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Vegan semolina cake cut into slices on a sheet of baking parchment on a grey background with sliced oranges and lemons

Vegan Semolina Cake

Vegan semolina cake – this delicious eggless semolina cake can be made plain or flavoured with orange and/or lemon. It is moist and delicious with a beautiful melt-in-the-mouth texture. It makes a lovely tea time treat or snack; or serve warm with custard or ice cream for pudding!
Course Dessert
Cuisine baking
Keyword cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Soaking Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Domestic Gothess


  • 225 g (1 ⅓ cups + 1 Tbsp) fine semolina*
  • 40 g (⅓ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 175 g (¾ cup + 2 Tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil**
  • 125 g (½ cup) non-dairy yogurt (I use the Coconut Collaborative)
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water optional
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon (or 2 lemons or 2 oranges) optional
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)


  • juice of 1 small orange and 1 lemon (or 2 lemons or 2 small oranges)
  • 60 g (⅓ cup) granulated or caster sugar


  • Place the semolina, flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Add the oil, yogurt, milk, vanilla, orange blossom water (if using) and zest (if using). Whisk until no lumps remain then set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm/8in round 5cm/2in deep cake tin (preferably loose bottomed) and line with baking parchment.
  • After the batter has soaked for 30 minutes, sprinkle over the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the batter into the preapared tin and spread level. Bake for about 35 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter.
  • While the cake is baking make the syrup (if using). Mix the orange and/or lemon juice in a jug then measure out 80ml (⅓ cup) and pour it into a small saucepan.
  • Add the sugar and place the pan over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then bring up to a simmer for a minute then remove from the heat.
  • When the cake is done, poke holes all over the top with a skewer and drizzle over the syrup. Make sure that you cover the cake evenly, don't just pour it all in the middle. (If you don't have a loose bottomed tin then you may wish to turn the cake out before adding the syrup otherwise it will be delicate and difficult to turn out without smooshing the top.)
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, until the syrup has soaked in, then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.


  • For the best results make sure that you follow the recipe closely. As always, I highly recommend using the gram measurements (with a digital scale), rather than the cup conversions. Cup measurements are simply not accurate enough for baking and I cannot guarantee the best results if you use them.
  • *This recipe uses fine semolina. If you only have course semolina then you can place it in a blender and pulse several times to grind it a bit finer, then use it in the recipe.
  • **I like to use olive oil, but sunflower, vegetable or canola would all be fine too. As would melted coconut oil or vegan block butter/margarine.
  • I leave the batter to soak for 30 minutes before baking it; this helps to hydrate the semolina and makes for a moister, less gritty texture. It is very important that you do not add the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) until AFTER the batter is done soaking otherwise your cake may not rise.
  • The syrup is optional but it adds flavour and helps to keep the cake moist.
  • Cake adapted from: https://aromaticessence.co/rava-cake-sooji-cake-semolina-cake-eggless/