Cardamom Semolina Cake with Rosewater Syrup

Yes, I have to admit, I do have a sweet tooth and bake something sweet quite often. In my family 4 o'clock afternoon tea is a cherished tradition. Tea and coffee is something we all drink a lot of. Sometimes I crave Middle Eastern desserts, sweet and syrupy, with ton of nuts and exotic herbs. That is why on my kitchen shelf I always keep handy a bottle of rosewater and cardamon seeds.

I love my Cardamom Semolina Cake because it has semolina instead of regular all-purpose flour. Semolina brings a lot of texture while keeping cake soft so it would melt in your mouth. Rosewater syrup adds Middle Eastern flavors, so you can easily imagine yourself sitting at the coffee shop someplace in Cappadocia, Turkey :)

Semolina Cake 1

Semolina: The milled inner endosperm of a hard wheat called durum wheat, semolina is granular in appearance and pale baize in color. The grain is available in coarse and fine grinds. Fine-grind semolina, also called farina, is commonly sold as a brand-name breakfast cereal, Cream of Wheat.

Semolina Cake 2

Note: You can find the rosewater in health stores or Whole food markets. Rosewater is - fragrant, clear liquid distilled from rose petals respectively. Usually used to perfume syrups, pastries and puddings.


For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup (125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 sup, superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (300 g) fine semolina
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup (180 g) plain whole-milk yogurt
  • raisins for garnish or blanched almonds, preferable halved (split)
  • whipped cream for garnish, optional

For the syrup:
  • 2 cups (500 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp rosewater


Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease 8 x 8-inch cake pan or 8 x 12-inch (if you like your cake to be thiner).

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift semolina, baking powered, baking soda and ground cardamom twice. Fold into the butter mixture alternately with yogurt.

Spread the batter into a cake pan. Evenly arrange raisins on a top in rows, so that when cake is cut, the raisin will be centered in each piece.

Bake until top springs back when pressed, about 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make syrup, place sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly for 5-7 minutes, add rosewater. Then cool by standing pan in iced water.

Spoon cooled syrup over hot cake. Cool throughly and cut into squares or diamond shapes to serve. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.

Semolina Cake 4


La Table De Nana said...
September 5, 2013 at 8:53 AM  

You are busy creating beauty in the kitchen..This cake looks and sounds lovely..pretty little blooms around too.

Yelena Strokin said...
September 5, 2013 at 11:12 AM  

Monique, we have so many different flowers around us, how could I not include them in my creations-))

Spicie Foodie said...
September 5, 2013 at 4:15 PM  

Such a beautiful cake Yelena!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...
September 6, 2013 at 2:30 AM  

A delicious teatime treat!



Yelena Strokin said...
September 9, 2013 at 9:37 PM  

Thank you scrumptious jenny. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...
September 10, 2013 at 1:36 PM  

Yelena, I took it as an invitation. I'll be there at 4pm! :)

I grew up tea time at 3pm. Now I continue with the same tradition BUT there is no homemade baked goods on my table unless I bake...

The cake looks beautiful! I will probably stay a little longer so I get to stay for your dinner too. Hee hee hee.

Yelena Strokin said...
September 10, 2013 at 4:30 PM  

Dear Nami, you know that you are always welcome in our house. One day you going to visit me and we'll have a nice dinner and dessert!

Thank you for your kind comment!-)

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