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Cocoa Yogurt Snacking Cake

Cocoa Yogurt Snacking Cake 8.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dec 15, 2020

Tender and rich with dark cocoa, this is the chocolate cake to make when a craving strikes. Yogurt enriches the cake and gives it a slight tang, which offsets the simple and sweet vanilla bean glaze. If you want to up the ante, decorate it with sprinkles, chopped nuts or a drizzle of melted chocolate.

Storage Notes: The cake can be covered and stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings

  • For the cake
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (220 grams) plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (70 grams) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (85 grams) chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (optional)
  • Sprinkles, chopped nuts, melted chocolate, for garnish (optional)
  • For the glaze
  • 1 cup (100 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch kosher salt


Make the cake: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square (or 9-inch round) baking pan and line the pan with a piece of parchment paper so there is generous overhang on both sides. (If using a 9-inch round cake pan, you may need to trim the parchment width to fit inside the pan, but still be sure to have generous overhang on both sides.)

In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs until pale and foamy, about 2 minutes. Add the yogurt, oil, vanilla and salt and whisk until smooth. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift the cocoa powder over the mixture and whisk until no lumps remain. Add the flour, baking powder and baking soda and whisk just until smooth. Fold in the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, if using.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap the pan gently on the counter to release any air bubbles, and smooth the top of the batter with a spatula. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and a cake tester or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Then, use the parchment overhang to lift the cake out and let cool completely on the rack.

Make the glaze and finish the cake: Once the cake is completely cool, in a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla and salt until smooth. Add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a thick but pourable glaze. Immediately pour the glaze over the cooled cake (the glaze will start to harden if you let it sit).

Decorate with sprinkles, chopped nuts or a drizzle of melted chocolate, if desired. Let the glaze set for about 15 minutes before slicing the cake.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Snacking Cakes” by Yossy Arefi (Clarkson Potter, 2020).

Tested by G. Daniela Galarza.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 10): 295

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 14g 22%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 41mg 14%

Sodium: 226mg 9%

Total Carbohydrates: 41g 14%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 27g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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