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Five non-fondant cakes for your Eid BBQ

Let us all eat cake


By Hala Syed

After the sacrifice is done and the smelly, but necessary process of meat sorting has been dispensed with it is time to enjoy the fruits of Bakra Eid. The entire family gathers for the annual barbecue with a sumptuous spread of dishes guaranteed to cater to everybody’s tastes. At the end appears an elaborate 3 layered fondant cake that elicits oohs and aahs but ultimately remains uneaten.

Too often a meticulously decorated and often expensive cake goes to waste because guests are too full to partake. The solution lies in a cake that satisfies your sweet tooth yet light and impressively Instagram worthy without having copious amounts of frosting. Most importantly, it can be finished off the next morning as the perfect breakfast treat.

Here are 5 alternative Eid cakes that are light, elegant and delicious. Have fun with the recipes and include whichever fruit you are craving that day or is in season. Because of the fresh fruit, these cake are at their best within a day of baking and stored in the fridge.


This  is a cake for that friend who usually doesn’t eat cake and others who don’t really like fruits have raved about. Ground almonds make it crumbly and silky delicate pears are a perfect contrast. Add white or dark chocolate chunks  for a little extra indulgence.

Fruit substitutions: Apples or Peaches (these do not need to be poached).


4small pears peeled

1vanilla bean, seeds scraped

2 1/2 cupswater

1 cupcaster sugar, plus 3/4 cup

1strip lemon rind

125 gbutter, chopped


2/3 cupsour cream

1 1/3 cup flour

1/4 cupfinely chopped almonds

40 g chocolate chopped

1/2 cupground almonds

Combine vanilla bean, water, 1 cup sugar and rind in small saucepan. Stir over heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add pears and simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until pears are almost tender. Remove pears from syrup. Boil syrup, uncovered, until reduced to 1 cup then allow to cool. Preheat oven to 160°C . Grease an  8 inch pan.

Beat butter and ¾ cup sugar til smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, then add cream and 2 tbs of the poaching syrup. Stir in flour, nuts and chocolate. Spread mixture into pan and arrange pears around pan edge, gently pushing to the bottom of pan. Bake for about 35 minutes. Cool cake and serve with remaining syrup.


Bright and fresh tasting the rich brown sugar in the recipe is balanced by a subtle grapefruit flavor. The cake is soft and not to sweet, it is irresistibly good for brunch or paired with a cup of tea or coffee.

Fruit substitutions: Lemon or orange



1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

zest of 1 grapefruit

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup oil

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup yogurt

1/4 cup freshly grapefruit juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ cups (190g) of all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon of baking soda

2 tablespoons (30ml) of grapefruit juice,

for syrup

1/3 cup grapefruit juice

2 tbs sugar

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.Grease a 9″ by 5″ loaf pan. Mix zest, and sugars and rub together with fingers. Whisk in the oil and butter till smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix the yogurt with grapefruit juice and   vanilla extract. Sift together the flour, baking powder baking soda and salt.

Alternately add the flour and yogurt mixtures to the cake batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.  Once cooked, allow to cool While the cake is baking combine  2 tablespoons of sugar with 1/3 cup of grapefruit juice in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. .Poke holes in the cake with a toothpick and brush the grapefruit syrup over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely while absorbs the syrup.


Coffee cakes are tender and moist  topped with a warmly spiced, buttery, brown-sugary crumb topping. Sharp berries cut through the butter for a comforting treat. The streusel is the best part so double it if you have no qualms about butter.

Fruit substitutes: Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries



1/2 cup  brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour


2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup  butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups pitted cherries

Mix sugars, cinnamon, salt butter ant flour and toss with fork until moist clumps form. Set aside. Preheat to 160C and butter 13×9-inch baking dish or 9 inch bundt pan. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended. Add sour cream and vanilla extract and beat just until blended. Add flour mixture. Pour cake batter to prepared dish; spread batter evenly with spatula.

Dot with cherries and drop clumps of topping over the batter. Bake cake, about 1 hour. Cool cake in dish on rack at least 30 minutes.


It’s not just a healthier alternative, it is unique and delicious. This cake is tender and moist with the softest crumb. The olive oil lends a slightly savory flavor giving the cake a very sophisticated feel compared to the traditional birthday cake.

Fruit substitutions: Plums



1 1/2 C flour

1 t baking powder

1 t salt

1/4 t baking soda

3/4 C sugar

6 tbs butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large eggs

2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 C grapejuice

1 1/2 C seedless grapes

Preheat oven to 180C. Brush 8” with olive oil. Line with parchment and brush parchment with olive oil. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together.  Beat butter and 3 tablespoons oil together until smooth. Add 3/4 cup sugar and beat until thoroughly mixed. Whisk in eggs, one at a time until blended. Add zest and vanilla.
Add flour mixture alternately with juice, starting and ending with flour. Stir just until smooth after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Press grapes lightly into the batter.

Bake cake until the top is set, about 40 minutes.


Light and fluffy coconut cake tastes even more tropical with the addition of mangos. Frosting looks passé compared to the elegant topping of desiccated coconut and mango slices.

Fruit substitutions: Peach



1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup. Coconut cream

3 cup granulated sugar

5 eggs, room temperature

2 ½ C. flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup mango

2 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 160 degrees and grease 2 8-inch round pans. Cream butter and coconut cream together for 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat for till smooth. Add eggs one at a time.  Mix together flour and baking powder. Puree the mango slices in a blender.

Alternately add the flour mix and puree to the batter finishing with flour. Stir in shredded coconut. Divide evenly into pans and bake for about 35-45 minutes. Let cool.

  • Saba Saeed

    Drooling! These delicacies look divine!