Mawa Cake

27 Aug

Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen was our August 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to make some amazing regional Indian desserts. The Mawa Cake, the Bolinhas de Coco cookies and the Masala cookies – beautifully spiced and delicious! 🙂 Mawa Cake was the mandatory item in this month’s challenge and Aparna even shared the recipe to make mawa from scratch. I thoroughly enjoyed this month’s challenge, especially because we got to bake not one but two delicious treats.

Mawa Cake

In Aparna’s words, “Mawa Cakes are a specialty cake that is the hallmark of Irani cafés in India. The Iranis are Zoroastrians who left Persia/ Iran in the 19th and early 20th centuries to escape persecution of non-Muslims, and settled down and thrived here mostly in the cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune. They’re most famous in India for their friendly informal cafés/ restaurants that serve the most awesome food. The brun pav or maska pav(kinds of bread) with Irani chai (thick, strong, sweet and milky cardamom flavoured tea), their Shrewsbury biscuits and Mawa cakes are just a few of them.

Mawa (also known as Khoya/ Khoa) is made by slowly reducing milk (usually full-fat) until all that remain is a mass of slightly caramelized granular dough-like milk solids. Mawa is used in a wide variety of Indian sweets like Gulab Jamun and Peda, to mention just two.”

Mawa Cake



  • 4 cups (1 litre) of full fat milk


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup mawa
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • almonds to decorate

Mawa Cake

Preparation: Mawa

Boil the milk in a thick bottomed pan,preferably in a non-stick pan, stirring it on and off, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Turn down the heat to medium and keep cooking the milk until reduces to about a quarter of its original volume.  Once that happens, lower the heat and cook for a little while longer. Keep stirring regularly, until the milk solids (mawa) take on a lumpy appearance. There should be no visible liquid left in the pan, but the mawa should be moist and not stick to the sides of the pan.

Remove the pan from heat and let it cool completely. Cover and refrigerate it for a day or two (not more) till you’re ready to make the cake. It will harden in the fridge so let it come to room temperature before using it.

Preparation: Cake

Pre-heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

Beat butter, the crumbled mawa and the sugar in a large bowl, using a hand held electric beater, on high speed until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed till well incorporated. Add the vanilla and milk and beat till mixed well. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, cardamom powder and salt to the batter and beat at medium speed till well blended.  Grease and line only the bottom of an 8 inch pan. Pour the batter into the pan. Place the almonds onto the batter randomly (I decorated or, rather, tried to decorate my bake by placing the almonds in a pattern :P. This is what happens when one reads only 1 instruction at a time 😀 ). Do not press the nuts down into the batter. A Mawa Cake always has a rustic finished look rather than a decorated look.

The instructions directed us to bake the cake in the oven for about 1 hour or until the cake is a golden brown and a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Do not over bake the cake or it will dry out. If the cake seems to be browning too quickly, cover it will aluminium foil hallway through the baking time.  This is how my cake turned out to be. I had a bigger pan, so my cake didn’t rise as much, nor did it have a cracked top, however, it did taste awesome.

Mawa Cake

The cake was moist and yummy and the cardamom flavor made it all the more irresistible. Now, all I can think about is to find ways to have my next slice 😀  It somehow reminded me of christmas and the festivities.  So, I recommend it to one and all.

Ciao friends! Happy baking 🙂 Will post my Bolinhas De Coco experience (2nd part of this month’s challenge) soon.


4 Responses to “Mawa Cake”

  1. myninjanaan August 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    long time no see! Your cake looks fabulous! I made this for Eid and it was gone in no time! The cake truly was a winner, but unfortunately I can’t say the same for the cookies. Mine lost their crispness after the first day 😦

    • bakingfever September 28, 2013 at 6:41 am #

      Yes, been busy with work 🙂 was a great challenge indeed. The batch of cookies I baked up lost their crispness the next day too and thats the reason I haven’t yet posted about them.

  2. Sinnesfreuden August 29, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    I see that you enjoyed this challenge as much as I did. Your cake looks delicious!

    • bakingfever September 28, 2013 at 6:40 am #

      Thank you!! Yes I had a great time baking up the cake 🙂

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