Sri Lankan Love Cake Recipe With Pumpkin

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Sri Lankan Love Cake Recipe With Pumpkin

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Adjust Servings:
300 grams semolina lightly toasted
125 grams Butter
10 Eggs separated
400 grams Sugar
1/4 cup crystallised pumpkin available at Sri Lankan grocers
80 grams honey
185 grams cashews crushed
40 millilitres rosewater
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 Lime zest only
icing sugar

This Sri Lankan Love Cake recipe is brought to you by Chef Peter Kuruvita, an Australian-based award-winning Chef

  • 80 min
  • Serves 10
  • Easy




The traditional Sri Lankan love cake dates back to the 15th century when the Portuguese controlled large parts of the island. The cake is a nutty, a bit spicy, with lots of flavors and essences.

According to the legend the Portuguese brought with them on Sri Lanka a cake named ‘Bolo di Amor’ which translates to ‘coarse cakes of love’. The cake was a huge success.

Sri Lankans created their own version of the cake combining the European flavors of citrus with cashews, spices and essences of the island. It was dubbed a ‘love cake’ as according to the legend it was made by ladies looking to win the hearts of future husbands.

How to Make the Sri Lankan Love Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the semolina and butter in a tray.
  3. Place in an oven until the butter has melted.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl.
  5. Add the sugar and mix until combined.
  6. Stir in the crystallized pumpkin.
  7. Stir in the honey and cashews.
  8. Add the rosewater and stir to combine.
  9. Add the nutmeg and cinnamon and stir until the mixture is pale.
  10. In a clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  11. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture.
  12. Stir in the lime zest.
  13. Add the semolina-butter mixture to the cake mixture.
  14. Pour into a tray lined with baking paper.
  15. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until firm to touch.
  16. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  17. Dust with icing sugar and cut into slices to serve.

Learn more about the cuisine of Sri Lanka, by checking out our roundup of the most popular Sri Lankan foods.

Peter Kuruvita

Peter Kuruvita began his love affair with food and passion for cooking in the traditional kitchen of his ancestral home in Colombo, Sri Lanka. After 3 decades as an award-winning chef and restaurateur, Peter has now diversified his career to encompass the roles of TV presenter, author, industry speaker and restaurant consultant. RESTAURANTS: After establishing himself as a well-known chef in Australia and cooking around the globe, Peter opened Sydney’s award-winning Flying Fish Restaurant & Bar in 2004, and successfully led the kitchen team as Executive Chef for 8 years. Today his legacy still lives on through its’ creative modern dishes with a strong seafood focus and great reputation. In 2008, Peter replicated this successful model, in partnership with Starwood Hotel group, at Flying Fish at Sheraton Fiji Resort. Located on the beach, ‘Flying Fish Fiji’ features a menu designed by Peter Kuruvita focusing on fresh, local produce and sumptuous seafood, and is now known as the best restaurant in Fiji. After the success of this venture, Steakhouse by Peter Kuruvita opened in February 2013, at neighboring resort The Westin, Denarau Island. Also overlooking the Pacific sea, the menu focuses on unique cuts of superior imported meat, attentive service, fine wines and stunning location. Peter’s latest venture, Noosa Beach House opened in May 2013, in partnership with Sheraton Noosa Resort, on iconic Hastings St. Peter brings his signature style and focus on local seafood to the famous foodie holiday strip. The relaxed holiday vibe of the open terrace and bar evolves into a stylish restaurant and cocktail bar as the day progresses. MEDIA: Memories of a an idyllic childhood spent in Sri Lanka, inspired his first cook book “Serendip – My Sri Lankan Kitchen”. The book takes food lovers on a journey through the kitchen experiences of his childhood with traditional recipes and stunning photography. This was followed by Peter’s first TV series “My Sri Lanka with Peter Kuruvita” which combines breath-taking scenery with spectacular spicy fare as Peter travels across the country, experiencing the wealth of Sri Lanka’s beauty, culture and culinary diversity. “My Sri Lanka” was nominated for the 'The Rockies' Banff World Media Awards 2012’ and Peter nominated for an Australian ‘Logies 2012 Award’ in the “Best New Male Talent” category. The series is now airing in the UK, Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East and the Pacific. In 2012, Peter’s next series “Island Feast with Peter Kuruvita” combined beautiful locations and scenery with sensational local cuisine through the islands of Indonesia, Vanuatu, Philippines and Cook Islands. These popular TV series inspired his next cook book “My Feast with Peter Kuruvita” and takes food lovers on a culinary and cultural journey through the islands communities of Asia and the South Pacific. Released November 2012. Peter is currently travelling the length and breadth of Mexico, filming his 3rd TV food & travel series for SBS “Mexican Fiesta”. Due to air February 2014 AMBASSADOR: Peter has worked with Dilmah Tea in an ambassadorial role for many years, developing the concept of tea gastronomy. This involves hosting the annual “Real High Tea Challenge” for chefs and consumers, now a worldwide event, and recipe development. Peter hosts culinary tours of Sri Lanka for World Expeditions, showing participants the country’s hidden delights and demonstrating local recipes along the way. 2014 will see the development of his product and spice range, and a further restaurant opening in the Fijian Islands.

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