Love cake

Love cake

Sri Lankan Flavours
Craig Wood

My mentor Dur-é Dara has contributed this recipe. He writes: "My grandmother grew up in Sri Lanka but travelled to Malaysia as a young woman. There she met a man from the Sri Lankan city of Jaffna and they eventually married and had six children, my mother among them.

"Although my grandparents lived in Malaysia they maintained many of their Sri Lankan food customs and habits and I grew up every Christmas partaking in the family activity of dicing vast quantities of fruit and mixing cakes in big baby baths. Sri Lankans traditionally eat these semolina cakes at Christmas. They are similar to standard fruit cakes but slightly richer and stickier. I have since seen the cakes on the menus of several restaurants in Melbourne.

"My 80-year-old aunt still makes this love cake and sends them to relatives and friends in America, England and Australia."


Quantity Ingredient
250g semolina
125g butter
10 eggs
500g caster sugar
185g cashew nuts, chopped finely
2 tablespoons rosewater
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Place semolina on an oven tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes to warm through. Soften butter and mix with warm semolina.
  2. Separate eggs, set whites aside.
  3. Beat egg yolks and caster sugar together until light and creamy. Add semolina and butter and beat until well mixed. Add nuts, rosewater, honey, nutmeg, lemon rind, cardamom and cinnamon and mix together.
  4. Beat egg whites until they form peaks. Fold whites into cake mixture. Pour into a lined shallow slice tin and bake in the oven for an hour. The cake is cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  5. Serve in slices.
Sri Lankan Flavours
South East Asian
Southeast Asian
Sri Lankan
South-East Asian
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