Fenugreek cake (حلبة)

This is traditional dessert from the Palestinian kitchen. Fenugreek frequently used by lactating women to increase milk supply and since I'm currently nursing my son I thought it's going to be a good idea to make this dessert. It's really delicious!

You will need:

For the syrup:
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
few drops lemon juice

For the cake:
3 cups semolina or cream of wheat
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup veg. oil
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup fenugreek seeds
2 cups water

  • Mix semolina and flour in a big bowl. Add all the oil to the mix and set aside to rest (about 1 hour). You need the semolina to absorb all the oil.
  • Meanwhile prepare the syrup by adding water to the sugar in a medium saucepan and mix it well with spatula. Heat the mix until it boils. Once it boils add the lemon drops and set aside to cool down.
  • In another saucepan add the 2 cups of water to the fenugreek seeds and boil it on a low heat for about 20 minutes until the seeds are big and soft. The water will decrease to about 1 cup.
  • Drain the seeds and add them to the semolina mix. Keep the seeds water to add them to the mix later. Add the yeast, baking powder, and salt. Then add the water gradually while making the dough. You might not need the whole cup of water.
  • Lightly grease a 9x12 baking dish with tahini sauce. Pour the dough in the baking dish and smooth with hand. Cut it into diamond shapes with a butter knife. You can decorate by placing an almond in the center of each diamond.
  • Cover the baking dish and set it aside to rest for about an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400 F (200 degrees). Bake on the lower rack for about 40 minutes until it is gold. Remove from oven and immediately add the warm syrup to it.
  • Leave aside until it cools down and then cut and serve.


  1. if it just wasn't for the smell! lol

  2. i love it

    mom plz do it 4 me nooooow

  3. I'm wondering how much oil to use. Is it 1/2 CUP each olive oil and vegatable oil? My Siti makes this 'cake', but of course she doesn't measure anything. Also, thank you so much for posting this recipe!!

  4. Anonymous,
    Yes, 1/2 cup each. Sorry if I missed those two quantities! I fixed them in the post above. Hope you try it and like it.
    Thanks for stopping by :)

  5. Very good! Added orange zest to syrup and only 2 cups sugar. Sprinkled with cinnamon at the end too.


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