Baker’s Challenge – Mawa Khoya (August 2013)

PMawa Cake3DaringKitchen

Mawa Khoya – Say Whata Whooya?

That’s what we asked when we saw the  The Daring Baker’s Challenge for August 2013.

To quote  the explanation of our hostess for this month’s challenge; Aparna at :

Mawa Cakes are a specialty cake that is the hallmark of Irani cafés in India. The Iranis are Zoroastrians who left Persia/ Iran in the 19th and early 20th centuries to escape persecution of non-Muslims.  Mawa is made by slowly reducing milk (usually full-fat) until all that remain is a mass of slightly caramelized granular dough-like milk solids.

Given the above explanation, we were intrigued!  We love, Love, LOVE food from India and regularly partake in both our local fav restaurant as well as cooking up those delights in our own kitchen.  So we decided to give Mawa cake a shot.

Most of you already know that we live in a gluten-free home, so our first challenge was to adapt the recipe so that we could eat it and have it still taste as delectable  as it sounded.  We also decided not to make a cake, but make smaller, individual cakes (since  Mawa can successfully be made as cupcakes).  We followed the recipe below, except that we baked for about 25 minutes when the cakes began to get very dark and crispy around the edges…just as we wanted them (crispy).  Then we covered for about 5-10 minutes more until done.

Truth be told…we didn’t care for this cake at all (which is probably why we didn’t build any hype to the blog after trying it and we didn’t post 2 seconds after we were allowed to  post).  We found it almost coffee cake-like  and couldn’t even think of a way to jazz it up…maybe if you added a strong cinnamon streusel topping ?  We had friends who had eaten Mawa Cake in a restaurant and their impression was the same as ours…very coffee cake like.

In all, the cake is easy to make, Mawa isn’t difficult to make; it just takes time, patience and lots and lots of stirring.  Try it if you like bland coffee cake.

Ciao for Now!

V & K


PMawa Cake2

Mawa Khoya Cake

For the Mawa:

  • 4 cups full fat milk

For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted Butter (soft at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup packed crumbled mawa
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp powdered cardamom
  • 1-1/2 cups oat flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • About 18-20 Candied almonds to decorate


First make the “Mawa”

Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan, preferably a nonstick one. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring it on and off, making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Turn down the heat to medium and keep cooking the milk until reduces to about a quarter of its original volume. This should take about an hour to an hour and a half. *The important thing during this process is to watch the milk and stir it frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick to the sides or bottom of the pan and get burnt. The danger of this happening increases as the milk reduces and gets thicker.

Once the milk it has reduced to about 1/4 the original amount, lower the heat to low and let cook for a little while longer. Keep stirring regularly, until the milk solids (mawa) take on a lumpy appearance (and looks like browned, cooked oatmeal.  This takes a while so be patient). There should be no visible liquid left in the pan, but the mawa should be moist and not stick to the sides of the pan. Your yield is about 3/4 to 1 cup of mawa from 4 cups of full fat milk.


Remove the pan from heat and transfer the mawa to a bowl and let it cool completely. Then cover and refrigerate it for a day or two (not more) until you are ready to make the cake. It will harden in the fridge so let it come to room temperature before using it.  It should go back to a cooked-oatmeal consistency.

PMawa Cake

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer on high speed, beat together butter, crumbled mawa and the sugar until soft and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed till well incorporated. Add the vanilla and milk, and beat till mixed well.

Sift together flours, baking powder, cardamom, and salt, and sift into the batter and beat at medium speed until well blended.

Grease the bottom only and line with parchment an 8 inch spring form pan. Pour the batter into prepared pan and lightly smooth the top with the back of a spoon.

Place the almonds on top of the batter randomly. Do not press the nuts down into the batter. A Mawa Cake always has a rustic finished look rather than a decorated look.

Bake about 1 hour until the cake is a golden brown and a knife pushed into the center comes out clean. Do not over bake the cake or it will dry out. If the cake seems to be browning too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil hallway through the baking time.
Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10 min in the pan. Release from the pan, peel off the parchment from the base and let cake cool completely.


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