Golden Turmeric Cake

  • Serves

    serves 6

  • Cook

    45 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Published on March 20, 2020

Yellow like the sun, this cheerful seeded treat is inspired by the Lebanese sfouf, an almond-and-semolina cake that is eaten on special occasions and is also flavored with turmeric. This one is not a recipe to turn to when you need a sugar fix. It’s almost savory due to the turmeric and mix of sesame seeds, making it a perfect addition to a weekend brunch spread. We find the use of tahini to grease the pan a particularly genius kitchen hack.



  • 1 Tbsp. (20 g) tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. (10 g) black sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. (10 g) white sesame seeds
  • ¾ cup (95 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (150 g) superfine sugar
  • ¾ cup (95 g) semolina flour
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ⅔ cup (150 ml) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp. orange blossom water


Step 1

Preheat an oven (with one of its racks positioned in the center) to 350°F. Use the tahini to “grease” the inside of a 7-inch savarin mold or tube pan. Mix the black and white sesame seeds together and sprinkle them evenly over the inside surface of the pan.

Step 2

To a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, semolina, turmeric, and baking powder. Whisk to combine, then make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the milk, oil, and orange blossom water and mix well until the batter is smooth and homogeneous. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, transfer to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 30–35 minutes. Set the cake aside in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack and unmolding to allow it to finish cooling. Serve while still a little warm or at room temperature with coffee or tea.

Tip: If you’re not using a savarin mold or tube pan, the cake can be baked in a 7-inch (18-cm) square pan. Grease the base with tahini, which will both prevent sticking and add extra flavor, but sprinkle the sesame seeds on top of the batter instead of underneath.

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