New recipes and updates

Get new recipes
in your inbox

Cuisine Fiend

Find a recipe by ingredient

Italian yoghurt cake

Updated: Wed, 3 February, 2021

Torta allo yogurt or torta sette vasetti is a gorgeous, fluffy Italian cake for people who have no kitchen scales. They now also have no excuse not to bake a cake.

italian yoghurt cake

Sette vasetti - seven pots

Cake of seven pots - it sounds magic, or Winnie the Pooh. Two days later, there was Pooh, sitting on his branch, dangling his legs, and there beside him, were four pots of honey...

One pot of yoghurt, one pot of oil, two pots of sugar and three pots of flour. Plus eggs and stuff that you don't need to weigh out.

Because this is the recipe for people who don't possess kitchen scales. You measure out all the other ingredients with the empty, clean pot that the yoghurt came in.

torta allo yogurt

French toddler's cake

This cake is famously so easy that its French equivalent, gâteau au yaourt, is commonly known as ‘the toddler cake’. It’s apparently the first cake the French kids are taught to bake, at the age of 3 or thereabouts, when they don't know how to read kitchen scales.

If that's what they do at such tender age, I do hope they get to at least Ecole Elémentaire before they try madeleines or macarons! Otherwise I’m going to have serious confidence issues.

The Italians don’t bother teaching kids to bake. They all have nonnas after all who know and can do better. So I tackled the Italian version without much harm to self-esteem. Torta 7 vasetti, or torta allo yogurt, sounds grown up enough and doesn’t mention toddlers.

torta sette vasetti

Pots to cups

Using a pot - or a cup - as a measure for cake ingredients is a common enough approach in America and some European countries. But how stressful it seems to me! Scooping a potful (or cupful) of flour from a standard bag, or sugar from even a smaller bag, does present a challenge.

How can you manage and succeed to measure it all out without spilling the flour all over the kitchen, making a tremendous mess and worrying senseless that the measurements are not precise: a packed cup? a heaped cup? a scant cup?

Definitely: life with a pair of kitchen scales is easier for an obsessive precision freak like me.

What size pot?

The recipe calls for a 120g (125ml) yoghurt pot which, annoyingly, is not common in the UK. Clearly small pots of natural yoghurt come in smaller size in Italy. As 150g is the usual 'small pot', I use that, and don't completely fill it.

The imprecision bothers me, as explained above, but as the result is always excellent, I hush my inner neurotic.

italian yoghurt cake with icing

My yoghurt cake with lush icing

This particular recipe is a mix of several Italian ones, all very similar (I wonder why) like Giallo Zafferano’s for instance. It's the familiar cake batter-making process: eggs with sugar, plus oil, then lightly folded flour.

Most Italian recipes have it plain, but as plain cakes are boring, I like to add some fragrance in the form of rose water and lemon zest to the mix. Try your favourite liqueur (Sambucca, Cointreau or Chambord) if you like instead.

And you can take or leave the icing and serve the cake with cream or more yoghurt, but if you do drizzle it on, you won't regret it. It's the icing on the torta allo yogurt.

Italian yoghurt cake

Servings: 12-14Time: 1 hour


  • Use the washed yoghurt pot to measure the other ingredients
  • 1 small pot of full fat yoghurt, 120g (about 4oz.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 pots of caster sugar (200g)
  • 1 pot of vegetable or groundnut oil (116g)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 112 tsp rose water
  • 1 pot of potato starch or cornflour (90g)
  • 2 pots of plain flour (170g)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • For the icing:
  • 30g (2 tbsp.) caster sugar
  • 30g (2 tbsp.) butter
  • 30g (2 tbsp.) lemon juice
  • 110g (34 cup) icing sugar


1. First of all, scoop the yoghurt out of the pot into a small bowl, wash and dry the pot thoroughly as it will serve as a measure for the other ingredients. Measure out the flours into another bowl, otherwise you'll be washing the yoghurt pot all the time.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Butter and flour a round 20cm cake tin.

3. Beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Continue beating while you add the yoghurt and the oil, a little at a time. Add the zest and the rose water and mix well.

4. Sieve the flour with the cornflour and baking powder and gradually add to the mix, beating at low speed, until combined.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40 – 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

6. Turn the oven off and leave the cake in for 10 minutes with the door open. Take out and cool completely on a wire rack.

yoghurt cake before icing

7. For the icing, bring the sugar, lemon juice and the butter to the boiling point in a small pan and pour over the icing sugar. Beat with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle or pour over the cake.

Originally published: Tue, 16 February, 2016

NEW recipe finder

Ingredients lying around and no idea what to cook with them? Then use my NEW Recipe Finder for inspiration!

Recipe Finder

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published

Characters left 800
Recipe rating
Email address*
Web site name
Be notified by email when a comment is posted

* required

Your comments

M Graves
Thanks so much for your clarifying that it is cornstarch, seemed like quite a bit to use, so wasn't sure it was cornstarch.
4 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
What we call 'cornflour' here in the UK is known as cornstarch in America. The fine, flavourless powder often used as thickener.
4 years ago
M Graves
4 ounces of cornflour or is it cornstarch?
4 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Anne - the pot is the yoghurt container. As the note above the ingredients says, use the washed yoghurt pot to measure the other ingredients! Hope that helps.
5 years ago
@Italian yorgurt cake
How much is a pot of sugar and two pots of flour! We go by cups and teaspoons and tablespoons
5 years ago

Cuisine Fiend's

most recent

About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


Sign up to receive the weekly recipes updates

Follow Fiend