Sfoof – Lebanese Semolina Turmeric Cake

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Last Updated on December 20, 2019 by Chef Mireille

Sfoof – Lebanese Semolina Turmeric Cake

Sfoof is a Lebanese Semolina Turmeric cake. This eggless cake is so flavorful enhanced with turmeric, anise, rose water and orange blossom water. With all the benefits of turmeric including pain reliever, anti inflammatory, digestive and cancer preventative, this is one of the most delicious ways to enjoy this healthful spice.

Sfoof - Lebanese Semolina Turmeric Cake

This is a very popular cake in Lebanon and one of the most popular street foods of Beirut. Traditionally, the bottom of the pan is coated with tahini, sesame seed paste. I am not a tahini fan. I find the flavor very overpowering. Yes, I am one of the few people who do not go ga-ga over hummus because of the tahini. Despite the small amount used in this recipe, I still played it safe and replaced it with almond butter to be sure I would like this cake. So the cake would still have the required sesame flavor, I opted for the sesame seed garnish instead of the nuts that are sometimes used.

I was a little hesitant about the large amount of turmeric in a sweet cake, but with the flower waters and anise, it is a great balance of flavors and the cake has just the right amount of sweetness. Not to mention all the health benefits of turmeric, who can resist this sweet presentation?

Do you love Middle Eastern Food as much as I do? Check these out!

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Not a super moist cake, it has a texture similar to American cornbread.

Sfoof 2 -edit

This cake is perfect for tea time. Although not a Lebanese recipe, this Kashmiri Saffron Tea would compliment this cake wonderfully.

Sfoof -Lebanese Semolina Turmeric Cake
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Sfoof – Lebanese Semolina Turmeric Cake

This delicious cake is a popular street food in Lebanese with all of the health benefits of turmeric.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Lebanese
Servings: 15
Calories: 312kcal


  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 2 cups semolina
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground anise seed
  • ¾ cup softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter or tahini
  • sesame seeds almonds or pine nuts, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9×12 baking dish with non stick spray.
  • Spread almond butter or tahini on bottom of pan.
  • In a saucepan, heat milk and sugar until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add orange blossome water and rose water. Mix until thoroughly incorporated. Leave to cool.
  • While it is cooling, combine semolina, flour, baking powder, salt, turmeric and anise seed in a large bowl. Mix until well blended.
  • Using a pastry blender, cut the soft butter into the flour (as if you were making American style biscuits or scones) until it looks crumbly.
  • Add heated milk and mix until well blended.
  • Garnish the top with sesame seeds or nuts.
  • Transfer to prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes until golden.


Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 317IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!
Sfoof - Lebanese Semolina Turmeric Cake



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