With all due respect to baklava, we've found a new favorite Lebanese dessert. This rich, moist cake is sweetened with carob molasses and has a hit of anise. We may or may not have fought over it in the Test Kitchen.

Kamal Mouzawak
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2018


Recipe Summary

10 mins
1 hr 50 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking pan with tahini. Set aside.

  • Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add aniseed and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain 1 cup of the aniseed water. (Discard the seeds and any remaining water.)

  • Put flour in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and stir to combine. Add the aniseed water, molasses, baking powder and salt and mix until smooth. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  • Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 1 hour before cutting into 16 pieces.


To make ahead: Store airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Tip: Carob Molasses: Dark and viscous like regular molasses, carob molasses has coffee and cocoa undertones. Use it up: Mix with an equal amount of tahini for a PB&J-like dip; swap for regular molasses.

Nutrition Facts

243 calories; protein 2.3g; carbohydrates 26.6g; dietary fiber 1.7g; sugars 14.9g; fat 15g; saturated fat 1.2g; vitamin a iu 1.3IU; folate 1.9mcg; calcium 94.8mg; iron 3.2mg; magnesium 53.1mg; potassium 321.5mg; sodium 136.3mg; added sugar 15g.

Reviews (2)

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3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This was a cool departure from the usual cookies or slices I make to share when someone in my course has a birthday. It has a rich coffee taste is quite moist and despite the large quantity of oil tastes very light. I used fennel and regular molasses as aniseed and carob molasses weren't available and it worked out fine. It's a good conversation-cake. Thank you! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
I was really excited to try this recipe but alas it fell a little short for me. This might be better if I was a coffee drinker as a little something to have with that but overall it wasn't very sweet and just didn't have much flavor. Read More