Honey Cake with Pistachios

honey cake

I’m a huge fan of this honey cake recipe!

The desserts in the Middle East are quite varied in nature.

From the incredibly sweet to ones with the slightest hint of sweetness, and of course everything in between.

The use of cheese, nuts, semolina, honey, shredded wheat, simple syrup is widespread.

This allows for a perfect balance between a sweet and savory taste.

Combining all these flavors is precisely the what makes Middle Eastern desserts so hard to resist.

Semolina is a type of flour made from durum wheat which is a type of wheat found primarily in the Middle East.

Semolina has many health benefits.

Such as being high in iron, vitamin B, antioxidants, and contains selenium which is good for heart health.

High in gluten content, semolina is most often used in making pasta and couscous.

It is also used for making puddings in Europe and several desserts in the Middle East.

honey cake

How to Make Honey Cake

Making honey cake is a breeze if you have the right ingredients and follow along to these simple instructions.

To begin you will need 8 ingredients to make this specific version of honey cake.

These ingredients are:

To make the syrup topping to pour over the cake at the end you need:

  • 1 cup Honey
  • â…“ cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Rose Water

Now that you have all the necessary ingredients sorted out lets make the cake.

The first step as is always the case with baking it to preheat your oven.

For this recipe, your oven will be preheated to 180°C/350°F.

Next, grease a bundt pan and set it aside for now.

Mix the semolina, evaporated milk, water, tahini, vegetable oil, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl to make the batter.

Pour the batter into the greased pan you set aside then into the preheated oven for 30 mins.

Make the honey topping by mixing the honey, water, and rose water together until you have a syrupy consistency.

Once cake is done, remove from the oven and pour half the honey syrup over it.

Wait until cool before removing the cake from the pan.

For some added crunch chop up some pistachios and sprinkle over the cake.

honey cake

I made the cake for my dad who is 89, my best supporter and harshest critic all rolled into one.

If a recipe passes his test, it’s good!

In his deadpan way he told me that it had an interesting flavor.

In a good way, I asked.

He said he needed to find out, and continues taking bites until it was all gone.

Finally declaring it a winner!

With the semolina as the flour, a little tahini, evaporated milk.

The honey syrup gives the cake a sweetness.

Pour half of the honey syrup over the cake when you first take it out of the oven.

Serve the remainder over slices of the cake with a sprinkle of pistachios.

The tahini gives this dessert a very distinctive taste.

Combined with the other ingredients it gives a lot of depth and complexity to the flavor.

This dessert is fantastic as it truly feels healthy and is not full of sugar like so many others.

Using honey as a sweetener makes all the difference in creating something that is a good alternative for those who don’t want a cake that is too sweet.

When served with chopped pistachios and the honey syrup this cake is irresistible!

honey cake

Is Honey Good For You?

Since honey is it sweet it is often wrongly thought of as being something that is bad for you.

Honey actually can be quite healthy when eaten in moderation and in natural forms.

First, honey is a great source of antioxidants which have been linked to reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes and some types of cancer.

There are also some studies that tout the benefits honey can have on eyesight.

When it comes to having a sweet treat honey is a much better choice than white or refined sugar.

This is especially true for those who may have diabetes.

Although honey is healthier than refined or white sugars it still raises blood sugar levels so it should be consumed with caution.

Even when not being consumed honey can still be great for the body in other ways.

An example of this is honey’s amazing ability to help with wounds and burns.

With all the information listed above, it is clear to see that honey is definitely good for you in a variety of ways.

honey cake

Does Honey Go Bad?

Honey is an amazing product due to its ability to last for  a very long time.

There are some that say honey never expires which can be true if it is stored correctly.

Although honey usually doesn’t “expire†it can get to a state of being crystalized and thick that its near inedible.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to make sure the honey is stored at room temperature.

If it stored in somewhere like the fridge then it will prematurely crystal.

There are some that like to put honey in the fridge to make it crystalize on purpose.

They do this so that it can become a thick and chewy snack.

If you have found that your honey has ended up in the fridge or some other place and become crystalized you can revert it back to normal.

This is done by placing a lidless jar of honey in a pot of water on low heat.

Doing this will turn your honey back to normal after a certain amount of time.

Make sure to not do this if your honey jar is plastic because is not meant to be reheated in this way.

Is Honey Better Than Sugar?

When it comes to matters of taste it is up to the individual whether honey is better than sugar.

If we are talking about health wise then there are a few key ways that honey is better than sugar.

Honey is better than sugar for those who may have diabetes.

Sugar is higher on the glycemic index (GI) than honey however.

This means normal sugar raises blood sugar levels more quickly than honey does.

Honey also has the added benefit of being useful for more than just consumption.

It can be used to help heal wounds and burns which is something sugar cannot do.

Whether eating sugar or honey, it is always important to make sure to eat them in moderation.

No matter which one is more healthy.

honey cake

Equipment I Used:

  • Bundt Cake Tin
  • Chopping Board
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Measuring Cup

Honey Cake with Pistachios Recipe

Honey Cake with Pistachios

A delightfully different cake with a sweet honey and rose flavor. 
Leave a rating!
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Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 234kcal
Author: Chef Tariq


  • 2 cups Semolina
  • 1 cup Evaporated Milk
  • ½ cup Water
  • 4 tbsp Tahini
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • tsp Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • ½ cup Shelled Pistachios Chopped

For the Syrup

  • 1 cup Honey
  • cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Rose Water


  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease bundt pan and set aside
  • Mix the semolina, evaporated milk, water, tahini, vegetable oil, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. 
  • Pour mixture into greased pan. Place in preheated oven and baked for 30 minutes.
  • Chop pistachios and set aside.
  • Mix the honey, water, and rose water together until you have a syrupy consistency.
  • Once cake is done, remove from the oven and pour half the honey syrup over it. Wait until cool before removing the cake from the pan.
  • Sprinkle generously with the chopped pistachios.
  • When serving the slices, pour some of the reserved syrup on the pieces of cake and sprinkle with additional nuts if desired. 



Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1.4mg

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, and for pointing out the inconsistency to my attention! I am so sorry for the confusion. Baking powder is what you should use for this cake. This is one of the first recipes I put up and clearly a mistake was made. I will of course correct this. I appreciate you letting me know. All the best!

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