This eggless rava cake is an incredibly easy cake recipe for beginners. It is sweet, dense, and moist. It can also be enjoyed as a quick snack.
Rava cake is a pretty popular Indian cake and is really easy to make at home. It does not require any special equipment or expertise, which makes it a perfect beginner’s cake. You can hardly mess up this cake, it is so forgiving!
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What is rava cake?
Rava also known as sooji, suji, or sugee are Hindi words for semolina. Hence this cake is also known as sooji cake or suji cake!
Semolina is a product of durum wheat. It is made by grinding husked durum wheat grains. Since it is derived from wheat, rava is not gluten-free.
The use of rava is quite popular in Indian cuisine, from savory to dessert recipes.
Rava cake is a simple cake made primarily with rava and other basic ingredients that go into making a cake, and hence the name!
This sooji cake is very similar to the Middle Eastern basbousa and my Goan Baath Cake. Both these cakes are traditionally made with eggs. For baath cake, the batter needs to sit overnight before being baked.
This rava tea cake, on the other hand, is a quick one, the batter needs to sit for at least 30 minutes. This is because the semolina absorbs the liquid and fluffs up.
You can actually see each and every semolina particle perfectly fluffed up in the baked cake!
I love the rava cake from Iyengar bakery. In fact, they have such an awesome array of tea-time cakes that are really simple yet so good. Just like the kinds I love!
But honestly, you don’t need to visit the bakery to enjoy this cake, especially if you live out of India! You can easily make this cake at home and enjoy it as much as you’d from the bakery!
If you are a beginner in baking, you should start off with this easy semolina cake. It is one of the simplest cake recipes ever!
Why you will love this sooji cake?
This sooji cake;
☑ Is an easy, one-bowl cake recipe
☑ Is made without any eggs
☑ Can also be enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack
☑ Does not need any gadgets such as a stand mixer or handheld mixer
Ingredients needed to make sooji cake
Semolina: Use the fine variety of rava, also known as Bombay rava for this recipe.
Flour: A small quantity of flour is added to this recipe to give the cake a softer texture and structure. You could also use cake flour instead.
Leavening agents: Baking powder and baking soda.
Salt: Salt accentuates the flavor of the cake.
Oil: I’ve used sunflower oil. Feel free to use any neutral flavored oil.
Curd/yogurt: This is used as a substitute for the eggs.
Milk: I’ve used full-fat milk. but I think skimmed milk will work fine too.
Sugar: I’ve used castor sugar. You may also use powdered sugar.
Vanilla extract: To flavor the cake.
Tutti-frutti: These are nothing but candied papaya. I’ve added them to make an eggless tutti frutti rava cake. It adds an interesting texture and a pop of color to the cake.
How to make eggless rava cake – Step-by-step instructions
Step 1: Prepare the pan
Grease an 8-inch cake pan with a little oil or oil spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. (Photos 1 and 2)
Step 2: Semolina cake batter
Measure out ½ cup tutti-frutti, and add a teaspoon of flour to coat them. Set aside. (Photos 3 and 4)
In a sufficiently large bowl, add ½ cup curd/yogurt, and whisk it well to get rid of any lumps. (Photos 5 and 6)
Then add ¾ cup castor sugar, ⅓ cup vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and mix until well combined. (Photos 7 to 11)
Next, add ¾ cup of whole milk, and whisk until all the ingredients are well combined. (Photos 12 to 14)
Add 1¼ cup of fine semolina and ¼ teaspoon table salt to the liquid ingredients, mix well, cover, and set aside for 30 minutes. (Photos 15 to 18)
After 15 minutes of resting the batter, preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F), and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
After 30 minutes, the semolina will have absorbed the liquid, and the batter will become thicker. (Photo 19)
Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl containing the semolina batter, and sift ¼ cup of all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoon baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda. (Photos 20 to 23)
Fold gently using a spatula, until no more flour pockets are visible. Do not overmix the batter. (Photo 24)
Add the tutti frutti, and fold in gently. (Photos 25 and 26)
Step 3: Bake
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Top with more tutti-frutti. (Photos 27 to 29)
Bake on the middle rack, for about 40 – 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Photo 30)
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
Then remove from the pan and cool on the rack completely. (Photos 31 and 32)
Cut into desired pieces and serve.
You can serve this rava cake as such with a cup of your favorite beverage. Perfect to accompany your evening chai.
You can dress it up by topping a slice of the cake with some whipped cream and fresh berries or fruit compote. A drizzle of caramel or chocolate syrup would also great!
Store this eggless rava cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
If you live in a hot and humid place, it’s best to refrigerate the cake. It will last for about 4 to 5 days in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving. You may warm it in the microwave if you like.
Room temperature ingredients: Always plan ahead and let your ingredients such as curd (yogurt), and milk reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients help them to combine better.
Fresh curd and rava: Use fresh curd for this recipe, as the sourness of the curd will ruin the taste of this cake. Also, make sure the rava you use is fresh and not stale as that can ruin the taste of this cake as well.
Sweetness: The cake is not overly sweet. You may increase the sugar to 1 cup if you prefer a sweeter cake.
For coarse variety of semolina: If you have the coarse variety of semolina, simply pulse it 4-5 times in the blender and use it in this recipe.
Color of the cake: Do not worry if your cake does not brown as shown in the pics. Overbaking to achieve the brown color will dry out the cake. In my 52 liters, Morphy Richards oven the top browned well, but the sides were a pale golden color. When I baked this cake 4 years ago in my gas range oven in the US, it browned uniformly on top and the sides. So the color of the cake will depend on your oven to an extent.
Baking time: Again, the baking time will differ from one oven to another depending on the make, the capacity, etc of the oven. Keep an eye out after 35 minutes. The cake is usually done within 50 minutes for an 8-inch pan. A 7-inch round pan will take about 60 minutes.
Cut the cake only when it is cool: The cake is quite delicate when it is still warm and slicing it will only cause it to crumble. Allow the cake to cool down completely before slicing.
Rose, saffron, and cardamom flavored rava cake: Skip the vanilla extract and add 1/2 teaspoon of rose extract and 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder. Replace 1/4 cup of the total 3/4 cup of milk with saffron infused milk. To do that, mix a fat pinch of saffron in 1/4 cup of hot milk and set aside until it reaches room temperature.
Other flavors: You can also use other flavors like pineapple essence/extract, orange extract + orange zest, lemon extract + lemon zest, butterscotch essence, etc to flavor this cake instead of vanilla.
Suji mango cake: Try another version of this cake, Mango semolina cupcake (eggless). It is equally delicious!
Sooji atta cake: Swap the refined flour with 1/4 cup of atta (wheat flour).
Rava cake with eggs: If you wish to add eggs, simply replace the yogurt with 2 large eggs.
Sugar syrup: Just like basbousa, this cake can be soaked in sugar syrup to make it super moist. For the sugar syrup, combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and allow the syrup to cool down completely. When the cake is slightly warm, poke some holes into the cake with a skewer or toothpick and drizzle the cooled syrup all over the cake. If you plan on doing this, then reduce the sugar to 1/3 to 1/2 cup in the recipe to avoid an overly sweet cake.
Bundt cake or loaf cake: You can also use a 6-cup bundt pan or a standard loaf pan to make a bundt-shaped semolina cake or semolina loaf cake.
Mix-ins: Instead of tutti-frutti, you can add coarsely chopped nuts like almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts, or chocolate chips, etc. Sugar or honey syrup: For an extra moist cake, you can drizzle some simple or honey syrup as it is done for basbousa.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How to make rava cake in the pressure cooker?
Follow these steps to make the cake in the cooker;
- Use a 5-liter pressure cooker, and remove the gasket and the weight. Cover the bottom of the cooker with about a cup of salt.
- Place a heat-proof stand. Close the cooker with the lid, and preheat on medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the batter to a 7 or 8-inch round or square cake pan. Place the cake pan (no need to cover the cake pan) carefully with the help of tongs. Excercise precaution as the cooker is hot.
- Secure the lid of the cooker tightly (no gasket nor weight). Cook on medium heat for 40 to 45 minutes. Check for doneness test with a toothpick. If it is not done after 40 to 45 minutes, bake it for 5-10 minutes more.
Can I use melted butter or ghee instead of oil?
You may substitute oil with melted butter or melted ghee. But, honestly, I prefer this cake better made with oil, as it keeps it moist.
Can I substitute the sugar with jaggery?
I’ve not tried this cake with jaggery, but I think it will work out fine. I’d simply swap the same amount of sugar with powdered jaggery as I did in my eggless atta cake.
Do I need to roast the rava before using it in the recipe?
No, there is no need to roast the rava for this recipe. Use it as such.
Can I make this rava cake without curd?
Sure, you can! Condensed milk is also used as a substitute for eggs, so you can use that instead of yogurt. Use 1/2 cup of condensed milk in the recipe and reduce the sugar to 1/3 or 1/2 cup, depending on your desired sweetness.
Do I need to grind the rava to a fine powder?
Rava gives this cake a very unique, granular texture unlike regular cakes made entirely with refined flour. The texture of rava cake is like a hybrid between sooji halwa and a cake.
Cakes that are traditionally made with rava are not really ground to a finer consistency. Hence, it is strongly recommended to use the fine variety of sooji and not the coarse one that you’d use to make something like upma.
Having said that, feel free to grind the rava to a fine powder if you feel you may prefer the texture better that way. This is a very forgiving recipe, and you won’t go wrong either way!
Can I make a vegan version of this cake?
Yes, of course! Simply swap the yogurt and milk with a plant-based yogurt and milk of your choice. I would start with 1/2 cup of milk and add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk later if needed to adjust the batter consistency.
You may also enjoy these eggless cake recipes
Easter cupcakes (Vanilla cupcakes)
Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting
Have you made this recipe?
I would love to hear from you! Please be sure to share your feedback and/or give this recipe a rating in the comment below. Your reviews help others know the recipe better too.
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Editor’s note: This recipe was first published on June 14, 2018. It has been republished and updated on July 23, 2022 to include new images, a video, and additional information. The original recipe used 1 cup of sugar, but I’ve reduced it to 3/4 cup since the tutti frutti that I used this time was really sweet. You can still use 1 cup if you prefer a sweeter cake.
Rava Cake | Sooji Cake | Semolina Cake (Eggless)
- 1¼ cups fine rava, 225 grams
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled, 35 grams
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¾ cup castor sugar, 167 grams
- ⅓ cup flavorless oil, 70 grams
- ½ cup curd/yogurt, 125 grams
- ¾ cup whole milk 190 ml
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup tutti frutti, 80 grams, plus 2 tablespoons more for topping the cake
- 1 teaspoon flour, to coat the tutti frutti
- Grease an 8-inch cake pan with a little oil or oil spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Measure out the tutti-frutti, and add a teaspoon of flour to coat them. Set aside.
- In a sufficiently large bowl, add curd/yogurt, and whisk it well to get rid of any lumps.
- Then add castor sugar, oil, and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined.
- Next, add milk, and whisk until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Add fine semolina and salt to the liquid ingredients, mix well, cover, and set aside for 30 minutes.
- After 15 minutes of resting the batter, preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F), and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
- After 30 minutes, the semolina will have absorbed the liquid, and the batter will become thicker.
- Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl containing the semolina batter, and sift all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Fold gently using a spatula, until no more flour pockets are visible. Do not overmix the batter.
- Add the tutti frutti, and fold in gently.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Top with 2 tablespoons of tutti-frutti.
- Bake on the middle rack, for about 40 – 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Then remove from the pan and cool on the rack completely.
- Cut into desired pieces and serve.
Thank you for the most Amazing Rava Cake recipe. I tried both the versions with yogurt and eggs and it was just simply delicious, moist and perfect recipe cake. My family loves your cake better than the other versions of rava recipes I make. Thank you again. Keep up the good work.
Freda Dias says
Hi Rena!! Yay!!! I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks so much for coming back to share your feedback with us, I really appreciate it 😊
I made this yesterday for the first time. I used 3/4th cup of sugar and I think next time I would even use half cup of sugar. I used a mix of olive oil and coconut oil. The cake turned out amazing. I added chopped cashews instead of tutti frutti..this is definitely a keeper.
I also used roasted semolina and I pulsed it a few times in the blender just in case it was too coarse to put it directly in the batter.
Freda Dias says
Hi Ro! Glad to hear you that! Thanks for sharing your feedback with us 😊
Hi, can i use roasted semolina to make this cake? Please advise. Thank you.
Freda Dias says
Hi Krish! I don’t think it should make much of a difference. I guess you can use it.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe. My 15 year old niece baked this cake and it turned out perfect! Half of the cake was finished in first 20 minutes after cooling. 🙂
Thank you for this delicious cake.
Freda Dias says
Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, Jaspreet! So happy to know that your 15 year old niece baked this cake. 😊 That’s great!
Laasika Bose says
Hi Freda I baked this cake today after exploring the internet for days for a good sooji cake recipe without eggs. As bird flu is on we are not able to use eggs. The cake turned out perfect. Excellent recipe with precise measurements. I used the weight measures. Thank you.
Freda Dias says
Hi Laasika! I’m glad to hear your feedback! Thanks so much for coming back and letting us know how the cake turned out, I really appreciate it 😊
Hi Freda! I tried this recipe a few days ago an the results were absolutely delicious. My neighbour has even asked me to bake this cake for her. Thank you so much!😊
Freda Dias says
That’s awesome, Syazana ! I really appreciate your feedback, thanks so much 🙂
Sheela Sathian Kapadia says
Can I substitute sugar for jaggery?
If yes what would be the quantity??
Freda Dias says
Hi Sheela! Pinged you on fb 😊
Hi, I just commented on the baath cake. This is actually the recipe I’m referring to. If it’s left to soak for longer, would it be even softer? Can it be left to soak overnight?
Freda Dias says
Yes, Shaila! Yes, you can leave it overnight in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before baking. It won’t affect the texture in terms of softness. If the batter looks too thick, add a splash of milk.
Shraddha Jaiswal says
Hello, I tried Semolina cake many times but never get best results. Today i saw ur recipe it’s nice 👍 and I’ll try it definitely but i have 1 Confusion
Can v keep this better Soaking for 30 minutes after mixing baking soda and baking powder?
Pls let me know Bcoz i wang to make this cake for my son’s birthday..
Freda Dias says
Hi Shraddha! The baking powder and soda along with maida have to be mixed in just before baking, please go through the steps again, I’ve mentioned this. Hope this helps 🙂
Hi, I am planning to replace the oil with unsalted butter, what should be the quantity of the butter in that case?
Freda Dias says
Hi Joyce! It will be the same, simply melt and use it.
Thanks Freda, I baked the cake. It turned out to be superb. I replaced curd with eggs and oil with butter. It was lovely. I am not a professional Baker and just started baking cakes in this lockdown, so your recipe was simple to follow and turned out awesome!
Freda Dias says
Hi Joyce! I’m sure the butter would have added so much more flavor. I use it to make baath cake. So glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for coming back to let me know:)
Rosie Williams says
Such a delicious food recipe. I love it.
Freda Dias says
Thanks, Rosie 🙂