Eggless Rava Cake is a moist, super easy egg-free semolina cake infused with saffron, lemon, and cardamom. One simple batter that transforms into an aromatic cake. Another perfect teatime cake to add to my collection of eggless baking recipes.
About Semolina Cake
This rava cake is inspired by the Mediterranean or Middle Eastern semolina cake recipe, also known as Basbousa. It is a delicate cake infused with saffron, pistachio, lemon, orange, honey, or rose syrup. Just like a perfect Meditteranean dessert.
This Indian version of the semolina cake is egg-free and made with the best available local ingredients.
In India, semolina is known as rava, suji, or sooji. Hence, the name rava cake.
Ingredients In Eggless Rava Cake:
Semolina – Semolina or suji (rava) is a by product of durum wheat. It is not a gluten-free ingredient. Try to use fine rava rather than coarse one for this cake.
Whole Wheat Flour – The addition of whole wheat flour (gehun atta) gives this cake a nice structure and crumb.
Curd – The thick, plain curd is an essential ingredient for this rava cake. It moistens the semolina. You can use plain, low-fat Greek yogurt as well.
Milk – Soak saffron in the milk beforehand and use that golden milk for the cake batter. This way, the flavor and aroma of saffron is infused in each crumb of the cake.
Ghee – The rava cake recipe requires ¼ cup of fat. You can use extra virgin olive oil, refined oil, coconut oil, melted butter, or ghee (clarified butter). The ghee gives a beautiful aroma and rich taste to the cake, like an Indian sweet.
Sugar – I use granulated white sugar. But you can experiment with castor sugar or honey syrup.
Saffron – The golden color ad the sweet aroma in the rava cake comes from the saffron. You can skip it if not keen about the saffron flavor in a dessert.
Cardamom – The green cardamom powder (elaichi powder) helps in overpowering the bland taste of oil, curd, and semolina.
Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt
The richness and moistness come in this suji cake from the lemon syrup poured on top of the cake after baking it. I use a simple lemon and sugar syrup to soak the rava cake. And then top it with finely chopped or powdered pistachios.
This extra step is going to give a beautiful looking flavorsome cake. No heavy whipping cream frosting required. Only a 2-ingredient (lemon and sugar) syrup will do the job.
You can use a combination of lemon and orange juice, lemon and honey, lemon and rose water, or honey and rose water.
Semolina Cake Recipe Variations:
Here are few of the most popular semolina cake variations:
addition of fresh berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry) or fruits
combination of sliced almonds and pistachio to cover the cake top
lemon zest, poppy seeds, and lemon juice in the cake batter for a summer-inspired flavor
for orange semolina cake arrange sliced oranges on top of the cake and soak it in orange and sugar syrup
Tips For Making The Perfect Semolina Cake
Ingredients: Before starting the batter making process, make sure all the ingredients are measured correctly as per recipe directions and at room temperature. Do not add anything straight out of the fridge into the cake batter.
Cake Batter: This a simple cake batter that does not require much work. hence, do not whisk it for too long after adding the flour. Once all the ingredients are combined well and the batter is smooth, keep your hands away from the batter.
Baking Pan: You can bake this rava cake in a square or a round cake tin. Or if you prefer, bake it like a lemon pound cake in a loaf pan. Whatever baking pan you use, make sure to grease it well with oil and line it with parchment paper.
Do not pick a baking pan above 9 inches in size for this cake.
Baking Time: In my 52 litres oven this semolina cake takes exact 50 minutes at 180 degree celcius. I keep it in the middle rack of the oven. If your oven size is smaller then it might take 35 – 40 minutes to bake. Hence, check the cake after 30 minutes to get the better idea.
To check cake for doneness, insert a toothpick in the centre of the cake. If it seems wet ad gooey, then the cake needs more time to get ready. If it is browning too much from the top, cover with an aluminum foil.
Removing Cake From The Pan: Allow the cake to sit in the baking pan for 5 – 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. Do not rush the process of removing the cake from the pan as the hot cake might crumble and fall apart.
Glazing: Allow the cake to cool down a bit before glazing with lemon syrup. Glazing is always optional. But it definitely adds an extra layer of flavor in the semolina cake.
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Eggless Rava Cake
Ingredinets For Cake:
- 1 Cup semolina (sooji/rava)
- ¼ Cup whole wheat flour (gehun atta)
- ½ Cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
- ½ teaspoon saffron
- 1 Cup curd or yogurt
- ¼ Cup milk
- ¼ Cup ghee (clarified butter)
Ingredients For the Glaze:
- 2 tablespoon castor sugar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ Cup chopped pistachio
- Combine semolina and sugar in a mixer. Blend once or twice to mix and make a powder.
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the semolina. Mix all together nicely.
- Add curd and mix using a spatula to make a batter. Set aside. This step will soften the semolina (rava).
- Line an 8 inch round baking tin with parchment paper. Brush it with oil or ghee. Preheat oven at 180 degree celcius for 10 minutes.
- In another mixing bowl, add milk, saffron, cardamom powder, and ghee. Whisk using an egg beater for a minute.
- Add soaked semolina in small batches to the liqud mixture. Gently cut and fold the batter in one direction until combined well. Do not mix the batter for too long.
- Pour the batter into the greased tin. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until the crust is golden and toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Prepare Lemon Glaze:
- Meanwhile prepare the glaze, by combining castor sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Once the cake is baked, let it sit in the cake tin for 5 – 10 minutes. Next, transfer it to a wire rack and allow to come to room temperature.
Decorate The Cake:
- Pour lemon glaze over the cake. Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.
- Serve eggless semolina with a scoop of vanilla or coconut ice cream.
- Make sure all the ingredients are measured correctly as per recipe directions and at room temperature.
- Do not whisk the cake batter for too long after adding the flour. Once all the ingredients are combined well and the batter is smooth, keep your hands away from the batter.
- Do not pick a baking pan above 9 inches in size for this cake.
- To check cake for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it seems wet ad gooey, then the cake needs more time to get ready. If it is browning too much from the top, cover with an aluminum foil.
- Allow the cake to sit in the baking pan for 10 – 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. Do not rush the process of removing the cake from the pan as the hot cake might crumble and fall apart.
- Store semolina cake in the refrigerator. Do not leave it at room temperature for more than 2 – 3 hours especially in the hot tropical climate.