This Lebanese Sfouf is a gorgeous vegan yellow cake topped with pine nuts that is baked in a tahini greased cake tin resulting in a crunchy exterior and a soft dense semi crumbly inside.
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What is Sfouf?
Sfouf is a popular sweet eggless yellow Lebanese cake predominately made with semolina and is flavored with anise and turmeric which gives it its distinctive golden yellow color.
The Arabic word sfouf translates to English as “rows” or “parallel lines”, which refers to the way this cake is cut as it generally rises flat and is cut in parallel lines. It also references how the pine nuts can be lined up to fit per cut piece.
However, in this recipe, the pine nuts are sprinkled on top.
How To Pronounce Sfouf?
The Arabic word Sfouf is easy to pronounce, it is said using two syllables sah·foof
😋Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Only requires 5 minutes to prepare
- This vegan yellow cake - is an impressive bright color
- Very tasty and perfectly pairs with your favorite cup of coffee or tea
- This is a vegan sfouf recipe - no eggs and no dairy required, has been adapted from my family’s original sfouf recipe
✔️Ingredients You’ll Need
Semolina either coarse or fine semolina can be used. A 50:50 ratio of each can also be used. All will work well in this sfouf recipe.
All purpose flour should be fluffed, scooped and leveled when measuring out.
Raw sugar aka turbinado sugar is what I tend to use in this cake. Traditionally it is made with white sugar.
Dairy free milk of any kind can be used. I tend to use almond milk.
Neutral oil is best, use any type of non heavy oil such as vegetable oil. I do tend to avoid coconut oil as it will alter the flavoring. I have in this recipe reduced the amount of oil, I found this amount was the lowest amount that I could use whilst still allowing for a moist cake with minimal cracking. You can add another ¼ cup if you desire.
Turmeric powder is a key flavoring and how this vegan yellow cake gets its coloring.
Anise powder or ground anise is another key flavoring, it is a lovely subtle fragrant flavor. This can be left out if you do not have it.
Pine nuts are sprinkled on top of the cake batter before baking and turn golden once this cake is baked, adding a lovely nuttiness.
Tahini is used to grease the cake tin which helps the cake to not stick. Works perfectly every time!
🍰How To Make Sfouf
Step 1 - In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and combine well ensuring the turmeric and anise powders are evenly dispersed hroughout the flours. Make a well in the center, add all the wet ingredients and fold into each other until a thick runny batter has formed.
Step 2 - Grease a 24cm x 24cm (9” x9”) cake tin with tahini paste. Pour the batter into the tin and sprinkle the pine nuts on top. Bake in a preheated 180C (350F) oven for 40 minutes on the middle rack of the oven or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow sfouf cake to rest until cool, cut into pieces and serve.
⭐ Pro Tips
Do not use a smaller cake tin as the middle of the cake will not rise as fast as the edges which will result in deep cracks in the cake. You can use any shaped cake tin. In the photos I used a silicone tin which ensures the cake pops right out - zero sticking.
Sfouf batter should be thick and pourable.
Oil - I have tried making this cake without oil, the result was more like bread, I have also tried using less oil and the result was a crumbly cake that rose in the middle and had flat edges.
Pine nuts can be swapped out with crushed cashews or almonds. Sesame seeds can also be used. Or you can use a combination of different nuts with sesame seeds.
Once the sfouf cake has completely cooled to room temperature, either store it complete or cut up in an air tight container for up to one week at room temperature or 10 days in the fridge. Be sure though to make sure it is covered to avoid the cake drying out.
Try my super moist chocolate zucchini cake or my no egg choc chip muffins these are super duper easy and great for lunch boxes.
Another Lebanese semolina cake is namoura.
If you're digging vegan Lebanese desserts, then you need to try my creamy Haytaliyeh - Vegan Lebanese Milk Pudding or the light golden flaky filo pastry stuffed with walnuts called Baklawa (Lebanese Baklava)
I've put together a little list of fancy kitchen serving ware / tools for serving Lebanese coffee which goes well with this cake. I called it Lebanese kitchen tools.
Did you enjoy making this vegan recipe? I would love to hear from you, leave me a comment below and give me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating. This will help me sustain Plant Based Folk.
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Lebanese Sfouf (Vegan Yellow Cake)
- 2½ cups Semolina see notes
- ½ cup All Purpose Flour
- 1½ cups Raw sugar turbinado sugar
- 1 tablespoon Turmeric
- 1 tsp Ground anise
- 2 cups Dairy Free milk
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ cup Neutral oil vegetable or canola
- 1 tablespoon Tahini
- ⅛ cup Pine nuts
- In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and combine well ensuring the turmeric and anise powders are evenly dispersed hroughout the flours. Make a well in the center, add all the wet ingredients and fold into each other until a thick runny batter has formed.2½ cups Semolina, ½ cup All Purpose Flour, 1½ cups Raw sugar, 1 tablespoon Turmeric, 1 teaspoon Ground anise, 2 cups Dairy Free milk, 1 teaspoon Baking powder, ½ cup Neutral oil
- Grease a 24cm x 24cm (9” x9”) cake tin with tahini paste. Pour the batter into the tin and sprinkle the pine nuts on top. Bake in a preheated 180C (350F) oven for 40 minutes on the middle rack of the oven or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow sfouf cake to rest until cool, cut into pieces and serve.1 tablespoon Tahini, ⅛ cup Pine nuts
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
These are soooo delicious!!! I love how crusty on the outside and fluffy on the inside they are! You're right about the edges being the best part 😀 the instructions don't mention the tahini, but I added it with the milk and oil (I've seen recipes before where people grease the cake pan with the tahini and wasn't 100% sure) and it seemed to work out well 🙂
I am thrilled you loved this Sfouf recipe.
Sorry about the instructions, I will fix it up.
Yes, use tahini to coat your cake pan to help it not stick.
Mmmmmhhmmm delicious just made this vegan recipe thanks for sharing it