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Semolina Coconut Cake


Semolina flour gives this easy-to-make cake its pleasantly coarse texture and, with an assist from saffron, its lovely yellow hue.

  • Servings: 12
semolina coconut cake

Photography: Bobbi Lin

Source: Martha Stewart's Cooking School, Episode 512


For the Syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Cake

  • Unsalted butter, for pan
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup safflower oil
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped


  1. Make the syrup: In a small saucepan, combine sugar, saffron, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and stir constantly until sugar dissolves.

  2. Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; set aside.

  3. Add saffron to milk and let steep 5 minutes. Whisk together coconut, semolina flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until combined. In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and oil until light and fluffy. Add milk mixture and yogurt; stir to combine. Fold in coconut mixture to incorporate.

  4. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until cake is golden brown and springs back in center when gently touched, about 1 hour.

  5. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Pour syrup over warm cake and sprinkle with pistachios. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Using parchment overhang, remove cake from pan to a cutting board; cut into triangles using a serrated knife.

Reviews Add a comment

  • jakolia
    5 AUG, 2017
    This is a lovely cake. Everyone loved it, the sugar seems too much in the syrup but it isnt a very sweet cake. It was a bit dry. So next time I am going to add a few tablespoons of milk more.
  • Farahnadeembajw
    27 JUL, 2017