Sfuff – Vegan Middle-Eastern Turmeric Cake

Turmeric cake. Believe it or not, one of the simplest, most delicious cakes I’ve ever had in my life. My grandmother used to make it for us all the time when we were kids. And I guess the reason I love it so much, is because it reminds me of her. I haven’t seen her in almost 7 years and I think about her every day.

For years I’ve tried to figure out how to make this cake. It’s so simple, yet I never quite got it right. It’s been driving me crazy. And the recipe my grandmother gave me was all “a little bit of this and a little bit of that”… So I tried using it as a guide, but the result was never the same.

I did, however discover during my many, many trials, that mixing turmeric and baking soda turns your cake red once you bake it. Kind of like an all natural red velvet cake, only bitter. Pretty neat, uh?

So finally, after all the science experiments and a few disasters, I came up with this recipe we’re sharing today. Still not exactly my grandmother’s cake… but I think it’s time to accept that, no matter how much I try, it will never be like hers. Because it’s missing the most important ingredient: her loving touch.

Hope you guys enjoy it.

*Read about the benefits of Turmeric in this article by Dr. Andrew Weil: 

Turmeric Health Benefits: Have a Happy New Year With Turmeric


5.0 from 1 reviews
Sfuff - Vegan Middle-Eastern Turmeric Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ¾ cups SWEETENED almond, coconut or soy milk (here we used Silk Pure Almond)
  • 1 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
  • Shelled pistachios for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Coat the bottom and sides of a 11x7x1.5in baking dish with tahini
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, turmeric and shredded coconut and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add vegetable oil and milk and gently stir all the ingredients together until just combined (do not over mix)
  5. Spoon batter evenly onto prepared baking dish
  6. Decorate with pistachios on top and bake at 350F for approximately 45 minutes. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting


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28 Responses to Sfuff – Vegan Middle-Eastern Turmeric Cake

  1. Maureen (@OrgasmicChef) June 29, 2012 at 2:23 am #

    What a lovely cake and knowing that it has such memories for you makes this a very special cake indeed. I would love to try it in honor of your gran.

    • mayihavethatrecipe June 29, 2012 at 6:32 am #

      Thanks! You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make. The turmeric give it a very unique taste that is almost addictive. Hope you like it!!

  2. Daniel June 29, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    I was treated to a piece of this cake at the Cohen’s house. I thoroughly enjoyed more than one piece. It also goes well with apricot jelly. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Caitlin June 30, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    I was so intrigued by the unusual list of ingredients that I had to give this a try. It’s really tasty–reminiscent of corn bread, but with deeper, more interesting flavors. It was especially nice with a little honey drizzled over the top. A perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea!

    • mayihavethatrecipe June 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

      We are glad you enjoyed it. My husband ate it with some fig preserves and he love it! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh My Veggies (@ohmyveggies) June 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Turmeric is one of those spices that I really under-utilize in the kitchen. I’m just not quite sure what to do with it, what flavors it works well with, etc. But this cake looks beautiful!

    • mayihavethatrecipe June 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

      Thank you. You should give it a try it is different and you will want to come back for more. Thanks for sharing!

  5. erinmotz June 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Turmeric cake, how interesting!!! I love this idea and the color is amazing!

    • mayihavethatrecipe June 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

      Yes, definitely not your every day cake, but sooo delicious! Give it a try, you’ll love it!

  6. kitchenriffs July 2, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    Such a nice cake! I know I’ve seen recipes for Turmeric Cake before, but can’t remember where. Your version looks sensational. Really nice blog – glad I found you. I’ll be back.

    • mayihavethatrecipe July 2, 2012 at 6:37 am #

      Thank you so much, we really appreciate it! We love sharing our family recipes. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

  7. Eva July 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    When I first saw this recipe I thought, wow, weirdest cake ever! I was so curious that I decided to try it… Surprisingly it was delicious! Not too sweet and it had a great color and flavor! I’m a fan now. Thanks for sharing!

  8. wendy September 28, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    I found your recipe while searching for vegan cake, oh my goodness I mad this and everyone loved it, thank you for sharing it.

  9. Sarah November 28, 2013 at 7:05 am #

    I came upon this wonderful recipe while reading about the merits of turmeric. I will most certainly be making this along with lots of your other recipes. What a delight to stumble upon a treasure trove of beautiful cruelty free food! Thank you! And thank you to your Grandmother also 🙂

  10. Heidi May 1, 2014 at 2:37 am #

    Wondering how it would taste if I added some cardamom?

    • Vicky & Ruth May 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      Never thought of that. It would probably complement the turmeric really well!

  11. Deborah August 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    The Clean Plates newsletter http://www.cleanplates.com/eat-in/tips/10-turmeric-recipes/
    listed this as a gluten-free recipe. It looks delicious Do you have a gluten-free version?
    Thanks so much

    • Vicky & Ruth August 15, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      Thank you for your message. We just realized that the recipe was listed as gluten free, our apologies. Unfortunately we do not have a gluten free version at the moment, but our suggestion would be to try using a “1 to 1” gluten free flour, such as Bob Red Mill’s . Hope this helps and again, we apologize for the confusion.

  12. Tee Bone August 17, 2016 at 10:02 am #

    I will most assuredly be trying this cake but I have two questions…
    1. Is it more of a dessert or a go along with the meal? (some comments mention it being like cornbread)
    2. How do you say “sfuf”? I know my whole family is going to want to know this too. While we can always just call it turmeric cake, we like to use authentic words…when we know how to pronounce them. 🙂

    • Vicky & Ruth September 1, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

      Thank you for your question. This is our grandmother’s recipe and we always ate it as dessert or with coffee for breakfast.
      LOL it so cute that your family would want to know the right way call this cake. We pronounce it S-FOU-F
      Let us know how you family liked it.

      • Tee Bone October 1, 2016 at 9:17 pm #

        This is indeed tasty! However, mine came out a deep orange as if made with pumpkin, instead of the golden yellow in your pictures. I am guessing that had to do with the baking soda that I used by mistake thinking I grabbed the baking powder as I had all purpose flour on hand. Furthermore, I can see both sides of my question…I have a light hand when it comes to measuring sugar so this was not too sweet making it work as a side like cornbread but also sweet enough to be a dessert…especially if served along side a small scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream, or even fruit. BUT I think you described it perfectly as a breakfast dish with coffee & that is what I’m having in the morning! Thank you so much 🙂


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