Cakes, Cheese, Food, Recipes

Yogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares

Yogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit PensoCheese cakes are my favorite cakes, but, at the same time, I find them quite heavy and too sweet, not to mention it takes quite a bit of time to prepare and bake them properly.
So, I went on a mission to create a quick, lighter and less sweet version of cheese cake. I tried low-fat cream cheeses, but didn’t like the taste or texture. Instead, I’ve decided to try to bake a cake using thick yogurt, and just loved the results.

This is not to say that I’m over cheese cakes, but when I need something lighter and simpler, this is my go-to recipe from now on. I’m quite sure that once you’ll prepare this cake, you’ll feel the same. It is refreshingly tangy, creamy, moist, not too sweet and – best of all – so quick and easy to prepare. An added bonus is that the cake is perfect for those who keep a gluten free diet, as it doesn’t have any flour in it. The dried apricots and pistachios add both color and flavor, but you can bake the cake without them, or use raisins and other nuts instead. Try it and enjoy.

* Make sure to use plain thick yogurt, without any stabilizers or other additives.
* For versions using fresh fruits instead of dried fruits, click HERE.
* For a version with tapioca flour and berries topping, click HERE.

Makes: 20 small squares
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
Chilling time: 2 hours, preferably overnight

10 dried apricots
½ cup corn starch
3 XL eggs
17.6 oz (500 grams) thick yogurt 2% fat minimum (See notes. I used Fage)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla paste
2/3 cup sugar
For the sour cream layer:
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
½ cup roughly chopped raw pistachios

1. Preheat the oven to 320F (160C). Line a 7”x11” (18cm x 28cm) baking pan with baking paper.
2. Cut the apricots into small cubes (easier with scissors), place in a small bowl, add 1 Tbs of the cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.
Yogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit PensoYogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit Penso
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and yogurt. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and mix. Add the sugar and corn starch and mix until smooth. Add the dried apricots and mix again. Transfer the mixture into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
P1160631Yogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit PensoYogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit PensoYogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit Penso
4. Meanwhile, mix the sour cream with the sugar in a small bowl.
5. Take the pan out of the oven and carefully spread the sour cream mixture over the top of the cake. Scatter the pistachios over and place back in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
Yogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit PensoYogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit Penso
6. Place the cake over a rack and bring to room temperature, before placing it  in the fridge. When the cake is chilled, cover it with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, before cutting.
Yogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit Penso
7. To cut: holding the baking paper, transfer the cake to a large cutting board. With a large, sharp knife, cut into 20 squares. The squares will keep, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to a week.
Yogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit PensoYogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit Penso
Yogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares Ronit Penso

48 thoughts on “Yogurt, Dried Apricots and Pistachios Squares”

  1. This is a fantastic idea Ronit. I agree, you really need to know how to make a proper cheese cake, also it’s so much easier to replace the cheese, which should be always of great quality, with nice yogurt! I haven’t thought about it. And these squares look so yummy 🙂


  2. Of course….you once again are tempting me with deliciousness! This sounds like a wonderful blend of ingredients, Ronit…and so pleasing to the eye too! I can’t wait to wander through your blog to witness what else I’ve missed in my absence. 🙂


  3. I don’t know how I missed this! Although I’m not a baker, and don’t often click on sweets. But these squares look spectacular. The Moro cake I made could definitely not be sliced into squares like yours. I’ll have to try cornstarch.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I made this today (using less sugar) and it is really good. I did not bake it for the full 30 minutes though – it started to brown a little around the edges and seemed firm so I took it out of the oven. Baked it another 10 mins with the cream and pistachios scattered on top. When I cut it (after it had cooled off and sat in the fridge for two hours), the cuts were not ‘neat’ – I didn’t mind it all too much, but wonder whether this is because I did not leave it in the fridge overnight?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, I’m glad the recipe worked for you.
      Different types of yogurt, oven temperature and other factors, can make a difference, so it’s good you adjusted the baking time. Keeping the bake in the fridge overnight definitely makes it easier to cut the squares. 🙂


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