Sfouf with molasses (Sfouf bi debes)

Carob pods are mainly found in Mediterranean countries. Evergreen carob trees can generally grow wherever citrus or olive trees are grown, meaning a warm, dry climate. The pod's fruit is technically a legume and commonly used as a chocolate alternative, but it has many applications in the food industry.

Carob was first used thousands of years ago. Even the Bible has references to carob. It was once believed that John the Baptist sustained himself using the carob bean, so carob is also referred to as St. John's bread.

In the cuisines of the Middle East molasses is produced from several kinds of foods such as carob, grapes, dates, pomegranates, and mulberries. Carob molasses is a thick syrup made by soaking milled carob pods in water which is then boiled down into a very rich and delicious natural sweetener. In Lebanon, carob molasses was traditionally used as an alternative to sugar. We mix it with with tahini (sesame paste) and eat it as a dessert.

I have already posted a recipe about Sfouf, the yellow semolina cake, but today it's sfouf with molasses, a very healthy cake that accompanies tea or coffee.

2 cups semolina flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp anis powder
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup carob molasses
1 cup water (or milk)
1 tbsp tahini 
a handful of raw sesame seeds

Mix the semolina, flour, baking powder and anis in a bowl.

Add the oil, molasses and water to the flour mixture and mix until well combined.

Grease a pan with tahini. Pour the sfouf batter and spread it evenly.

Preheat the oven at 350ºF (180ºC). Bake the sfouf 30 to 35 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool around 10 min before you cut it in squares.

Sfouf au mélasse

2 tasses de semoule fine
1 1/2 tasses de farine
2 càc de levure chimique
1 càc d'anis en poudre
1 tasse d'huile
1 tasse de mélasse de caroube
1 tasse d'eau (ou lait)
1 cas de tahini
une poignee de sésame

Mélangez la semoule, la farine, la levure et l'anis dans un saladier.

Ajoutez l'huile, la mélasse et l'eau graduellement et mélangez avec un batteur.

Graissez un moule avec le tahini. Versez la préparation. Enfournez 30 mn à 180ºC.

Laissez refroidir 10 mn. Coupez en carrés.


  1. An interesting cake recipe! I really love sfouf and molasses.



  2. A perfect cake to welcome Fall! Is Fall around the corner? I sure hope so!

  3. What a perfect cake for this time of year. It looks delicious and seems to have a wonderful crumb. I'll wager this is delicious. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. A molasses semolina cake...it looks very moist and light.

  5. Carob molases sound pretty delightful. I hope I can find it in my grocery store in my neighborhood.

  6. I grew up eating a lot of carob, but have never had it in molasses form. This cake looks wonderfully moist and good. :-)

  7. I'm intrigued..First time I read about carob..Will keep my eyes wide open to see if I find it somewhere...
    Thanks for teaching me sth new!

  8. Your post is very interesting, Cherine. I love the flavor of molasses, especially this time of year as we approach the holidays. Glad to know a little bit about carob too.

  9. Wow, delicious looking crumb bars. This is something nice to have around for snacks.

  10. What do you do with the sesame? you don't mention it. I can see that it is sprinkled on top. is it pre or post baking???

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