The inspiration for this lemon, turmeric, and semolina cake comes from the traditional Lebanese ‘sfouf’ cake. The treat, which is traditionally made for holidays or special events in Lebanon, consists of a dense and eggless cake made with semolina flour, turmeric, aniseeds, and pine nuts. Intrigued by the combination of turmeric and semolina, I decided to come up with a slightly different cake with familiar flavors.
This luscious cake recipe is my latest experiment in the world of sweets. In addition to fine semolina and turmeric, it calls for bright seasonal lemon, butter, and rich yogurt for a deliciously moist crumb. The result is a fresh flavored, sumptuous, and moderately sweet cake perfect for your morning or afternoon tea. If you’re going for an ultra decadent dessert, drizzle sweet lemon syrup over the finished cake. You can’t go wrong either way.
P.S. If you give this recipe a try and would like to share the finished product with me, tag your photo with @hanadyskitchen or #hanadyskitchen on Instagram. I so enjoy seeing your creations and connecting! 🙂
INGREDIENTS/ MAKES 1 LOAF CAKE
1 cup/ 140 gr. fine semolina flour*
1/2 cup/ 68 gr. all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup/1 stick/ 113 gr. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup/ 200 gr. granulated sugar
2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
1 cup/ 230 gr. Greek or whole plain yogurt
zest of 2 large lemons
1/4 cup/ 59 ml. fresh lemon juice
flaked almonds, for topping
Sweet Lemon Syrup, optional
1/2 cup/ 118 ml. water
1/2 cup/ 100 gr. granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 180C/350F and grease and line a 9 x 5 or 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl; semolina, all-purpose flour, turmeric, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix together to combine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or separate bowl, cream together room temperature butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated. Add the yogurt, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and beat well. Gently stir in the dry flour mixture with a baking paddle just until combined. Spoon the cake batter into your prepared cake pan and top with flaked almonds. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Lemon Syrup Option
Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until the sugar is fully dissolved. Let the syrup cool and drizzle over the cake while it is still hot.
There are 3 common types of semolina — coarse, fine, and ultra fine. I find that the fine variety works best for this recipe.