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Eggless Orange Semolina Cake

Cake glazed

When my cousin Neha shared her eggless rava (semolina) cake recipe, I had to make it right away. This eggless cake is my aunt’s specialty (the same aunt who made the halwyache dagine)  and the recipe has been handed down to my cousin from her mother. It has always been a hit at any picnic or potluck or dinner.

Orange semolina cake batter

Few ingredients. Semolina or Rava, Sugar, Yogurt and Baking soda. As I took the ingredients out on the countertop, oranges begged to join the party. We have one too many oranges at home and I thought about adding fresh orange juice to the time-tested recipe and then glazing it with orange syrup. A light dose of citrus freshness to an already perfect yogurt cake! Excited 🙂

Glazed cake

Cake slice

After glazing, this turned out to be a lovely semolina cake. Moist and fluffy. Lightly sweetened so we could have more than one piece without the guilt. Wrapped up in foil, this is moist even the next day. But it has a catch. Although the recipe is simple, it involves setting the cake mixture aside for a couple of hours at the very least. This allows the semolina grain to soften up. This cannot be made at the last-minute. Patience is the key. And it rewards amply.

Orange Cake sideview

Try it for yourself. You may find it hard to set aside for the next day.

Eggless Orange Semolina Cake Recipe

  • 1 1/2  cups Fine Semolina or Rava
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

For the Orange glaze

  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 cup sugar

1. Measure semolina and sift it in a large bowl. Add baking powder and salt. Mix and set aside.

2. Whisk yogurt and sugar together till sugar dissolves. Add vanilla extract and orange juice and whisk till blended.

3. Add the yogurt mix and orange zest to the semolina mix. Mix well and put it in the refrigerator for 2- 3 hours. The mixture will appear very loose and runny but don’t worry. It will thicken as the semolina absorbs the yogurt-orange goodness.

4. In the meantime, in a saucepan, mix the syrup ingredients and let it come to a boil over medium heat. Squeeze as much juice out of the orange as possible and then strain this syrup.

5. (Optional) Instead of discarding the orange, carve out the pith and seeds and cut up the peel into small pieces. Feel free to add these to the cake, save for garnish or simply save them for another project (marmalade , anyone?)

6. After 3 hours, pre-heat the oven to 180 C ( 350 F). Generously grease a baking pan with butter and set aside.

7. Remove the cake batter from the refrigerator, add the candied orange peel, baking soda and mix well. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes till the tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

8. Remove from the oven, and immediately pour the orange glaze over the cake.  The glaze syrup may seem too much for the cake but trust me, the cake will absorb it all.

9. Let cool. Garnish with orange slices and the candied peel. Serve.


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