Baking/ Cakes/ Desserts

Mawa Cake

Mawa Cake | Parsi Mawa Cake | Easy Eggless Recipe

Decadent, delicious and arguably the butteriest delight, mawa cake is a must-have delicacy for Holi.

Mawa Cake | Parsi Mawa Cake | Easy Eggless Recipe

If you’ve been to a Parsi café, especially in Mumbai or Pune, you know their love for food and delightful baked items. But the one that deserves special mention is mawa cake – a sumptuous plateful of calorie-laden indulgence.

The iconic tea-time snack that the community introduced to us is not merely an Irani specialty it is a time capsule of an era gone by. Enter any Parsi café and mawa cake will be on the menu. 

With the festivities in the air, I wanted to cook something simple but steeped in tradition, and I thought what better than a mawa cake. Though, laying all my cards on the table, I did add a little personal twist to the recipe.

Mawa Cake | Parsi Mawa Cake | Easy Eggless Recipe

How to Make a Traditional Mawa Cake?

When you are making something that is literally a bite right out of history, it takes time. With mawa cake, it is the khoya that adds the hours.

What’s khoya (or khoa)? It is evaporated milk solids.  When the Parsis came to India in the 19th Century, there were no refrigerators. It meant café owners had to boil their milk, again and again, to keep it from being spoilt. The constant heat slowly reduced the milk to solids, giving birth to khoya! 

If you have time at hand, I recommend making it at home from scratch using this wonderful recipe. If you can’t be bothered, khoya is readily available in the market. FYI, this is the easy twist to mawa cake recipe – buying soft, crumbly khoya from a nearby store.

Now on to the recipe…

Beating the sugar-butter mixture

In a mixing bowl take regular, salted butter and raw sugar. Beat them together till you have a light, fluffy mixture. You can use regular sugar, but I’ve been baking everything with raw sugar lately, and it works like a charm. 

To this, whisk in some yogurt. Word of caution – make sure the yogurt is at room temperature otherwise your mixture will curdle.

Process of making Mawa Cake

Assembling the mawa cake batter

In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

The conventional mawa cake recipe doesn’t have any other spice except cardamom powder, and it is more than enough to give the buttery cakes the quintessential “Indian” scent.

Because I am making the cake for Holi, indulgence was very much called for. So, along with the cardamom, in went a few strands of luxurious saffron and a light touch of desiccated coconut. Both are absolutely optional ingredients, but they do give the cake a bouquet of flavors. 

Mawa Cake | Parsi Mawa Cake | Easy Eggless Recipe

Baking the mawa cake

Fold the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture and then add the crumbled khoya to make the cake batter. Pour it into a pan, top it off with thinly shaved slivers of almond and pistachio and then let the oven do its magic.

Mawa Cake | Parsi Mawa Cake | Easy Eggless Recipe

Serving the Mawa Cake

Not too sweet. Decadent with saffron. And laced with just the right hint of cardamom and coconut. The buttery mawa cake is ultra-soft. The khoya brings an intense, fragrant, sort-of nuttiness to it while keeping every morsel moist and spongy.

Don’t be fooled by the photos, the mawa cake only looks airy and light. With one divinely caramelised bite, you realise it is a rich, rich dessert and one slice goes a long way.

Mawa Cake | Parsi Mawa Cake | Easy Eggless Recipe

In my home, we don’t bother with any garnishing and serve it as is with a spiced cup of tea or coffee. It is a perfect #TAFEverydayCake. But if you really want to take things up a notch, serve the mawa cake with saffron-flavored whipped cream, which is quite amazing.

Nice, simple, wholly doable and somehow reminiscent of the sweets I used to demolish by the fistfuls in childhood, the eggless mawa cake is the perfect recipe for Holi. I genuinely hope you try your hand at making these lovelies!

Mawa Cake | Parsi Mawa Cake | Easy Eggless Recipe

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Mawa Cake
Print Recipe
Not too sweet. Decadent with saffron. Laced with just the right hint of cardamom and coconut. This buttery rich, mawa cake is a must-have delicacy for Holi.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 20-25 minutes
Cook Time
50-55 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 20-25 minutes
Cook Time
50-55 minutes
Mawa Cake
Print Recipe
Not too sweet. Decadent with saffron. Laced with just the right hint of cardamom and coconut. This buttery rich, mawa cake is a must-have delicacy for Holi.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 20-25 minutes
Cook Time
50-55 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8-10 servings 20-25 minutes
Cook Time
50-55 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened I used regular salted butter
  • 1/2 cup Raw sugar
  • 1 cup Yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp Desiccated coconut Optional
  • 1.5 tsp Cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp Saffron strands Optional
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Khoya /mawa This is about 100gms of khoya
  • Pistachio and Almond Slivers for Topping the cake
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C. Grease an 8" cake tin.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and raw sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Whisk in the yogurt.
  4. Sift the flours, baking powder and baking soda in another bowl.
  5. Stir in desiccated coconut, cardamom powder, and saffron.
  6. Fold in the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. Gently stir in the crumbled khoya.
  7. This is a thick batter. Scrape into the prepared pan and top with pistachio and almond slivers.
  8. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning out on a cooling rack.
  9. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!
  10. You can store the leftover cake in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Mawa Cake | Parsi Mawa Cake | Easy Eggless Recipe

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Saral Baijal
    March 6, 2020 at 11:30 PM

    Beautiful beautiful recipe…can’t wait to try it

    • Reply
      Natasha Minocha
      March 7, 2020 at 8:28 PM

      Thank you so much Saral! xx

  • Reply
    Devaki Bhadgaonkar
    March 7, 2020 at 9:05 AM

    Do we use greek yogurt? Or regular curd will do?

    • Reply
      Natasha Minocha
      March 7, 2020 at 8:29 PM

      Greek yogurt would be good here, but I used homemade dahi /yogurt just the thick part. 🙂

  • Reply
    Prachi
    March 7, 2020 at 11:43 AM

    What is raw sugar ? Does aamul butter work? Also how will it turn out with ghee instead ?

    • Reply
      Natasha Minocha
      March 7, 2020 at 8:32 PM

      Raw sugar is less processed than regular white sugar. Nutritionally though, there isn’t much difference. Yes, Amul works just fine. That’s what I used here. I’m sure it will be great with ghee as well though I haven’t made it with ghee. Happy baking! 🙂

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