Recipe Review

I Tried Dominique Ansel’s Cherry & Almond Skyr Yogurt Cake and I Just Might Make It for Breakfast Every Day

published Apr 10, 2022
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I Tried Dominique Ansel’s Cherry & Almond Skyr Yogurt Cake
Credit: Lois Alter Mark

As the inventor of the Cronut®, Dominique Ansel is my hero. Like thousands of others, I have happily waited in line outside his beloved New York City Bakery in the hopes of nabbing a Cronut before they sold out and, once inside, found myself unable to resist adding his signature DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann) and made-to-order Madeleines to my order.

So, when I learned that the James Beard Award-winning pastry chef was teaming up with Icelandic Provisions to recreate a yogurt cake based on his childhood favorite, I knew I had to try it. I had been introduced to skyr when I was in Iceland and found it thicker, creamier, and much more satisfying than the yogurt we’re used to.

Using Icelandic Provisions’ latest flavor, Fruit & Nut Cherry & Almonds Skyr, Chef Ansel has given a fresh spin to a dish that’s close to his heart. “Growing up in France, every child learned how to make a yogurt cake at home with their mother or grandmother, using the yogurt cup as a measuring tool for the ingredients in the recipe,” he said. “Even though I was just 6 or 7 when I first made one, I still have the recipe memorized by heart.”

Although I would normally be too intimidated to try making a Dominique Ansel pastry, I was encouraged when he said, “My mother was a bad cook and even she can make this.”

I tried it and am still giddy over the results. Read on to see how easy it is for you to make it, too.

Credit: Lois Alter Mark

How to Make Dominique Ansel’s Cherry & Almond Skyr Yogurt Cake

This is one of the easiest and most delicious cakes I’ve ever made. It basically involves just combining a bunch of ingredients — most of which you probably already have at home — in a bowl, then sticking the mixture in the oven. The half-hour baking time is longer than the prep time.

To start, you’ll preheat your oven to 320°F. In a mixing bowl, combine the skyr, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix with a rubber spatula until smooth, then add the flour and baking soda. Stir until they’re fully combined. Butter or spray the two loaf pans and fill them halfway with batter. Place cherries on top of both, then top with the remaining batter. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the tops are golden and a paring knife comes out clean. Let cool before unmolding and sprinkle with powdered sugar if you want to. Slice and top with a spoonful or two of skyr.

My Honest Review of Dominique Ansel’s Cherry & Almond Skyr Yogurt Cake

Let’s just say that both loaves were gone by the next morning — and it was by sheer force of will that they lasted that long. My husband polished off one by himself and we both had generous slices for breakfast and dessert. I am not someone who likes fruity cakes, in general (I’m a chocolate-lover all the way!), but I couldn’t get enough of this. It’s better than any loaf cake I’ve tasted, probably because the skyr makes it really moist and flavorful. I’ve since whipped up half-a-dozen loaves and can’t get over how something so simple to make can taste so decadent. 

Credit: Lois Alter Mark

5 Tips for Making Cherry & Almond Skyr Yogurt Cake

  1. Don’t worry if you don’t have Amarena cherries. I used Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries in a jar from Whole Foods. You could also use fresh, pitted black cherries, too.
  2. Use small loaf pans. If you’re tempted to use one big loaf pan instead of two small ones, don’t. I can’t explain the science behind this, but Chef Ansel doesn’t recommend it and, remember, he’s the one who created the perfection known as the Cronut®.
  3. Buy extra skyr. Aside from the fact that it’s so good, you’ll also want to top each slice with a dollop or two. Additionally, the recipe brilliantly uses an empty container as a measurement so you don’t have to take out a bunch of measuring cups. 
  4. Fill the loaf pans 3/4 of the way. Don’t fill them all the way to the top because the cake will rise in the oven and you don’t want it to spill over.
  5. Ignore the part that says it serves three to four people. My husband and I finished the two loaves by ourselves.