Baklava and assorted Middle-Eastern pastries weren’t my favorite when I was growing up. It was the token sweetmeat you took to someone’s house when visiting family-friends or traveling back home. Fortunately for me, I did develop an appreciation for it once I moved to Toronto, maybe because I missed home or was already acclimatized to its sweetness. In fact, I quite fell in love with the crumbly crust and nutty, honey-soaked filling once my palate decided to grow up and be an adult, and Toronto is full of incredible Middle-Eastern bakeries that make fantastic Baklavas.

The inspiration for this cake came when I was knee-deep in creating gluten-free, dairy-free and sometimes sugar-free recipes for A. He was on a high dosage of antibiotics for a very long time, during which his immune system and gut flora were severely compromised. Antibiotics kill the good and the bad bacteria, thus leaving the body susceptible to a host of sensitivities and intolerance. Someday I hope to bring myself to write more about it, but if it wasn’t for my kick-ass made-from-scratch bone broth and probiotics, he wouldn’t be back to normal today. Having tried a whole host of naturopath remedies, I figured I would put him on a new diet plan to flush out the toxins in his body. This involved systemically removing certain food groups from his diet and re-introducing them slowly. It was a painful process and not very easy to juggle with a fussy patient and a full-time job. Nevertheless, it was also an exciting challenge and helped me clean out the junk in my fridge and pantry.

Making a meal or dessert completely gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free sometimes leaves much to be desired for taste. Thanks to the wonderful community of Instagram and Pinterest, I was able to draw inspiration from a lot of people who were in the same boat as me. For a special occasion, I wanted to make a Baklava inspired cake for him. It wasn’t easy but I knew that coconut flour and tapioca flour, when used in moderation, can provide structure to gluten-free cakes. I used almond flour as the base, and substituted olive oil for butter. This cake is gluten-free, dairy-free, and sweetend with only honey. Flavors of rose water and pistachio really tied everything together in the perfect pink bow. You’re going to love this guilt-free treat.

 

Print Recipe
Honey-Rosewater-Pistachio olive oil cake (GF, DF)
A decadent yet light gluten-free Pistachio-Rose cake sweetened with honey - a treat reminiscent of Knafeh and Baklava
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
9" cake
Ingredients
Dry ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Soaking syrup
Garnish (optional)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
9" cake
Ingredients
Dry ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Soaking syrup
Garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a baking dish or cake tin
  2. In a bowl sift together all the dry ingredients (almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, ginger powder, and pistachio)
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, honey and olive oil. Stir in lime juice, lime zest, vanilla essence and rose water
  4. Gently stir dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for roughly 40 minutes (start checking for doneness with inserted toothpick around the 35 minute mark). If toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs, the cake it done
  6. Remove from oven and let cool down for 5-7 minutes
  7. In the meantime, prepare honey-rose syrup by combining honey and rosewater. Feel free to crush and meddle some rose petals to this mixture
  8. Transfer to a cooling rack that has an aluminium foil placed below. Poke small holes using a thin skewer or toothpick into the cake (not more than 10-12 holes)
  9. Pour or sprinkle the prepared syrup while the cake is still slightly warm. Let cool for upto 50 minutes
  10. Served best as dessert with mildly steeped mint tea (or your favourite kaava)