This semolina cake with orange cardamom syrup has a lovely flavor and nice texture, made with semolina flour, flavored with cardamom and soaked in a orange cardamom syrup while it’s still warm makes it one of the delicious cakes ever! Even without the eggs and butter, you still get an extremely moist, rich and flavorful cake!!
Alike almost all of my cakes, this semolina cake with orange cardamom syrup contains neither eggs nor butter. I bake for my friends, neighbors and family on a daily basis and I haven’t (so far) received any complaints about the taste, moistness or texture of the egg free & butter free cakes. For me, the richness and great texture of my cakes come from olive oil and fresh yogurt. When yogurt is mixed with baking soda, you get that aerated yogurt that does wonders to your cakes.
SO, WHAT IS SEMOLINA?
Semolina is the coarse, purified wheat middling (intermediate milling stage) of durum wheat mainly used in making pasta and sweet puddings. It has a finer than cornmeal and coarser than regular flour texture. Both types of flour are made from wheat, but semolina is more coarse than all-purpose flour and has an earthier aroma.
Semolina is used in both sweet and savory dishes in India. I grew up eating a lot of dishes made from semolina such as upma ( semolina is cooked with vegetables), uttapam (semolina pancakes) and idli for breakfast or snacks. The Eastern part of India has a lot of pitha/pithe made out of semolina as well. One of my all time favorite semolina dessert is – Sooji Pitha or Semolina Fritters. And then there is this very popular rava cake and not to mention – everyone’s favorite: semolina halwa.
Very similar to this semolina cake, the Burmese have a shwe gye semolina cake made from coconut milk. So many delicious ways to use semolina, yum. Again, the same semolina cake known as Harissa in Syria, Basboussa in Egypt, Namoura in Lebanon.
HOW ORANGE CARDAMOM SYRUP TASTES IN THIS CAKE
The orange cardamom syrup not only takes the taste of semolina cake to another level but also keeps the cake moist throughout.
This syrup is thin enough to slip into the crevices of your cake, making it moist all the way through, but it is also thick enough that it won’t just make your cake soggy.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS SEMOLINA CAKE WITH ORANGE SYRUP
It tastes AMAZING. Period.
It’s moist and rich and the flavor combination of fresh orange with warm cardamom is out of this world.
An EASY recipe. Since there are no eggs or butter in this cake, you need no whisk or no special tool to whip up the cake. Honestly, this cake batter can be made in one bowl.
EGG FREE & BUTTER FREE
Readily available ingredients.
INGREDIENTS USED IN SEMOLINA CAKE WITH ORANGE CARDAMOM SYRUP
FOR SEMOLINA CAKE
- SEMOLINA – The star ingredient is semolina. I have used Bob’s Red Mill semolina flour which has a neither very coarse nor very fine texture. If you use very fine semolina, then your cake will be dense.
- SUGAR – White granulated sugar works best in this semolina cake recipe
- ALL PURPOSE FLOUR – All purpose flour gives extra depth and texture to this cake
- GREEK YOGURT – I have baked this cake quite a few times and with various yogurts. Full fat Greek yogurt works best in this semolina cake recipe. If you don’t have Greek yogurt, use regular yogurt but make sure that, its fresh and not very sour. If your yogurt is sour, then that will ruin the taste of your cake.
- MILK – I have used full fat organic milk
- BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA, SALT – Basic ingredients to make your cake fluffy
- CARDAMOM POWDER – I have used 1 tsp fresh cardamom powder in the cake batter. You don’t have fresh cardamom powder, you can use store bought cardamom powder.
- ORANGE ZEST – I have used 2 tsp fresh orange zest.
FOR ORANGE CARDAMOM SYRUP
- ORANGE JUICE
- CARDAMOM POWDER
HOW TO MAKE SEMOLINA CAKE WITH ORANGE CARDAMOM SYRUP
Mix the Wet Ingredients
In a bowl, mix milk, yogurt, orange zest, oil and sugar
Whisk the Dry Ingredients
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom powder
Mix Dry Ingredients with Wet Ingredient
Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Lightly mix.
Fold in the Semolina Flour
Fold in the semolina flour
Rest the batter
Rest the batter for minimum 30 minutes so that semolina will soak up the water in the batter resulting in a moist and spongy cake.
Bake the Semolina Cake
Prepare the orange cardamom syrup
Simmer water, orange juice, cardamom powder and sugar for few minutes to get a thin syrup. The syrup shouldn’t be very thick nor very think. It should be thin enough to soak into the warm cake
Pour the Syrup on the Warm Semolina Cake
While the semolina cake is still warm, pour the syrup on it. The cake will soak all the syrup and will have a glistening top.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR MAKING THE BEST EVER SEMOLINA CAKE
Always use Greek yogurt or any fresh yogurt. It’s thicker and provides more substance to the cake. Don’t use a sour yogurt. That will ruin the taste of the cake.
The cake tastes amazing the next day! Plan ahead and give it a full day to sit.
The syrup here will actually be quite thin, more like a simple syrup used for cocktails rather than pancake syrup. The syrup is meant to be absorbed into the cake, not to coat the top of it.
Always use room temperature ingredients.
If your semolina is very coarse, then give it a whiz in your mixer to get that neither coarse nor fine texture.
Using fresh cardamom will give you the best cardamom flavor. However, in absence of cardamom pods, you can use store bought cardamom powder.
While mixing the dry with the wet ingredients, be careful not to over mix. Just mix till the flours are incorporated.
Add coconut to the batter — it’s delicious!
I also think using almond extract in the syrup would be great.
Coat the pan with tahini instead of oil. it gives it a nutty flavor.
Infuse the syrup with culinary dried lavender.
Add cinnamon stick to the syrup mixture along with cardamom powder
Replace sugar in the orange cardamom syrup mixture with honey
Sprinkle the semolina cake with toasted coconut or almonds
Make semolina muffins with orange cardamom syrup
HOW TO STORE SEMOLINA CAKE
- This cake will keep for three to four days, thanks to the addition of the syrup, which adds moisture. Keep it covered in an airtight container. Alternatively store the cake in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- You can also freeze this semolina cake. Wrap the pieces individually in plastic wrap, cover with foil, and store in a zip-close freezer bag for up to three months.
Semolina Cake with Orange Cardamom Syrup
WET INGREDIENTS FOR THE SEMOLINA CAKE
- 1 Cup Full Fat Greek Yogurt
- 1 Cup Light Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Full Fat Milk
- 1 Cup White Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tsp. Orange zest
DRY INGREDIENTS FOR THE SEMOLINA CAKE
- 1 Cup Semolina
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Cardamom Powder
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Baking soda
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
ORANGE CARDAMOM SYRUP FOR SEMOLINA CAKE
- Pre heat oven to 350 degree F
- Line an 9 inch round cake tin with parchment paper after greasing with 1 tsp oil
- Put all ingredients into a saucepan and heat slowly over low heat until sugar has dissolved.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
WET INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE
- In a bowl, mix oil, sugar, orange zest, milk and yogurt
DRY INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE
- In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom powder and salt
MIX DRY INGREDIENTS WITH THE WET
- Whisk in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients
- Mix in very lightly.
- Fold in the semolina flour
REST THE BATTER FOR 30 MINS
- Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 50 to55 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean
POUR THE SYRUP
- Drizzle the syrup onto the warm cake