French Yogurt Cake with Orange Marmalade

My father-in-law just had a birthday. I threw together a little dinner for him and of course, there was cake.

Knowing he has similar tastes to my husband, I decided to make something with orange marmalade. I altered a recipe in Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan and it turned out pretty great. (You can find her original recipe over at her column on Serious Eats.)

French Yogurt Cake with Orange Marmalade Filling
adapted from Dorie Greenspan

For the cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
Grated zest from 1 orange (reserve the juice for later)
1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
6 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup canola oil (or another flavorless oil)

For the frosting and filling:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
a little milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Soaking syrup:
juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup (or so) orange marmalade


For cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8″ round cake pans with butter or shortening.

Whisk the dry ingredients together.

Put the sugar and orange zest in a large mixing bowl. Rub the zest and sugar between your fingertips until the sugar is wet and aromatic. Add the yogurt, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk vigorously until well blended. While whisking, add the dry ingredients, then switch to a larger rubber spatula and fold in the oil.

Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (The top will be golden and the cake will come away a bit from the sides of the pan.)

Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and let them cool completely until ready to assemble.

For filling, frosting, etc:

Beat the butter with an electric or hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar alternately with the milk until you reach a spreadable consistency. Add the extracts.

Squeeze and strain the orange juice into a small saucepan. Add the sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Simmer until it becomes syrupy and thickened. (Don’t let it burn.) Let cool until ready to assemble cake.

Place the orange marmalade in a small bowl and stir it to loosen it up.

Assemble the cake:

Trim the top of one of the cake so it is flat. The remaining layer can remain “domed” and used for the topmost layer.

Split the cooled layers in half horizontally. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate or serving platter. Using a pastry brush, soak the bottom layer with a bit of the orange syrup. Spread 1/4 cup of the frosting over the bottom layer about 1/2″ from the cake edge. Top with a few tablespoons of the marmalade and gently spread them over the frosting.

Place the next layer on top of the frosting/marmalade. Repeat with syrup, frosting, and marmalade two more times. For the final layer, soak the underside of the cake with a bit of the syrup. Carefully place it on the frosting/marmalade of the previous layer. Let the cake stand for about 15 minutes to absorb the syrup. (You can also chill it at this point to make it easier to frost.)

Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake and serve.

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