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How to make Sri Lankan love cake

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  • Author: Tooting Mama
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 20 portions 1x
  • Category: Tea Time Treat
  • Cuisine: Sri Lankan


  • 7 egg yolks
  • 500g g soft brown sugar
  • 400 g raw cashew nuts
  • 250g semolina
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Zest of a lemon (grated)
  • Zest of an orange (grated)
  • A nugget of preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 cardamom pods (crush and seeds extracted)
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg (finely grated )
  • 7 egg whites
  • butter (small knob for greasing the baking tin)
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Take a 25 x 30cm cake tin, grease with butter, then double line with non-stick baking parchment allowing enough parchment to overhang over the edge of the baking tin.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat the egg yolks and the sugar together until you have a deliciously creamy butterscotch looking concoction.
  4. In a food processor, pulverise the cashew nuts until they are crushed into small pieces.
  5. Take the nuts and the semolina, rose water, honey, lemon and orange zest, ginger and spices and stir into the egg and sugar mix. Mix well to make sure the ingredients are fully incorporated. It will be stiff almost the texture of biscuit dough. That’s fine, it will loosen up once you add the beaten egg whites.
  6. Take a second large mixing bowl and pour in your egg whites, using a stand mixer or handheld mixer,  and whip them until you have glossy stiff white peaks.
  7. Fold the egg whites into the cake mix before pouring gently into the double-lined cake tin.
  8. Place the cake tin onto the middle shelf of your pre-heated oven, and cook for around an hour to an hour and thirty minutes. Or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. The cake will be done when it is firm, yet springy to touch, and no wobble from any uncooked cake mix.
  9. Take the cake out of the oven and leave it to cool before cutting it into little square portions in the tin. Dust with a little icing sugar. Using the baking parchment gently lift the cake out of the tin before serving.
  10. Delicious when served with afternoon tea.


  • When done the cake will be firm to the touch, but with a light spring.
  • if you find that your cake is browning on top and not cooking all the way through try placing aluminium foil over the top. I cover my cake with foil for the first 45 minutes, then bake uncovered for the remaining 45 minutes.
  • I have adapted this recipe from the original which can be found in The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon.