This easy recipe for Eggless Sooji Mawa Cake with chunks of cashews uses a mix of whole wheat and Semolina (or sooji or rava) and is drizzled with a Saffron glaze for the perfect fusion flavours.
First things first, let’s clear all the names confusion. Mawa = khoya = milk that’s thickened to almost soft cheese like consistency. It’s extensively used in preparing a lot Indian sweets. Sooji = semolina = rava = coarse granulated wheat. Now that this is out of the way, let’s talk cake.
This cake is in true sense a fusion. Mawa cakes are a classic tea time dish in Parsi/Irani cafes & bakeries. Cakes made with semolina/sooji bear similarities to the popular Middle Eastern cake Basbousa. (rava cakes are also popular at Iyengar bakeries, but I haven’t personally tasted them). Use of mawa with the addition of cashews & cardamom makes it close to the flavours of Indian sweets. Oh, I forgot about the saffron glaze that marries all these flavours so well, and gosh it smells good!
Wherever possible, I try to find substitutes for refined flour and refined sugar. This recipe I’ve used a mix of whole wheat flour, cornstarch and semolina. Adding a little cornstarch will help counteract the dense outcome of whole wheat flour. Adding chunks of cashews give a nice bite to the cake.
I’ve doubled the recipe to make it in my new Nordicware Jubilee Bundt Pan. The design is perfect to catch the drizzle! This eggless sooji mawa cake recipe otherwise is suitable for an 8″ round pan.
I’m having fun working on my food photography too! The setup, the composition, the styling, the camera and lighting…
Eggless Sooji Mawa Cake
- 80 g fine semolina – sooji / rava
- 70 g whole wheat flour – replace with all purpose flour
- 10 g cornstarch
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 75 g Unsalted Butter
- 100 g natural brown Sugar – replace with 120g caster sugar
- 120 ml milk
- 100 g mawa / khoya
- 30 g cashews – chopped to small chunks
- 50-60 grams icing sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- pinch saffron
- Grate the mawa/khoya and add it to milk. Whisk it on low heat in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes till well combined and slightly thickened. Let it cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare an 8" round pan with parchment paper at the bottom and grease the sides with butter and flour or a baking spray.
- Sift together semolina, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom powder and salt.
- In a bowl, whisk the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes till pale and fluffy.
- Add the dry and wet ingredients alternatively. Start with ⅓rd dry, then ½ wet, ⅓ dry, rest of wet and rest of dry. Mix gently after each addition.
- Fold in the cashews in the batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Add more nuts (cashew, pistachio, almonds) on top if you like.
- Bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove it from pan and cool it on a rack completely.
- Warm the milk a little and soak the saffron in it for 2-3 minutes. Add 50 grams icing sugar to the bowl and mix well. Add a little more icing sugar if needed to get a pour-able consistency. Drizzle on top of the cooled cake and serve.