Pomegranate Passion Cake

February 13, 2019

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Pomegranates never fail to delight me; their crimson juices and sweet and tart arils provided such joy for me throughout my childhood that they are forever etched in my memory and on my heart. Palestinians also hold this mighty fruit in high esteem, and here I’ve paired it with a dense and sticky almond cake, topped with a light and creamy mascarpone topping, which I love, and which I hope will enliven your passion for this magical fruit, too.

Recipe and photograph from Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian Kitchen by Yasmin Khan. Copyright © 2018 by Yasmin Khan. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Yasmin Khan

Food52 Review: Featured in: A Palestinian Pomegranate Cake to Celebrate Life.The Editors

Serves: 8
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 50 min


For the cake

  • 1 3/4 sticks (200g) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 3/4 cup (170g) superfine sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for the glaze
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup (100g) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups (270g) ground almonds
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, finely zested
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened pomegranate molasses, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping

  • 1 cup (150g) pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 cup (250g) mascarpone
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C. Butter an 8 in./20cm cake pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer. When the mixture is combined, beat in the eggs gradually, beating well between each addition. Then fold in the flour, salt, baking powder and almonds with a large spoon. Fold in the lemon zest and juice, 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses and vanilla, then spoon into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45–50 minutes, or until firm and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  3. When it is almost ready, make the glaze. Put 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses and 2 tablespoons sugar in a saucepan with 3 tablespoons water, place over a medium heat and stir to help the sugar dissolve.
  4. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, use a fork to pierce holes in it, then brush the syrup over. Leave to cool in the pan, then turn it out, syrup-side up.
  5. Place the pomegranate seeds in a small bowl with the sugar and leave to macerate for at least 30 minutes. Mix the mascarpone with the yogurt and confectioner’s sugar and spread it thickly over the cake. Finish with the pomegranate seeds and their juices.

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Cake|Middle Eastern|Pomegranate|Bake|Dessert

Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

JBoyce February 18, 2019
This looks delicious. However, I am extremely allergic to almonds. Can it be made with other nuts.
Grace H. February 18, 2019
Where can I find pomegranate molasses, or better yet how do I make it myself?
JBoyce February 18, 2019
Depends where you live. But certainly on Amazon or jet.com. My favorite is Kalustyan’s (foodsofnations.com)
simplee February 18, 2019
beautiful recipe. delightfully forgiving of my mistakes and modifications. A blessing to all of us who joyously ate in celebration and love. to life, to palestine, and freedom for us all.
Jo February 17, 2019
This looks and sounds amazing! On my list to make!