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Hearty Semolina Yogurt Cake

Hearty Semolina Yogurt Cake

By: Esther Seha (Read Bio)

Hearty Semolina Yogurt Cake

Semolina Flour is ground from ancient Durum Wheat and has a wonderful nutty aroma and flavor and a unique, slightly sandy texture. It's often used to make pasta and pizza, but transforming it into a cake is a taste experience that you shouldn't miss! This cake is dense, moist and wholesome and will captivate through its hearty flavor and pleasant mouthfeel.

Recipe and photos by Esther Seha. Esther is a Chicago based activist educator and artistic baker. Find her on Instagram @baker.maker.shaker and at . 

Yield: 1 9" cake 



  • 3 1/3 cup (500g) Janie's Mill Semolina Flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (120g) butter, melted
  • 2 cups (500g) yogurt
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 12 oz (350ml) water
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • juice of half a lemon (or more)


  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 medium bowl
  • small sauce pan
  • kitchen scale
  • measuring cup
  • 9" springform pan
  • whisk (or hand or stand mixer)
  • pastry brush
  • spatula
  • skewer


    1. Line bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper, then butter and flour it. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. To make batter, combine dry ingredients in the medium bowl and mix well. Combine wet ingredients in the large bowl until combined. You can do this with a large whisk or use a hand or stand mixer.
    3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
    4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until the cake is no longer jiggly in the middle and the edges are golden brown.
    5. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. Combine water and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce syrup for about 20 minutes. Add lemon juice to the mixture and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool until cake is ready to be soaked.
    6. Once the cake is done, use a skewer to poke many holes in the cake. Pour syrup over cake using a pastry brush. It will seem like a lot of liquid but the cake will absorb it all.
    7. Give the cake at least an hour to rest and coolbefore serving it. You can dust it with powdered sugar, or save some of the syrup and add some powdered sugar to make a glaze.

Baker’s note:

    • Stone ground flours are not standardized the way roller milled flours are, and their weight varies, so using volume measurements (cups) is inaccurate.  Investing in a digital kitchen scale will kindle a love affair with the metric system, and will make all your baking (and cooking!) projects easier. And you will have fewer dishes to wash!

Theme and Variations

Here are a few points of inspiration and adaptation:
    Flour variations:
      Flavor variations:
      • Feel free to use lime or orange juice in place of the lemon juice or swap out the vanilla with almond extract, rose water, or any other flavoring you love, and that you think will pair well with the nutty flavor of semolina.
      • Adding berries, chocolate, seeds or dried fruits and nuts to this cake is always an an option. The proof of the semolina cake is in the eating!

      Posted on September 02 2022