A Syrian Spiced Cake
Created by Kari Ray
Syrians love to host a party. And every Syrian lady I’ve met (and I’ve met a few!) love a show stopping dessert. This famous Syrian spice cake fits the bill. It’s full of warm earthy spices that complement the sugary, almond sweetness. Top it with some crushed pistachios and edible rose petals are you are sure to have a showstopper as well.
- 2 cups ground almonds
- 1 cup fine semolina
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 ½ tsp aniseed, crushed
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup /250g butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs at room temperature
FOR THE SUGAR SYRUP
- ½ cup sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp rose water (optional)
- powdered sugar, to sprinkle
- handful of broken pistachios, to sprinkle
- rose petals, to sprinkle (optional)
- Heat the oven to 325°F and spray a round, 9-inch springform pan with baking spay.
- Mix the first six ingredients together in a large bowl.
- In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until it is fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well
- Fold in the dry ingredients (the mixture will be thick). Pour the mixture into the pan, level with a rubber spatula or the back of a large spoon and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- While the cake is in the oven, make the sugar syrup. Add the sugar, lemon juice and water to a small sauce pan and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes
- Take the cake out of the oven and insert your toothpick several times all around the cake making small holes for the syrup to absorb. Then, while still warm, pour the syrup all over so that it seeps into the cake. Leave to cool, then remove from tin, sprinkle with icing sugar, pistachios and rose petals (if using). Serve with a cup of tea and enjoy!
Adapted from “Syria, Recipes from Home” by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi.