Guilt-free treats - Gluten free Syrian turmeric cake

Gluten Free Syrian Cake_IMG_1184_1024.jpg

This exotic gluten free cake, is deliciously moist, infused with subtle spicy aromatic flavours and packed full of healthy nuts and seeds.

Hot Flush loved this recipe not only for its inclusion of the healthy benefits of turmeric, it’s also pretty impressive when entertaining for large numbers.

We extracted the recipe from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi.


Serves:          6-8

Prep time:     10

cook time:    40 minutes  



  • 250g ground almonds

  • 175g fine polenta

  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder

  • 2 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp aniseed

  • 1 tsp nigella seeds

  • 300g butter

  • 200g sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • icing sugar for dusting

  • handful of broken pistachios, to sprinkle

Sugar syrup

  • 80g sugar

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • 80ml water


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C fan. Line a 23cm springform cake tin with enough non-stick baking paper to cover the base and sides.

  2. Mix the first seven ingredients together in a bowl.

  3. Beat the butter and sugar together until it is pale and fluffy. A food processor makes this a lot quicker and easier. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating well. If it starts to curdle or looks too runny, simply add a spoonful of the dry ingredients.

  4. Fold in the dry ingredients, then pour the mixture into the tin, level with a spatula and bake for around 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

  5. While the cake is in the oven, make the syrup. Add the sugar, lemon juice and water to a pan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. The longer you simmer it for, the thicker the syrup will become. 10 minutes should be about right.

  6. Take the cake out of the oven and insert a skewer around the edges, then, while still warm, pour the syrup all over so that it seeps into the cake itself. Leave to cool, then remove from the tin, sprinkle with icing sugar and pistachios, and serve.

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