Sfouf bi Debess

This is one of the cakes my husband has been begging me to make since 2005. Yes, I know; we are in 2019! Here it is: Sfouf bi Debess - Anise Cake with Carob Molasses*.

We worked on this recipe together as it is one of his favorite cakes. I bake, he tastes, judges, and comments. I bake again. etc… “That’s it! Lock the recipe in. It’s perfect.”
The carob molasses makes this cake moist and rich. The anise brightens the flavors and the toasted sesame seeds accentuate the nutty notes of the molasses. I mix semolina flour and all purpose flour for a better cake texture.
The more common version of this cake is the kids’ favorite Sfouf.

In case you needed a reason to eat dessert for breakfast, the deep aromas of this Lebanese traditional cake pair beautifully with a cup of coffee.

Bon appétit! :)


Sfouf bi Debess

Recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
Serves 8 to 10

1 tablespoon tahini
1 1/2 cup semolina flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoon ground anise
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup carob molasses
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


Prep all the ingredients.
You will need a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, a 10 inch (25 cm) round cake pan, and a wire rack to cool the cake.

Heat the oven to 350F (180C).

Pour the tahini in the cake pan, and spread evenly, including the sides. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and give it a subtile flavor. Set aside.

In the bowl of the electric mixer, add the semolina flour, the all purpose flour, sugar, powdered milk, ground anise, baking powder, water, vegetable oil, and carob molasses. With speed on low, mix until well combined. Do not over mix the batter. The batter will be quite liquid but do not overmix it. Pour the batter in the cake pan. Tap the pan a few times on your working surface. It will help the batter be more evenly spread out and eliminate some of the big air bubbles hiding!

Sprinkle evenly with the sesame seeds. 

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. (or until a cake tester comes out clean)

Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. It will help cool the cake faster. Keep the cake on the wire rack until completely cool.

Cut in small squares.


*You can find Carob Molasses at Middle-Eastern stores, or online. I use this brand… this is not an ad nor an endorsement. Just a simple link to the brand I have been using lately to bake this cake.