it with that next time. Some readers suggested grating lemon or orange zest into the batter, or adding some cinnamon. Really, there’s heaps of potential here: you could frost it, bake fruit into it, top it with lemon curd or whipped cream and zest…

Keeping with the jar of yogurt theme, we let Hudson top his with more of the vanilla yogurt and some berries. The whole affair was wonderful—I could tell he was proud of the cake (which he really did make almost all by himself), especially when he saw how badly Skyler wanted to try it, too.


Yogurt Cake Gateau Recipe Kids Bake Alone Cooking Kitchen First Cake

We’ve been trying to include some cooking together in most of our days at home so far. Yesterday we made Egg-in-hole toasts (using star- and heart-shaped cookie cutters for the holes). What recipes do you most enjoy making with kids?

P.S. Helping kids to enjoy their vegetables. 

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