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BEST Semolina Coconut Cake

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This is a moist and delicious semolina coconut cake made with semolina (sooji) and fresh ground coconut as well as coconut milk. A rich egg-based cake that takes less than an hour to make. Perfect when you have guests to entertain or just for a quick afternoon tea-time treat.

A sliced cake with semolina.
Cake with Semolina and Fresh Coconut.

Ingredients and substitutes

  • Butter – I use unsalted butter as it’s the best for baking. If you use salted butter omit salt in the recipe. My mom would replace 1/3 of the butter with double cream or malai which she would scoop out herself from the milk every day.
  • Sugar – use fine-grain sugar that will dissolve into the butter during the creaming process. If you only get coarse sugar pulse it in the food processor a few times to make it finer.
  • Eggs – we use weight measurement for the eggs because all eggs are different in size and weight. Ideally, each large egg should be about 60 grams with the shell and about 50 grams without a shell.
  • All-purpose flour – Not much but just enough to combine it with the leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda.
  • Coconut – For this cake, we use fresh coconut. My mom always grated only the white part of the coconut and then ground it in the blender with just a little bit of coconut water. Instead of milk, I used coconut milk to enhance the flavor of coconut.
A square cake frosted with sugar glaze.
Cake with Semolina and Fresh Coconut.

Tips for Success

  • Make sure the ingredients are all at room temperature, especially the butter and eggs.
  • Combine the leavening in the flour well. I prefer to sift it once and then sift it into the batter again. This way I can ensure it is well incorporated.
  • Bake as soon as you add the leavening into the batter to get a maximum rise.
  • Today, I used a 9-inch square cake pan but you can also use two 6-inch loaf pans
  • Do not overbake this cake. Overbaking can make the cake dry.
A slice of coconut cake.
Cake with Semolina and Fresh Coconut.

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A sliced square cake.

Semolina Coconut Cake

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories: 388kcal
Adjust Servings Here: 8 Servings
This is a moist and delicious semolina coconut cake made with semolina (sooji) and fresh ground coconut as well as coconut milk. A rich egg-based cake that takes less than an hour to make. Perfect when you have guests to entertain or just for a quick afternoon tea-time treat

Equipment /Tools


  • 150 grams (1 cups) Semolina sooji/rawa
  • 125 grams (1 cups) All-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 250 grams (1 cups) Butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 250 grams (1 ¼ cups) Sugar fine-grain white
  • 100 grams (1 cups) Grated Coconut ground until smooth
  • 120 ml (½ cups) Coconut Milk
  • 200 grams (4 large ) Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp Coconut Extract (or a few drops of essence)
  • ¼ tsp Almond Extract (or a few drops of essence)


  • Oven – Preheat the oven at 325°F/165°C/Gas Mark 3
  • Dry ingredients – In a small bowl combine together the flour and semolina with baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Pan – Grease and line with parchment paper an 8 x 8-inch square cake pan or 2 x 8-inch round cake pans.
  • Cream – In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until you have a smooth mixture.
    Pro tip – make sure the eggs are at room temperature so they won't curdle the batter.
  • Dry to wet – Add the flour mixture and coconut milk to the cake batter in three additions. Combine well but do not overmix.
    Pro tip – overmixing will make the cake dense so avoid overmixing.
  • Flavoring – Add the vanilla extract, coconut extract, and almond extract. Combine well but do not overmix.
    Pro tip – you can also use rose and orange extract instead of almond.
  • Bake – Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake on the middle rack in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool – when baked cool it in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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Nutrition Information
Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 136mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 468IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you

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  1. Hello Veena

    I was looking for EI sojee cake and stumbled upon your name. So here I am connecting with you.

    Thanks for keeping the EI traditional recipes alive. It is hard to come by them. I have a couple of EI recipe books written by aunties from different villages but they would rarely give exact measurements. So thank you.

    I am from Thana but now live in Toronto.

    1. Hi Maureen. Welcome to my blog. Thank you so much for your encouragement.
      Yes, it is quite difficult to get recipes from aunties because they never tell you exact measurements. My mom was the same. The truth is they don’t measure themselves.
      Happy you are enjoying my blog. Thanks