I like the Gâteau au Yaourt (Yogurt Cake) as describe here (in French):


I uses Yogurt (x1), Flour (x3, see below), Eggs (x3), Oil (x1/2 to x1), Sugar (x2), and whatever flavor you like... (vanilla, chocolate, nuts...)

The recipes always say to cook the cake for about 35 min. I always end up leaving the cake in the oven for another 20 min. or so.

What would be the reason why the cooking takes longer here? Wouldn't 180°C be the same in the US? (I use 350°F for the oven settings...)

Also, I put less flour (I use 2/3rd instead of the French quantities to avoid getting a piece of stone out of the oven), however, the texture is very similar. Also most often I add chocolate to it, making the batter generally thicker.

However, I think that there is quite a difference between 35 min. and nearly a whole hour...

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    The less flour is pretty suspicious - it sounds like either the original recipe is bad or something else went wrong when you (I assume) tried it and got a bad result with the result as written.
    – Cascabel
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 0:17
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    Flour in France is different... I don't know exactly what's the difference, but the one here makes things thicker with less. Commented May 2, 2017 at 0:45
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    Baking times are rough estimates anyway, and then you also make changes to the recipe. You also don't say anything about the tin size, but it could also be different, e.g. you could be using a 9 inch tin instead of the 26 or 28 cm you would be using in France. Also 350 F is closer to 175 C than to 180. So the obvious explanation is "when you change the recipe, it needs a different amount of time". What else do you expect to hear? What should an answer contain to make it satisfactory to you?
    – rumtscho
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 0:58
  • @rumtscho Well... if I knew the answer before asking the question, maybe I wouldn't ask the question? 8-) That being said, I suppose I should use 355°F instead. 5°F x 35 min. is certainly quite a bit of a difference. Commented May 2, 2017 at 6:42
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    I don't think it's significant enough to affect this recipe -- but American eggs are refrigerated, while French ones aren't. This can affect things like crêpes.
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 10, 2021 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


My first suspicion would be your oven. Home ovens are notoriously inaccurate, and it may be that yours is just slow, which is to say that it doesn't quite reach the temperature to which you set it. If you don't already have one, buy a good oven thermometer (the kind you leave in the oven all the time) and use that rather than the indicator on the oven knob or the oven's display. You may find that when you set your oven to 350°F, you actually only get 310°F.

The second suspect would of course be the ingredients, especially the flour. Flour varies a lot between countries, and the fact that you're using American flour and also changing the quantity could impact cooking time. You also didn't mention what type of flour you're using -- common types in the US include all purpose flour, bread flour, and cake flour, and these each differ in protein content. One thing you could try (after checking your oven temp, of course) is to use French-style flour and see if that makes a difference. If that does the trick, then you might experiment with blending two flour types (like all purpose and bread flour) to approximate the protein level of the flour that you're used to. Yogurt also seems to be different in different countries, and it could be that ours has a higher water content than what you're used to.

All that said, if you like the cakes you're making, then perhaps there's no need to adjust anything. A good cake is worth an extra 20 minutes of waiting.

Note: as Sobachina points out in a comment, altitude can make a difference. King Arthur Flour has a summary of changes to expect if this could be a factor.

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    Good answer. Another potential factor- altitude can make a significant difference in bake times. Commented May 2, 2017 at 1:58
  • Excellent point -- can't believe I left that out @Sobachatina. I'll add now.
    – Caleb
    Commented May 2, 2017 at 2:08
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    The cake was a success :-) — In terms of altitude I had heard of that problem, although I'm in Sacramento (around 240ft above sea level, 73m) and I grew up close to Switzerland around 410m. So I would imagine that this would not change much. But aridity is much greater here in the valley than were I grew up where it would rain all the time. I'd have to check the oven thermometer. I bet you are right on with that one. In my previous oven, I would use higher temps and it would work right! Commented May 2, 2017 at 6:56
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    A thorough answer, covers all bases. Very nice! Commented May 3, 2017 at 16:14

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