Sfouf - the Lebanese yellow cake

I am deeply sorry about my absence, I know I have disappeared on you. Everything is hectic now! The full time job is keeping me away from my blog, and this is bothering me. It's true I am still cooking and making great recipes, but the sun and the light are not there for photography I barely have the weekends to cook, shoot and write. And sometimes my weekends fly by and I don't even have the time to fry an egg. My life has completely changed since we moved back to Lebanon, and I cannot complain! Now, it is good to be back on track, and for this occasion I baked one of the most famous Lebanese cakes: Sfouf.
Sfouf, is a semolina cake flavored with aniseed and turmeric spices. The word "sfouf" means "rows" and it is called thus because it is traditionally cut into rows before serving. The yellow color of the cake comes from the addition of tumeric. It has no eggs, very healthy and perfect with coffee or tea.

2 cups semolina flour (ferkha in lebanese)
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable or olive oil
1 tsp Turmeric (Curcuma)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp aniseed (ground)
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups milk (or water) - I used milk
2 tbsp Tahini (sesame paste)
Sesame seeds, Slivered almonds or Pine nuts, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC)

In a bowl, mix semolina, flour, turmeric, baking powder, and aniseed. Add oil and stir to make a paste.

In a separate bowl, melt sugar in cold milk. Add gradually to the flour and spices paste and mix using an electric cake mixer.

Grease the baking dish with Tahini and pour batter. Make sure it’s flat. Sprinkle with sesame, pine nuts or decorate with almonds.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cut in pieces. Serve with tea or coffee.


2 tasse de semoule  (ferkha)
1 ½ tasse de farine
1 tasse d'huile végétale ou d'huile d'olive
1 càc de Curcuma
1 càc de levure chimique
1 càc d'anis (moulu)
1 ½ tasses de sucre
1 ½ tasses de lait (ou d'eau)  
2 càs de Tahini (crème de sesame)
graines de sesame, amandes émondées ou pignons de pin, pour la décoration

Préchauffez le four à 180ºC.
Dans un saladier, mélangez la semoule, la farine, le curcuma, la levure chimique et l'anis. Ajoutez l'huile pour obtenir une pâte.

Dans un autre saladier, faites dissoudre le sucre dans le lait froid. Ajoutez graduellement au mélange farine-épices et battez à l'aide d'un batteur éléctrique.
Graissez le moule avec du tahini et versez la pate à sfouf. Parsemez de graines de sesame, de pignons de pin ou décorer avec des amandes émondées.

Enfournez environ 30 mn ou jusqu'a ce que le gateau soit doré. Sortez-le du four, laissez le reposer 15 mn puis coupez en carrés. Servez avec du café ou du thé.


  1. I love that cake! Yours looks so moist and delicious.



  2. That's a truly yellow cake indeed! Also, I totally get you - not easy having a full-time job and running errands and cooking and writing and taking photos while there is still light in the day!

  3. Love these photos! I miss sfouf, haven't made it in a long time. Great recipe too!

  4. A cake flavoured with turmeric...I would love to give it a try too. It looks so moist and lovely.

  5. No need to apologize for the adjustments involved in moving from one country to another.

    Recipe and photos look outstanding.

  6. I'm so happy to see a post from you, darling! And I'm happier still that you're settled in and everything is going well. This cake is beautiful...I love the addition of turmeric and the sesame seeds on top.

  7. I absolutely love semolina cakes and what a beautiful one this is. Congratulations on your move home!

  8. That looks like a really moist cake!!! Mmmmmm!

  9. What beautiful flavors for a cake, and it looks so moist...lovely!

  10. Definetly making this -- will let you know how it turned out!

  11. We have NOT forgotten you! This cake looks delicious and it's very original to me!

  12. I've been wanting to make semolina cake for a long time and would love to try your authentic recipe. The cake is so vibrantly golden, looks wonderful

  13. Hi,from Larnaca. Very sweet & nice yellow cake !!! I am cooking just the same cake named here "Ravani", and for more sweetnes, you can add at the end syrup(like at the "baklavas").So yummy...

  14. Il semble vraiment délicieux ce gâteau bien humide!!
    Un régal pour le thé!

  15. Acabo de sacarlo del horno. Estoy impaciente esperando se enfríe y poder saborearlo. Un saludo.

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