Sfouf: Lebanese yellow cake

aya-0017 This is not one of those fancy cakes.

This is not the sort of cake you’d make to a birthday or an anniversary or that sort of events (although no one says you can’t).

It’s the sort of cake you’d eat in the middle of the week, with a cup of teas (or coffee) after lunch, in an afternoon while sitting on z balcony while empty lunch plates await unwashed but you don’t care about all of that. Because you have this cake to enjoy.

Once you take the first bite, you’ll quickly forget the hardships you probably had all day so far, you take a second bite then sip a little tea, you take a deep breath and close your eyes.. You are now relaxing. Albeit for 10 seconds buts ok.. One bite after another, when you finish your serve yourself a second piece, perhaps its because this cake was a breeze to make so you are not subconsciously outraged with how difficult the cake was to make.

No this was an easy one. A break from all things difficult life threw at you because at the end of the day, a good day is measured by how good dessert was.

aya (3 of 6)

Sfouf is a Lebanese yellow cake, its made using semolina and turmeric powder. This recipe is my mom’s easy peasy fool proof way to make it. My mom always says if a Lebanese lady can’t make sfouf, then she can’t cook anything. It’s not that my mom has super high standards, its just that making sfouf is very simple than no one can mess it up. Even me.

In some parts of Lebanon, some like to add anise to their sfouf. I grew up with a mom who didn’t add it, but if you prefer, add a teaspoon anise to the batter.

The pan must be coated in tahini. Traditionally tahini is spread to coat the baking dish, but if you’re out of tahini  or can’t get your hands on some, go ahead and use butter / flour. It will not taste the same (you’ll loose the nutty sesame aftertaste) but hey, its still cake even without the tahini.

aya (1 of 2)

A few notes about the recipe:

  • The recipe call for two kinds of semolina, coarse and fine (or superfine), if you can’t find the coarse, substitute it for cornmeal
  • I’ve used this individual brownie pan to bake the sfouf. I got it from lakeland. Although the tahini was pain to clean afterwards, I loved that I did not have to bother with slicing this dessert into the perfect diamond shape. Am a perfectionist, so not having to worry about the slicing made things much easier for me.
  • If you prefer, these can be baked in a cupcake pan. They’ll make an excellent grab and go muffin. Baking time is 25 minutes. Yields 24 cupcakes.

aya (2 of 2)

Sfouf: Lebabese yellow cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

This is my mom's recipe for making sfouf. Its basically so easy and fool proof that even I can do it.


  • 2 tbsp tahini (for the pan)
  • 2 cup (300g) fine semolina flour
  • 1 cup (150g) coarse semolina flour
  • 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp dry milk powder (not liquid)
  • 3 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • 1 cup (250ml) sunflower oil
  • 2 cups (400g) white sugar
  • sliced almond (or pinenuts / walnuts) to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 350 F / Gas mark 4. Spread the tanini paste on a large oven proof pyrex dish.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the two kinds of semolina, flour, milk powder, turmeric, and baking powder.
  3. In another bowl, combine the water, sugar and oil. Mix until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix with a spoon or a whisk until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the almonds (or other nuts) in rows, or if using a cupcake pan, place one almond on each cupcake.
  6. Bake for 35 min, or until a skewer inserted in the center come out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack. Once cold, cut into diamond shapes and serve. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

aya (1 of 6)Even if you’ve practically never set foot in the kitchen before, let alone bake a cake, this recipe is for your. This is the easiest, most basic, fool proof dessert that you’ll ever make. I know you think am being biased because am Lebanese, and this is a Lebanese cake, but you’ll just have to take my word for it and then you’ll thank me for being right.

aya (5 of 6)This post is part of my cake of the month project.

Previous cakes I’ve made in the cake of the month project:

Voila, we’ve reached the end of this post for sfouf. I hope you get the chance to bake it and more importantly enjoy it.

aya (4 of 6)

If you enjoy Sukarah’s posts, please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or follow our pins on Pinterset.

Don’t forget that to subscribe for Sukarah’s RSS feed to receive notification whenever there is a new post.


Follow on Bloglovin

2 Comments on Sfouf: Lebanese yellow cake

I'd love to hear from you!