Semolina Cake (Eggless)

Eggless Rava Cake is a moist, egg-free semolina cake infused with saffron, lemon, and cardamom. Another perfect teatime cake to add to my collection of eggless baking recipes. Be sure to watch the video!

This eggless rava cake is an incredibly easy cake recipe for beginners. It is sweet, dense, and moist. It can also be enjoyed as a quick snack.

Rava cake is a pretty popular Indian cake and is really easy to make at home. It does not require any special equipment or expertise, which makes it a perfect beginner’s cake. You can hardly mess up this cake, it is so forgiving!

My Tried & True Tips

Ingredients: Before starting the batter-making process, ensure all the ingredients are measured correctly per recipe directions and at room temperature. Do not add anything straight out of the fridge into the cake batter.

Cake Batter: Do not whisk it for too long after adding the flour. Once all the ingredients are combined well, and the batter is smooth, keep your hands away from the batter.

Baking Pan: You can bake this rava cake in a square or a round cake tin. Or, if you prefer, bake it like a lemon pound cake in a loaf pan. Whatever baking pan you use, make sure to grease it well with oil and line it with parchment paper.

Do not pick a baking pan above 9 inches in size for this cake.

Baking Time: In my 52 liters oven, this semolina cake takes 50 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius. I keep it in the middle rack of the oven. If your oven size is smaller, it might take 35 – 40 minutes to bake. Hence, check the cake after 30 minutes to get a better idea.

To check the cake for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it seems wet and gooey, the cake needs more time to prepare. Cover with aluminum foil if it is browning too much from the top.

Removing Cake From The Pan: Allow the cake to sit in the baking pan for 5 – 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. Do not rush to remove the cake from the pan, as the hot cake might crumble and fall apart.

Glazing: Allow the cake to cool down before glazing with lemon syrup. Glazing is always optional. But it adds an extra layer of flavor to the semolina cake.

What is rava cake?

Rava also known as sooji, suji, or sugee are Hindi words for semolina. Hence this cake is also known as sooji cake or suji cake!

Semolina is a product of durum wheat. It is made by grinding husked durum wheat grains. Since it is derived from wheat, rava is not gluten-free.

The use of rava is quite popular in Indian cuisine, from savory to dessert recipes.

Rava cake is a simple cake made primarily with rava and other basic ingredients that go into making a cake, and hence the name!

This sooji cake is very similar to the Middle Eastern basbousa and my Goan Baath Cake. Both these cakes are traditionally made with eggs. For baath cake, the batter needs to sit overnight before being baked.

This rava tea cake, on the other hand, is a quick one, the batter needs to sit for at least 30 minutes. This is because the semolina absorbs the liquid and fluffs up.

You can actually see each and every semolina particle perfectly fluffed up in the baked cake!

I love the rava cake from Iyengar bakery. In fact, they have such an awesome array of tea-time cakes that are really simple yet so good. Just like the kinds I love!

But honestly, you don’t need to visit the bakery to enjoy this cake, especially if you live out of India! You can easily make this cake at home and enjoy it as much as you’d from the bakery!

If you are a beginner in baking, you should start off with this easy semolina cake. It is one of the simplest cake recipes ever!

Serving suggestions

You can serve this rava cake as such with a cup of your favorite beverage. Perfect to accompany your evening chai.

You can dress it up by topping a slice of the cake with some whipped cream and fresh berries or fruit compote. A drizzle of caramel or chocolate syrup would also great!

Why you will love this sooji cake?

This sooji cake;

☑ Is an easy, one-bowl cake recipe

☑ Is made without any eggs

☑ Can also be enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack

☑ Does not need any gadgets such as a stand mixer or handheld mixer

Watch Rava Cake Video


Rose, saffron, and cardamom flavored rava cake: Skip the vanilla extract and add 1/2 teaspoon of rose extract and 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder. Replace 1/4 cup of the total 3/4 cup of milk with saffron infused milk. To do that, mix a fat pinch of saffron in 1/4 cup of hot milk and set aside until it reaches room temperature.

Other flavors: You can also use other flavors like pineapple essence/extract, orange extract + orange zest, lemon extract + lemon zest, butterscotch essence, etc to flavor this cake instead of vanilla.

Suji mango cake: Try another version of this cake, Mango semolina cupcake (eggless). It is equally delicious!

Sooji atta cake: Swap the refined flour with 1/4 cup of atta (wheat flour).

Rava cake with eggs: If you wish to add eggs, simply replace the yogurt with 2 large eggs.

Sugar syrup: Just like basbousa, this cake can be soaked in sugar syrup to make it super moist. For the sugar syrup, combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and allow the syrup to cool down completely. When the cake is slightly warm, poke some holes into the cake with a skewer or toothpick and drizzle the cooled syrup all over the cake. If you plan on doing this, then reduce the sugar to 1/3 to 1/2 cup in the recipe to avoid an overly sweet cake.

Bundt cake or loaf cake: You can also use a 6-cup bundt pan or a standard loaf pan to make a bundt-shaped semolina cake or semolina loaf cake.

Mix-ins: Instead of tutti-frutti, you can add coarsely chopped nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, or chocolate chips, etc. Sugar or honey syrup: For an extra moist cake, you can drizzle some simple or honey syrup as it is done for basbousa.

Ingredients needed to make sooji cake

Semolina: Use the fine variety of rava, also known as Bombay rava for this recipe.

Flour: A small quantity of flour is added to this recipe to give the cake a softer texture and structure. You could also use cake flour instead.

Leavening agents: Baking powder and baking soda.

Salt: Salt accentuates the flavor of the cake.

Oil: I’ve used sunflower oil. Feel free to use any neutral flavored oil.

Curd/yogurt: This is used as a substitute for the eggs.

Milk: I’ve used full-fat milk. but I think skimmed milk will work fine too.

Sugar: I’ve used castor sugar. You may also use powdered sugar.

Vanilla extract: To flavor the cake.

Tutti-frutti: These are nothing but candied papaya. I’ve added them to make an eggless tutti frutti rava cake. It adds an interesting texture and a pop of color to the cake.

More Eggless Baking Recipes

Eggless Orange Cake

Eggless Banana Bread

Eggless Chocolate Cake

Eggless Whole Wheat Cake

Eggless Chocolate Brownies

If you try this recipe and love it, please leave a comment and a rating. This helps us grow and reach other food lovers like you.

Ingredinets For Cake

  • whole wheat flour (gehun atta)
  • granulated white sugar
  • cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
  • curd or yogurt
  • ghee (clarified butter)

Ingredients For the Glaze

  • Combine semolina and sugar in a mixer. Blend once or twice to mix and make a powder.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the semolina. Mix all together nicely.
  • Add curd and mix using a spatula to make a batter. Set aside. This step will soften the semolina (rava).
  • Line an 8 inch round baking tin with parchment paper. Brush it with oil or ghee. Preheat oven at 180 degree celcius for 10 minutes.
  • In another mixing bowl, add milk, saffron, cardamom powder, and ghee. Whisk using an egg beater for a minute.
  • Add soaked semolina in small batches to the liqud mixture. Gently cut and fold the batter in one direction until combined well. Do not mix the batter for too long.
  • Pour the batter into the greased tin. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until the crust is golden and toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Prepare Lemon Glaze

  • Meanwhile prepare the glaze, by combining castor sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
  • Once the cake is baked, let it sit in the cake tin for 5 – 10 minutes. Next, transfer it to a wire rack and allow to come to room temperature.

Decorate The Cake

  • Pour lemon glaze over the cake. Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.
  • Serve eggless semolina with a scoop of vanilla or coconut ice cream.

  • Make sure all the ingredients are measured correctly as per recipe directions and at room temperature.
  • Do not whisk the cake batter for too long after adding the flour. Once all the ingredients are combined well and the batter is smooth, keep your hands away from the batter.
  • Do not pick a baking pan above 9 inches in size for this cake.
  • To check cake for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it seems wet ad gooey, then the cake needs more time to get ready. If it is browning too much from the top, cover with an aluminum foil.
  • Allow the cake to sit in the baking pan for 10 – 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack. Do not rush the process of removing the cake from the pan as the hot cake might crumble and fall apart.

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You might also like

Here are a few of the most popular semolina cake variations:

  • addition of fresh berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry) or fruits
  • combination of sliced almonds and pistachio to cover the cake top
  • lemon zest, poppy seeds, and lemon juice in the cake batter for a summer-inspired flavor
  • for orange semolina cake, arrange sliced oranges on top of the cake and soak them in orange and sugar syrup

Ingredients Required

Semolina – Semolina or suji (rava) is a by-product of durum wheat. It is not a gluten-free ingredient. Try to use a fine rava rather than a coarse one for this cake.

Whole Wheat Flour – Adding whole wheat flour (gehun atta) gives this cake a nice structure and crumb.

Curd – The thick, plain curd is an essential ingredient for this rava cake. It moistens the semolina. You can use plain, low-fat Greek yogurt as well.

Milk – Soak saffron in the milk beforehand and use that golden milk for the cake batter. This way, the flavor and aroma of saffron are infused into each crumb of the cake.

Ghee – The rava cake recipe requires ¼ cup of fat. You can use extra virgin olive oil, refined oil, coconut oil, melted butter, or ghee (clarified butter). The ghee gives the cake a beautiful aroma and rich taste, like an Indian sweet.

Sugar – I use granulated white sugar. But you can experiment with castor sugar or honey syrup.

Saffron – The golden color ad the sweet aroma in the rava cake comes from the saffron. You can skip it if you are not keen on the saffron flavor in a dessert.

Cardamom – The green cardamom powder (elaichi powder) helps overpower the bland taste of the oil, curd, and semolina.

Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt

Storage instructions

Store this eggless rava cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

If you live in a hot and humid place, it’s best to refrigerate the cake. It will last for about 4 to 5 days in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving. You may warm it in the microwave if you like.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • Place a heat-proof stand. Close the cooker with the lid, and preheat on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the batter to a 7 or 8-inch round or square cake pan. Place the cake pan (no need to cover the cake pan) carefully with the help of tongs. Excercise precaution as the cooker is hot.
  • Secure the lid of the cooker tightly (no gasket nor weight). Cook on medium heat for 40 to 45 minutes. Check for doneness test with a toothpick. If it is not done after 40 to 45 minutes, bake it for 5-10 minutes more.

Can I use melted butter or ghee instead of oil?

You may substitute oil with melted butter or melted ghee. But, honestly, I prefer this cake better made with oil, as it keeps it moist.

Can I substitute the sugar with jaggery?

I’ve not tried this cake with jaggery, but I think it will work out fine. I’d simply swap the same amount of sugar with powdered jaggery as I did in my eggless atta cake.

Do I need to roast the rava before using it in the recipe?

No, there is no need to roast the rava for this recipe. Use it as such.

Can I make this rava cake without curd?

Sure, you can! Condensed milk is also used as a substitute for eggs, so you can use that instead of yogurt. Use 1/2 cup of condensed milk in the recipe and reduce the sugar to 1/3 or 1/2 cup, depending on your desired sweetness.

Do I need to grind the rava to a fine powder?

Rava gives this cake a very unique, granular texture unlike regular cakes made entirely with refined flour. The texture of rava cake is like a hybrid between sooji halwa and a cake.

Cakes that are traditionally made with rava are not really ground to a finer consistency. Hence, it is strongly recommended to use the fine variety of sooji and not the coarse one that you’d use to make something like upma.

Having said that, feel free to grind the rava to a fine powder if you feel you may prefer the texture better that way. This is a very forgiving recipe, and you won’t go wrong either way!

Can I make a vegan version of this cake?

Yes, of course! Simply swap the yogurt and milk with a plant-based yogurt and milk of your choice. I would start with 1/2 cup of milk and add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk later if needed to adjust the batter consistency.

Recipe Tips

Room temperature ingredients: Always plan ahead and let your ingredients such as curd (yogurt), and milk reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients help them to combine better.

Fresh curd and rava: Use fresh curd for this recipe, as the sourness of the curd will ruin the taste of this cake. Also, make sure the rava you use is fresh and not stale as that can ruin the taste of this cake as well.

Sweetness: The cake is not overly sweet. You may increase the sugar to 1 cup if you prefer a sweeter cake.

For coarse variety of semolina: If you have the coarse variety of semolina, simply pulse it 4-5 times in the blender and use it in this recipe.

Color of the cake: Do not worry if your cake does not brown as shown in the pics. Overbaking to achieve the brown color will dry out the cake. In my 52 liters, Morphy Richards oven the top browned well, but the sides were a pale golden color. When I baked this cake 4 years ago in my gas range oven in the US, it browned uniformly on top and the sides. So the color of the cake will depend on your oven to an extent.

Baking time: Again, the baking time will differ from one oven to another depending on the make, the capacity, etc of the oven. Keep an eye out after 35 minutes. The cake is usually done within 50 minutes for an 8-inch pan. A 7-inch round pan will take about 60 minutes.

Cut the cake only when it is cool: The cake is quite delicate when it is still warm and slicing it will only cause it to crumble. Allow the cake to cool down completely before slicing.

For Glazing Cake

This suji cake’s richness and moistness come from the lemon syrup poured on top of the cake after baking it. I use a simple lemon and sugar syrup to soak the rava cake. And then top it with finely chopped or powdered pistachios.

This extra step is going to give a beautiful-looking, flavorsome cake. No heavy whipping cream frosting is required. Only a 2-ingredient (lemon and sugar) syrup will do the job.

You can combine lemon and orange juice, lemon and honey, lemon and rose water, or honey and rose water.

You may also enjoy these eggless cake recipes

Easter cupcakes (Vanilla cupcakes)

Date and walnut loaf cake

Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting

Kit kat cake

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Dry ingredients

  • spooned & leveled, 35 grams
  • tsp baking powder

Wet ingredients

  • tutti frutti, 80 grams, plus 2 tablespoons more for topping the cake
  • to coat the tutti frutti

Let us know how it was!

How to make eggless rava cake – Step-by-step instructions

Grease an 8-inch cake pan with a little oil or oil spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. (Photos 1 and 2)

Semolina cake batter

Measure out ½ cup tutti-frutti, and add a teaspoon of flour to coat them. Set aside. (Photos 3 and 4)

In a sufficiently large bowl, add ½ cup curd/yogurt, and whisk it well to get rid of any lumps. (Photos 5 and 6)

Then add ¾ cup castor sugar, ⅓ cup vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and mix until well combined. (Photos 7 to 11)

Next, add ¾ cup of whole milk, and whisk until all the ingredients are well combined. (Photos 12 to 14)

Add 1¼ cup of fine semolina and ¼ teaspoon table salt to the liquid ingredients, mix well, cover, and set aside for 30 minutes. (Photos 15 to 18)

After 15 minutes of resting the batter, preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F), and position a rack in the middle of the oven.

After 30 minutes, the semolina will have absorbed the liquid, and the batter will become thicker. (Photo 19)

Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl containing the semolina batter, and sift ¼ cup of all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoon baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda. (Photos 20 to 23)

Fold gently using a spatula, until no more flour pockets are visible. Do not overmix the batter. (Photo 24)

Add the tutti frutti, and fold in gently. (Photos 25 and 26)

Step 3

Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Top with more tutti-frutti. (Photos 27 to 29)

Bake on the middle rack, for about 40 – 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Photo 30)

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Then remove from the pan and cool on the rack completely. (Photos 31 and 32)

Cut into desired pieces and serve.

About Semolina Cake

This rava cake is inspired by the Mediterranean or Middle Eastern semolina cake recipe, also known as Basbousa. Here is another version of basbousa that you might like. It is a delicate cake infused with saffron, pistachio, lemon, orange, honey, or rose syrup. Just like a perfect Meditteranean dessert.

This Indian version of the semolina cake is egg-free and made with the best available local ingredients.

In India, semolina is known as rava, suji, or sooji. Hence, the name rava cake.

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