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honey rose kelp cake

In celebration of Women's History Month and in honor of all of the brave, strong, compassionate women of world, we made a delectable Honey Rose Kelp Cake inspired by Basbousa Honey Cake- a popular, traditional Middle Eastern treat. Similar in texture to a carrot or coffee cake, but with a hint of rose, lemon, coconut and sea kelp.

We chose to use alaria for this recipe because it has a complementary nutty flavor, but almost any dried seaweed could be substituted. Pairs well with coffee or tea.


Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Makes: 8" x 12" pan or 16 bars


You'll Need:

For the Cake

  • 2 cups of semolina or whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of coconut shreds
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 ⁄ 3 cup of almond slivers
  • 2 tsp of Organic Alaria Flakes
  • 1/2 cup of ghee or butter
  • 1 cup of plain or greek yogurt 
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of almond butter (or alternative nut butter)
  • 1 tsp of tahini (to coat your pan)
  • Rose petals (optional)
  • Whole almonds and pistachios (optional)
For the Syrup
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of honey 



Begin by preheating oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, add two cups of semolina. Whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour can be substituted if needed or desired. Texture may vary with alternative flours. Be sure to remove any clumps in the flour before adding the next ingredients.

Add in sugar, coconut shreds, cinnamon, baking soda, kelp flakes, and almond slivers to the bowl and mix well. 

Next, add melted ghee, honey, nut butter and vanilla extract. Stir into the mixture well. Add in yogurt and keep mixing until dough forms. Mixture should be fairly thick and easy to press down. It may be easiest to thoroughly mix with hands.

Grease cake pan with tahini before adding dough. Press dough into the bottom of the pan. Dough should be about 1" thick. Next, lightly press whole, unsalted almonds and pistachios into the top of dough in any formation you'd like. 

Place cake on the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes and then move to the top track for 20 minutes. 

After you move the cake to the top rack, begin making the syrup. 

In a small sauce pan bring water, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and honey to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until syrup begins to coat the spoon. Take off heat and set to the side until cake is done. 

Remove cake from the oven and poke holes throughout with a knife or fork. Drizzle half of the syrup all over the top of the cake. 

Sprinkle more rose petals, alaria and coconut flakes on top of the cake and then pour the rest of the syrup on top. Cover with tin foil and let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.