Deliciously inspired by Middle Eastern sfoof turmeric cake, this easy one-bowl turmeric cake takes no time to make and its rich flavours make it a perfect partner for coffee. Egg Free and Vegan.
Why should you Make Sfoof Turmeric Cake?
- Be different! This vibrantly yellow cake looks like no other, and has a delicious, sweet, hearty and almost earthy taste from the turmeric
- It’s simple to make. It only uses one bowl, and as it uses soft vegetable shortening which soft and easy to cream into the sugar, there’s no need for an electric mixer
- There’s no egg, so it’s easily scalable to the size of your baking tray.
- It’s suitable for vegans
Sfoof or Sfouf?
It doesn’t really matter, like many words that are transliterated from script to another there will be different spellings according to the conventions used. Turmeric cake is the translation, and sfoof or sfouf the transliteration from Arabic.
Cakes with semolina are popular across the Middle East and sfoof can be found with many variations from Lebanon to Syria.
Is this Coffee Cake or Cake for Coffee?
Here in the UK, coffee cake is generally a coffee flavoured cake, whereas everywhere else in the world, particularly in Continental Europe, coffee cake is a cake that’s enjoyed with coffee.
I suppose this reflects the difference between European cafe culture, and here where cake is traditionally enjoyed at tea time with, well… tea.
As to what the rest of the world calls coffee flavoured cake, I have no idea – possibly a coffee coffee cake? However, this turmeric cake is definitely best enjoyed with a fresh cup of hot coffee.
How to Make Turmeric Cake (Sfoof)
First – heat oven to to 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas mark 5, and measure out the ingredients. Adjust the amount of turmeric according to your taste, and how powerful your spice is. If it’s fresh, then moderate the amount. If it’s been in the back of the cupboard a bit too long, then add a bit more.
Second – in a large bowl, cream together the vegetable shortening and sugar
Then add the remaining cake ingredients: flour, semolina, baking powder, tahini, turmeric, almond milk, and pine nuts.
Third – line a a 10″ x 6″ (25cm x 15cm) tray-bake cake tin with baking parchment, and brush the inside of the parchment with tahini. A silicone pastry brush works very well here.
Our top cake-baking tip is to clip the baking parchment to the tin with a couple of small bulldog clips, this really holds the parchment in place as you pour the mixture in. A simple thing that really helps! Remove the clips before baking.
Fourth – pour the mixture into the cake tin, and garnish with pine nuts. Gently push the pine nuts into the batter so they stick and won’t roll off the freshly baked cake.
Fifth – Bake for about 35 minutes. Check to see if it’s cooked through with a toothpick – stick into the centre of the cake. It’s done when there’s no wet cake mixture on the toothpick when you pull it out. Allow to cool and enjoy!
Recipe variations for Sfoof Turmeric Cake
There are probably as many variations for these traditional recipes as cooks who have made the recipe so let your imagination run wild. Here are some ideas.
- Swap the pine nuts for almonds or pistachios
- Add 1/2 tsp of ground star anise
- Use a medium ground semolina to change the texture of the cake
- Make a sugar or honey syrup and pour over the cake when it is still warm
- Garnish with dried rose petals – especially good with pistachios
- Add a little rose water or orange flower water to the cake
- Flavour with orange zest and replace some of the milk with orange juice
We made this cake using Trex vegetable shortening, which is perfect for this cake as it’s soft and so easy to mix in. It’s a fantastic dairy free alternative to butter for baking. It’s lower in saturated fat than butter and also suitable for vegans. It’s also free from hydrogenated vegetable oil, e-numbers, colours and preservatives.
It also goes a long way: as it doesn’t contain water, you can use 20% less compared to butter when baking. It also makes pure white buttercream when whipped up with icing sugar.
Turmeric Cake (Sfoof)
Made with vegetable shortening that's easy to mix, so there's no need for an electric mixer, and it's egg free (so easily scalable) and suitable for vegans.
To grease the cake tin
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 65 g vegetable shortening.
- 200 g sugar
- 200 g plain flour
- 150 g fine semolina
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 280 ml almond milk
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- Heat oven to 180°C (Fan) / 375°F / Gas mark 5. Line a a 10" x 6" (25cm x 15cm) tray-bake cake tin with baking parchment, and brush the parchment with tahini. A silicone pastry brush works very well here.
- In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add flour, semolina, baking powder, tahini, turmeric, almond milk, and pine nuts and mix together.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin and garnish evenly with pine nuts.
- Bake for about 30 minutes. Check to see if it's cooked through with a toothpick - stick into the centre of the cake. It's done when there's no wet cake mixture on the toothpick when you pull it out.
- You can substitute your preferred non-dairy milk.
- Bake with almonds or pistachios rather than pine nuts and garnish with a few rose petals
- Adjust the amount of turmeric used according to strength. If it's been sitting in the back of your spice cupboard for a while, add a little more. If it's fresh, add less.
- Use self raising flour and leave out the baking powder.
- Should you want, add 1/2 tsp of ground star anise for a more authentic sfoof flavour.
- This recipe is 8 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion
Post and recipe for Sfoof Turmeric Cake commsioned by Trex. All opinions are our own. For more recipes and to learn more about Trex visit https://familybaking.co.uk/