Coconut Semolina Cake {Mid-East Feast}

This coconut semolina cake is made with semolina flour, coconut, almonds and a delicious rose water scented syrup. Easy to make and beautiful to look at.

It’s dessert time! Today is the last recipe from my pal Faith’s new cookbook – An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. The cake was moist, sweet and very delicious! I have recently only discovered the wonders of soaking cake with syrup after cooking. I gotta say…I love it! It brings lots of flavor, helps create a nice shiny glaze and makes the cake very moist. 

A few years ago I made a very similar cake and used rose water in the simple syrup. This time I decided to use orange flower water. I wanted to know what it tasted like (very similar to rose water I might add…maybe a little less floral) and was anxious to open the bottle. If I buy something it kills me if I can’t use it right away. In my kitchen I’m like a kid in a toy store. I want everything!

I made very little changes when it came to this recipe. I did cut the recipe in half (it halved very easily) and only used 1 batch of simple syrup instead of two. I didn’t want my cake overly sweet because I’m attempting to cut down on sugar in my diet. I know. I should have said that out load. Don’t hold me to it. If I see a Reese’s Cup I might break.

Coconut Semolina Cake

This coconut semolina cake is made with semolina flour, coconut, almonds and a delicious rose water scented syrup. Easy to make and beautiful to look at.

Yield: 10 inch cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


For Coconut Semolina Cake

  • 2 batches Scented Sugar Syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini, to grease the baking pan
  • 2 cups (305 g) fine semolina flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup (115 g) sugar
  • ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups (375 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (75 g) desiccated, unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons blanched almonds

For Scented Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup (225 g) sugar
  • ½ cup (125 ml) water
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon rose water or orange blossom water

Source: Author: Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.


For Coconut Semolina Cake
Prepare the Scented Sugar Syrup.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C); brush the tahini on the inside of a 10-inch (25 cm) round baking pan.
Whisk together the semolina, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the butter and then the milk until combined, and then fold in the coconut.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly; let it sit for 10 minutes.
Score the batter into 1-inch (2.5 cm) square or diamond shapes with a sharp knife, periodically dipping the knife in hot water and drying it off before continuing to score the batter; place 1 almond in the center of each diamond.
Bake until the sides and top are golden brown, about 30 minutes. (If the sides are brown but the top isn’t, you can broil the cake for a couple minutes to brown the top.)
Once out of the oven, cut the cake along the lines you scored. Slowly pour the cooled syrup onto the hot cake. Let the cake sit at room temperature 2 hours to absorb the syrup before serving.
For Scented Sugar Syrup
Add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, giving the pan an occasional swirl and skimming off any foam on the surface.
Turn heat down slightly and boil 2 minutes (if you want thin syrup-you do for this recipe) and up to 5 minutes (if you want thick syrup), swirling the pan occasionally. (The syrup will thicken more upon cooling.)
Turn off heat and stir in the rose water or orange blossom water; cool to room temperature, then use.

Check out the other participants coconut semolina cake:

Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Amanda – Fake Ginger
Gina – Running to the Kitchen
Joanne – Eats Well With Others
Heather – Girlichef
Natasha – Five Star Foodie
Megan – What’s Megan Making
Rachel – Baked by Rachel