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Vegan Semolina Cake with Almonds - Turkish Sambali

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  • Author: Gonul
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Servings 1x


Vegan semolina cake with almonds is my version of a traditional Turkish recipe called "sambali", or "sam tatlisi". It is very easy to make with 5 total ingredients. Hands-on preparation for only 10 minutes! You will not regret baking this moist & rich Turkish delicacy.



For the Cake Batter:

  • 1.5 cup plant milk (I used unsweetened, unflavored soy)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups semolina (coarse-ground is better)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • Optional glaze: 1 tablespoon molasses + 1 tablespoon water

For the Syrup:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Make the batter by mixing the cake batter ingredients except for blanched almonds. After mixing for about a minute or less, spread the batter onto a greased baking pan.
  2. Let the batter cool in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the blanched almonds.
  4. Make the syrup by mixing sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan. You can also add the squeezed out half of the lemon for more flavor. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let it simmer 5 minutes. Let it cool.
  5. When the batter is cooled, cut the slices in any shape you wish, diamonds and triangles are very popular. Place a blanched almond on each slice. You may glaze it with molasses & water for a deeper color.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the batter until golden, about 20-30 minutes.
  7. When the cake is baked, slice from the same places you previously had, since some areas may have mixed together again.
  8. Evenly pour the cooled syrup over the hot cake. Let rest for 1-2 hours.
  9. Serve hot or cool, and preferably with vegan clotted cream for an extra traditional experience. This recipe will keep in the refridgerator for up to 5 days, I don't recommend freezing.


  • I used a 9"x13" pan, go smaller for thicker slices or larger for thinner ones.
  • For blanching, the almonds have to be raw. Do not blanch roasted almonds.
  • You can buy coarse-ground semolina from Amazon or a local Middle Eastern/Turkish/Greek grocery store.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Turkish


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 240
  • Sugar: 33.9 g
  • Sodium: 14.1 mg
  • Fat: 0.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 55.2 g
  • Fiber: 1.2 g
  • Protein: 4.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg