Palestinian Semolina & Fenugreek Cake with Orange Blossom

May 06, 2021

Palestinian Semolina & Fenugreek Cake with Orange Blossom

Perfect for a celebration or as a weekend treat. Forget your traditional lemon drizzle cake and give this citrusy Middle Eastern beauty a try.


  • 40g fenugreek seeds, soaked in water overnight
  • 500ml water
  • 360g coarse semolina
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp quick yeast
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds


  • 400g sugar
  • 300ml water
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp orange blossom water


  1. To make the sugar syrup, heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Once cooled, add the lemon juice and orange blossom water and set aside.
  3. Wash and rinse your soaked fenugreek seeds, then boil them in 500ml of water for half an hour. Drain, reserving 1 cup/200ml of water.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the semolina and olive oil.
  5. Add cooked fenugreek seeds, quick yeast, salt, fennel, and sesame seeds.
  6. Add the fenugreek water and whisk to a smooth batter.
  7. Grease a 10-inch cake tin and pour in the batter. Leave the mix for a couple of hours to allow the yeast to activate and prove.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180°c. After 2 hours of proofing, the batter should have risen to almost double the original size. Place the tin in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  9. Pierce the centre of the cake with a skewer and if it comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool. If it needs more cooking, allow another 10 minutes before checking again.
  10. Once it’s out of the oven, pour the syrup over the cake and leave aside to cool.
  11. Once cooled, cut the cake into squares or diamond shapes before serving.

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