Sfouf is a Middle Eastern semolina turmeric cake, made with simple ingredients, no eggs and no butter. It's vegan-friendly, light and simply delightful!
How fun is this cake name? Sfouf! *Too fun*
Sfouf is an arabic word that means lines and it’s used here to describe the way this cake is cut into lines. The cake itself is a semolina-turmeric oil-based yellow cake. It’s a simple plain cake with mild flavors and not at all sweet – the perfect light dessert or snack to go with your cup of coffee!
I learned this sfouf recipe from my mom and my mother-in-law. Both essentially make it the same way, but my mom likes to add rose water to the wet ingredients to give it a fresh aromatic flavor.
You only need a few ingredients to make sfouf. The best part is that it’s egg-free and butter-free. And it’s almost vegan, except for the use of 1 cup of milk. You can easily substitute that milk with plant-based milk or water to make this recipe fully vegan.
It’s a super simple recipe that uses basic baking ingredients, but includes three distinct ingredients:
To start, you’ll want to mix together the dry ingredients: This includes the turmeric and you can see here the color is fairly light before cooking.
Then comes the wet ingredients. Mix until the sugar dissolves, then combine the wet and dry ingredients together and the batter is ready to go.
A unique step about this recipe is how we coat the pan. Instead of just using cooking spray, we use tahini to coat the pan. This serves two purposes: first it coats the pan with something oily so the batter doesn’t stick to the pan. And second, it gives the cake a nutty flavor that is pretty iconic of the cake. So after spreading the tahini on the baking pan, you can pour the batter over.
It’s traditional to sprinkle the top of the batter with with raw pine nuts. You can also use almonds, or leave it out completely.
Then you’ll bake the sfouf in the oven for about 30 minutes. Use the pine nuts as a clue to its readiness. You want them golden, but not brown.
Grab that cup of coffee folks, because it’s sfouf time! You can cut them into squares, rectangles or diamonds – 9 or 12 pieces. The end result is a beautifully colored simple turmeric cake that I grew up eating. It’s one of the most popular Lebanese cakes, and I love how simple it is to make!
Notice how the turmeric color became more enhanced after baking? It’s pretty much turmeric cake, and it’s pretty much one of those iconic Lebanese/Middle Eastern desserts that we grew up having. If you’re obsessed with anything turmeric like I am, try my golden milk latte – it’s basically liquid gold in a cup.
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Sfouf recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 7 days at room temperature or about 10 days in the fridge.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
Sourcing: You can find some of the Middle-Eastern specific items like the semolina and tahini at Middle Eastern markets, natural-foods stores or even in large supermarkets, often located with other Middle Eastern ingredients.
Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate only. It will vary based on the specific ingredients used. This recipe is estimated for 16 servings if you cut the sheet into 16 squares.