Sunday, 4 May 2014

Baklava Cake (Gluten Free)

Baklava comes in many forms and shapes.  Persians do not make the traditional filo pastry filled baklava, but instead they make a thin almond cake soaked heavily in syrup and cut into small pieces.  In Turkey, I came across so many varieties of baklava that if I tried to write down a list of flavours, the list will probably be a few pages long!  It really is a baklava haven!

Baking a good looking and delicious cake can sometimes turn a dull day into an exciting adventure.  It is magical and fascinating how eggs aerate, how sugar can melt by whisking it, how a cake rises and turns into a golden goodness and not to forget the anticipation of eating it.  Baking is a delicious adventure and knowing the science of it all doesn't stop me from having fun with it and making discoveries.  

I made this cake for those who prefer a light cake syrup with mild flavours and it was the first time I made it gluten free which worked out pretty well.  I used honey in the syrup but sugar will be fine.  This is our first entry for Sweet New Zealand, a monthly blogging event, and this month it is hosted by Sue from Couscous & Conscience.  

This coming Sunday is mother's day and it will be a perfect afternoon tea :) 


6 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
3/4 Cup cooking oil
2.5 cups almond meal
1 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cardamom powder
2 teaspoon rose water

1/2 cup honey (or 1 cup sugar)
1 cup water
2 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons rose water
Juice of half a lemon

Half cup roasted almonds (whole, sliced or slivered)
Half cup white sugar
Half cup crushed pistachios


  1. Beat sugar and eggs on high until it turns white (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add oil and mix until combined.
  3. Fold in the almond meal, baking powder and rice flour carefully.
  4. Bake in a 23cm lined tin at 160C for 50 minutes.  
  5. Cool in the tin.
  6. Pour warm syrup over the cake before serving.
  7. To make the syrup, in a sauce pan mix all ingredients.
  8. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. To make the almond praline, melt sugar in a small sauce pan until golden and add the almonds.
  10. Pour the hot praline on a baking sheet and allow to cool.
  11. Once completely cool and hard, crush it in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or in the food processor.

I'll leave you with a scanned photo of me sitting in a mosque in Turkey in 2004 dreaming of making baklavas all day long and eating it too ;)




  1. I saw this post last night but was too tired to open it and read it... now, in the morning light, exquisite!

  2. Hi, Sanaz. Thank you so much for sharing this at Sweet New Zealand. This cake looks wonderful and after getting kind of addicted to baklava when holidaying in Greece, I can't wait to try it in cake form. I'm so delighted to discover your blog - I adore Middle Eastern food, so I think I'll be spending a lot of time here :-)

    1. Hi Sue :) Thank you for your lovely comments :) I love your bang bang cauliflower, a must make!

  3. Absolutely lovely! I was just having a conversation with a friend about gluten-free cakes!! This will work!

    1. Hi Glennis, Thank you for stopping by! Let me know how your cake turns out :)

  4. This sounds so good, I love baklava, one of my favourite treats, but I never made a baklava cake, I must try!! What is cardamom powder? Can I just crush some cardamom seeds? (I have plenty)

    Fantastic entry for Sweet New Zealand, and do let me know if you would like to host a month!


  5. Hi Alessandra, Thank you! Will definitely let you know when I can host :) Cardamom powder is crushed cardamom seeds (we usually grind them in a coffee grinder enough for a recipe).

  6. Cool, August is still free, send me a message if you are keen.