This Delicate Almond Cake with Rose Syrup is Ideal for a Fancy Tea Time

published Jan 6, 2022
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Almond-Tahini Cake with Rose Syrup & Pistachio Recipe

This delicate almond tahini cake soaked with a sweet rose syrup and topped with buttery green pistachios is reminiscent of baklava and also happens to be naturally vegan and dairy-free.

Makes1 (9x5-inch) loaf cake

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Credit: Melissa Hom
Almond Tahini Cake

Now, I know I’m not meant to have any favorites, because all of the recipes in my cookbook are my children, but if I had to choose one for the Middle Eastern chapter it would be this dish. Aside from the fact that I have a ginormous sweet tooth (it’s always so hard for me to pick between spicy and sweet because I like them both so much … but I generally gravitate toward the sweet), this cake tastes like baklava — but without all the effort.

When I think about Middle Eastern desserts, there are a few core flavors that come to mind: orange blossom water, rose water, nuts, and something cakey or flakey. And I’m here to report that this delicate almond tahini cake soaked with a sweet rose syrup and topped with buttery green pistachios checks all of those boxes! It’s almost like I’m being whisked away to the beautiful city of Istanbul or the deserts of Egypt … okay, I may be getting carried away, but I believe that food should transport you. I hope you make this cake and it takes you on a Middle Eastern journey. Happy baking!

Almond-Tahini Cake with Rose Syrup & Pistachio Recipe

This delicate almond tahini cake soaked with a sweet rose syrup and topped with buttery green pistachios is reminiscent of baklava and also happens to be naturally vegan and dairy-free.

Makes 1 (9x5-inch) loaf cake

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the almond-tahini loaf:

  • Cooking spray or vegan butter, for coating

  • 1 cup

    plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons

    plus 2 teaspoons well-stirred tahini

  • 2 tablespoons

    plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or melted unrefined coconut oil

  • 1 cup

    unsweetened plain full-fat almond or coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup

    raw cane sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    almond extract

For the rose glaze:

  • 1/2 cup

    raw cane sugar

  • 1/2 cup

    water

  • 2 tablespoons

    edible dried rose petals, plus more for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon

    rose essence or rose water

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    fresh lemon or orange juice (optional, but helps prevent crystallization of glaze)

  • 1 heaping tablespoon

    chopped unsalted or lightly salted pistachios

Instructions

Make the almond-tahini loaf:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.

  2. Sift 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt into the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons tahini, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or melted unrefined coconut oil, and 1 cup almond or coconut milk in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the tahini mixture and mix until just combined, about 20 seconds - do not overbeat. Add 1/2 cup raw cane sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and beat on low speed until just combined, about 10 seconds. Transfer to the loaf pan (it will only go halfway up the pan and make half the size of a standard loaf).

  4. Bake until slightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze.

Make the rose glaze:

  1. Bring 1/2 cup raw cane sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Add 2 tablespoons dried rose petals, 1 teaspoon rose essence, and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice if using. Simmer until the mixture is reduced and is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

  2. When the cake is ready, let cool completely in the pan. Flip out onto a serving dish. Using a toothpick, poke little holes all over the top. Drizzle a generous amount of rose glaze all over, allowing it to drop down the sides. Immediately sprinkle 1 heaping tablespoon chopped pistachios all over the top. Let the glaze set for 5 minutes before slicing and serving with the remaining rose glaze.

Recipe Notes

Making the cake by hand: Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the wet to the dry and stir with a rubber spatula until very well combined.

Sugar: Granulated sugar can be substituted for the raw cane sugar.

Storage: The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Adapted from THE MODERN TIFFIN: On-the-Go Vegan Dishes with a Global Flair by Priyanka Naik. Copyright © 2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Tiller Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: Almond Tahini Cake with Rose Syrup and Pistachio