The Unusual Way Nigella Lawson Makes This Yogurt Cake

Cookbook author and television personality Nigella Lawson is known for her breezy approach to cooking, and perhaps no recipe demonstrates this quite as well as her yogurt pot cake, which her website states was originally included in her 2012 cookbook "Nigellissima." Lawson recently took to Twitter to share the recipe for her yogurt pot cake, also known as ciambella, as her Recipe of the Day.

What makes the cake unusual is the relaxed measurement style. Normally, precise measurements are absolutely integral if you want your baked goods to turn out properly. There are endless tips and tricks to ensure you get your measurements right, from leveling off your measuring cup to weighing your ingredients (via Serious Eats). However, Lawson's recipe throws all that precision out the window as she shares how to use a simple yogurt pot, or container for those on the other side of the pond, as a measuring tool.

Lawson does provide the full measurements in both metric and cups, for anyone looking to craft the cake the traditional way. However, she lists the more relaxed method in the instructions, telling her followers to start the recipe with one pot of yogurt, and then use that same pot to measure the additional ingredients, adding two pots of sugar, one pot of vegetable oil, two pots of flour, one pot of cornstarch, and so on. Add some vanilla extract and lemon zest, and you have a mouthwatering cake without ever having to bust out multiple measuring cups.

Nigella's yogurt cake encourages a more effortless approach to baking

For the majority of baked goods, you'll still want to keep a close eye on the precise measurements in order for the recipe to work out perfectly. However, there are a few other items that can be crafted to perfection without having to dirty your measuring cups, just like Nigella Lawson's yogurt pot cake.

The primary baked good for those who want to avoid measuring cups is pound cake, which receives its signature name from the ratio of ingredients within it — a pound each of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs (via Epicurious). However, the important thing isn't the exact one-pound measurements, but rather the specific proportions for the simple yet satisfying treat. You may have to keep an eye on your cake in terms of baking time, but you could create a smaller or larger version of the classic baked good by simply ensuring that those four key ingredients are present in the batter in equal parts.

Additionally, it seems Lawson isn't the only one to think of using a simple yogurt cup as a unit of measurement. Food52 also has a recipe for a rich chocolate cake in which you start out with 7 ounces of Greek yogurt (just slightly under a cup, which is 8 ounces), and then add in the same amount of oil, sugar, cocoa powder, coffee or warm water, and finish it off with two pots of flour and two eggs.