Mawa cake is a delicious Indian tea cake with mawa or milk solids as main ingredient. This is an egg free, super rich, dense cake studded with nuts and flavored with cardamom.
This cake is a delight in every bite, not overly sweet, perfect for celebrations like Diwali and easy to make too. Here is how to make best eggless cake with mawa just like the ones from Irani or Parsi bakeries.
About This Recipe
Parsi mawa cake is a classic Indian tea cake that originates from Irani cafes or bakeries in Mumbai. This is an iconic snack that you will definitely find the menu of any Irani cafe.
I still remember the first time I ate this cake many years back in Mumbai. It is was in a small Irani cafe where we had this cake, bun maska along with quintessential Irani chai and samosa. A treat it was 🙂
Imagine a thick dense piece of cake that is all buttery, rich from pure milk solids or mawa, flavored with cardamom and saffron and if that is not enough, it also has loads of nuts 🙂 That is mawa cake for you.
This recipe from the baker who made this cake in our bakery and I can vouch for taste and flavor. I have baked this cake so many times that I lost count.
Unlike with my usual way cooking, I would not change a thing in this recipe. It is a keeper as such that I would not mess up with. Why would change a perfectly good thing right?
Mawa is most commonly used ingredient in Indian cooking. It is mainly used in making desserts like gulab jamun and also in some rich curries.
Mawa is easily available in India. If it is not available to you can easily make mawa at home, I have mentioned an easy recipe for making mawa or khoya at home in the tips section.
This cake is so good when served warm with coffee or tea. It is mildly sweet, full on flavors and definitely does not need any icing.
If you are still planning your upcoming festival menu, do include this cake too. It would be a rich delightful treat for your tea time.
This Mawa Cake Is
perfect for celebrations
delicious with tea
vegetarian and gluten free
just like the ones from Iranian cafes.
perfect tea time snack
Now this eggless mawa cake is a rich cake made with all butter. Yep, it is calorie laden but believe me a small piece goes a long way here. It is so satitating and good.
It is super easy to make this cake at home. This is a very beginner friendly recipe. I made this cake for the first time many years back when I was a novice and still got it perfect 🙂
All you need to make this cake are few basic baking ingredients like flour, butter and some mawa. Here is a breakdown of ingredients for you.
Ingredients You Will Need
Mawa or khoya– Mawa is the Indian name for milk solids that you obtain by simmering the milk for hours until all the liquid evaporates.
It is a quintessential ingredient in Indian cooking especially desserts. It is typically used for making gulab jamun, burfi, peda, ladoo etc.
While making mawa at home is really easy, it takes time. You just have to keep stirring the milk until it reduces to solids.
If you want to make mawa for cake, I suggest you make it a day or two before and refrigerate, Once the mawa is ready, this cake is a breeze to make.
Flour- To make authentic and classic mawa cake use plain flour or maida. You can absolutely use whole wheat flour, the cake will be delicious in its own way but not like the ones from Parsi bakeries.
Butter- This is an all butter cake. The signature taste and flavor of this cake is from butter and mawa. So please do not replace butter with oil. You can use vegan butter by all means though.
You will need soft butter at room temperature and not melted butter.
Milk- this is the liquid ingredient used for this cake. You can use skimmed or full fat milk as per preference. You can also use any plant based milk or vegan milk if you prefer.
Leavening Agents– For this cake we are using both baking powder and baking soda. Please do not replace either with another.
Pistachios- Folding some finely chopped pistachios in the batter in the my personal touch in this recipe. Traditional mawa cake does not mostly have any nuts expect for garnish. You can replace pistachios with chopped almonds or even cashews. On the other hand you can leave out the nuts too.
Flavoring– This cake is flavored with rose water and cardamom. Please use very good quality rose water and freshly pounded green cardamom or cardamom powder for this cake. You can also add a pinch of saffron along with these flavorings.
Sugar– I suggest using granulated white sugar or castor sugar in this recipe. If the sugar is not very fine, do powder it and use.
How To Make Mawa Easily At Home?
Mawa or khoya is an easily available ingredient in grocery store in India. In the United States you can find them in Indian stores from brands like Vadilals.
However, if you are not able to source mawa or khova in shops, you can easily make a cheat’s version at home in no time. It uses milk powder, ghee and milk. Here is a brief recipe.
To make mawa at home for this recipe, combine 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter, 1.5 cups milk powder and 1/2 cup milk in a heavy pan. Mix well without lumps.
Now cook the mixture in low heat until everything is well combined, thickened and leaves the sides of the pan. The mixture should be thick and a bit stiff.
This will yield exactly 1.25 cups if mawa which is what we need for this recipe.
You can use this instant mawa in mawa cake, gulab jamun, in curries etc. Keep well covered and refrigerate until use. Keeps well for a week.
I have made this instant mawa for my mawa kachori recipe but I used condensed milk as I needed sweet khoya.
Here are some tips that will help you make this mava cake perfectly every time.
All the ingredients like all purpose flour, butter and mawa should be at room temperature before you begin the recipe. This is an important tip for any cake recipe.
Make sure the mawa is soft and well crumbled. Some store bought mawa tends to be very dry and hard. In that case you can simply cook the mawa with a teaspoon ghee for 5 minutes so that it softens a bit. Here my mawa was soft, so I just crumbled and used it.
Beating the butter sugar mixture– This is the next important tip for this recipe. You can use an electric beater or stand mixer or hand held whisk. Beat the butter sugar mixture well until it turns pale and light. Incorporate as much as air as possible.
Do not over mix the batter– After adding the flour, do not over mix the cake batter. Just mix until you see no streaks of flour. Also after adding pistachios just gently fold once or twice. This tip will yield you light and fluffy cake. Do not deflate the batter.
Checking the doneness of cake– After baking the cake for said time you can check if the cake is perfectly cooked by these points.
- Your cake should get evenly browned from the top.
- A tester or skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes- Once you remove the cake from the oven, leave it aside.
Let the cool cake cool thoroughly in wire rack before slicing. This will yield clean slices.
Serving Suggestions– Serve mawa cake with tea or coffee. It is not overly sweet so it goes well as a snacks rather than dessert.
Storage– This cake keeps well for 3-4 days at room temperature and you can refrigerate for a week.
Can I Use Whole Wheat Flour In This Recipe?
Yes, you can easily replace all purpose flour with whole wheat flour in this recipe but the cake will be denser and less fluffy.
If you want to reduce maida or plain flour you can use half maida and half wheat flour.
Any replacement for mawa?
Mawa is essentially dried milk solids. If you cannot get traditional mawa you can try making instant mawa following my recipe above.
However to make this eggless mawa cake easily you can simply use 1.25 cups milk powder instead of khoya and proceed with the recipe. I have tried this many times and it works.
Can I use eggs in this recipe?
I created this recipe to be eggless, so I would not suggest replacing any ingredient here with eggs.
How to make my cake moist and fluffy?
To make any cake moist and fluffy, the wet ingredients should be beaten and creamed properly. Here we are using butter and sugar.
Beat the butter and sugar well until it turns creamy and pale until well emulsified. This will make your cake fluffy, light and moist.
Why does my cake gets browned quickly?
This usually happens when the oven temperature is fluctuating or too hot. The cake remains uncooked in the center but the top gets browned.
To avoid this you can just place a piece of aluminium foil paper if you notice the top getting browned quickly.
Sometimes the tops gets browned even if there is too much of sugar in the recipe.
Can I make prepare mawa cupcakes with the same batter?
Yes, with this recipe you can make about 12 standard cupcakes. Just spoon in the batter in a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners and bake.
You will have to bake for 15-28 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Can I bake this cake in pressure cooker?
Yes, follow the recipe and just use a pressure cooker base. It takes around 40-45 minutes.
What Is the texture of this cake?
This is an all butter cake with a good amount of mawa. This is a bit on the denser side. The texture is super soft and rich just like all butter cakes.
Step By Step Method
Preheat the oven to 350 F or 180 C. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Grease an 6 or 7 inch round baking tin with baking spray or some butter. Dust with some flour or line with a piece of parchment. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift plain flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom powder and mix well until well combined. Set aside the flour mixture.
Take crumbled mawa along with 2 tablespoons milk in a food processor jar and add a few strands of saffron. Just process for a few seconds.
Next step is to prepare the wet ingredients. Combine soft room temperature butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric beater or paddle attachment of the stand mixer or handheld whisk, beat the sugar butter mixture until light and creamy. Add pulsed mawa, rose water and mix.
Now add 1/2 of the flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix. Add 1/2 cup milk and mix. Now add the remaining flour mixture and milk. Mix until combined, do not over mix.
Add roasted and chopped pistachios to the cake batter and fold gently.
Pour the batter to the prepared cake tin and tap once or twice.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. You can also bake bake mawa cupcakes.
Once done, let the cake cool for 5 minutes. Gently invert the pan and tranfer the cake to a cooling rack. Let the cake cool thoroughly. Slice and serve mawa cake with tea.
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Eggless Mawa Cake
- 1.25 cups unsweetened mawa at room temperature
- 1.5 cups milk at room temperature + 2 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature, soft not melted
- 1/2 cup sugar can increase upto 3/4 cup
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- few saffron strands optional
- 1.25 cups all purpose flour
- 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachios optional
- Preheat oven to 350 F or 180 C. Position a rack in the middle of your oven. Grease an 6 or 7 inch round baking tin with baking spray or some butter. Dust with some flour or line with a piece of parchment. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, sieve plain flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom powder and mix well until well combined. Set aside the flour mixture.
- Take crumbled mawa along with 2 tablespoons milk in a food processor jar and also add a few strands of saffron. Process for a few seconds.
- Next step preparing the wet ingredients. Combine soft room temperature butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Using an electric beater or paddle attachment of the stand mixer or hand held whisk, beat the sugar butter mixture until light and creamy. Add the pulsed mawa, rose water and mix.
- Now add 1/2 of the flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix. Add 1/2 cup milk and mix. Now add the remaining flour mixture and milk. Mix until combined, do not over mix.
- Add roasted and chopped pistachios to the cake batter and fold gently.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. You can also bake bake mawa cupcakes.Once done, let the cake cool for 5 minutes. Gently invert the pan and tranfer the cake to a cooling rack. Let the cake cool thoroughly. Slice and serve mawa cake with tea.
2. You can use almonds instead of pistachios
3. You can try the same cake with whole wheat flour