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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Middle Eastern Coconut Cake (Harissah) Recipe
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    Middle Eastern Coconut Cake (Harissah)

    Average Rating:

    28 Total Reviews

    Showing 1-20 of 28

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    • on April 23, 2010

      3 words: Oh. My. Goodness! This is a delicious cake. I decreased the oil to 1 1/2 cups and increased the milk to 2 cups. Also used 1 tsp vanilla in the batter and 1 tsp vanilla in the sugar syrup. Baked it for 50 minutes. My husband loves it. Will definitely make it again!

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    • on July 03, 2009

      Yummy! I made this especially for my dad today (he's a HUGE cococut fan). I halved the recipe and used sweetened coconut flakes (all I had on hand). Baked it in 8x8 pan. It was a big hit! Dad ate nearly half the cake. Thanks for something truly different!

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    • on August 13, 2006

      Sublime .... I made half the recipe and baked it in an 8x8 pan ... I made the recipe exactly as stated with wonderful results! Thank you very much for submitting this recipe! (my hips aren't so sure lolol)

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    • on February 03, 2010

      Delicious! I did have a few problems with the recipe,though.I found that I had to boil the syrup for 20 minutes, and it was still a little thin, and I had to bake the cake for almost an hour! This recipe made an ENOURMOUS cake, way too much for our family of four, considering the fact that it is so rich, and a little piece goes a long way. I will definately half it next time.But it was yummy, worth five stars despite all that, and I loved the rosewater in it!

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    • on May 24, 2008

      absoloutely delicious - thank you for posting this recipe. i made it for my mother who is of middle eastern descent and she said it reminded her of her childhood. i was mostly glad that i had saved some for myself at home - i couldve eaten the entire thing. :)

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    • on February 19, 2008

      This is an AWESOME recipe to say the least.Its SUPER moist and the recipe was very easy to follow.I made this for DH for Valentines coz hes such a big fan of coconut based desserts....& he LOVED it! I halved the ingredients and used two 8" pans to make two thin cakes.Baked them for about 20-25 min each & gifted one cake to a friend ; needless to say they were floored! Chef Fifi...thanx for sharing such an delightful recipe!

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    • on September 27, 2007

      WoWee!! What an awesome cake. I made this to go along with some posole that I made for a church function. I wasn't to sure how it would be as I have never had a MiddleEastern dessert before, but I thought I would still give it a try as it seemed that it would go well as a dessert to posole. I made the syrup and as I was all out of orange extract, I used lemon extract instead. This was even given a YUMMY by my 4yr old. I made the cake as directed and poured the syrup over it and placed it in the refrig overnight. As dessert was being served I kept seeing people going back and people were making comments about how wonderful this was. I was asked several times for the recipe. Thank you for a great and wonderful dessert. I will definately be making this again, I have already had several requests.

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    • on July 23, 2007

      This went over very well. Made an 8x8 pan and baked it for 40 minutes, but 45 wouldn't hurt. I used sweetened coconut and forgot to reduce the sugar in the batter, but it wasn't overpoweringly sweet. Next time I'd really like to add a hint of orange and I'll try to find unsweetened coconut. I prefer mild sweets, so I might even reduce the sugar in the batter/use of syrup.

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    • on April 17, 2007

      Oh, this was a slice of heaven on a plate! In retrospect I should have cooked it 35-40 min instead of 30; the center set up quite a bit as it cooled, but not as much as it should have and ended up a bit more 'pudding' than custard-y cake. My fault on that one. It still tasted *amazing* though, and everyone was begging for seconds. I made a half recipe in an 8x8 pan, but think next time I'll have to make the full recipe. I did add some orange essence in with the sugar water, as I tend to prefer it over rose water; loved that subtle orange flavor! I've had a lot of Arabic, Greek, etc types of desserts but this is definitely one of my new all-time favorites. It also was a wonderful follow-up to Palestinian Chicken #123943, Ghassan's Tabbouleh #18782, Lebanese Lentil/Rice Pilaf #78824, Labneh #88089, Hummus #22060 and Tzatziki #51983. Thanks SO much for sharing this wonderful dessert!

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    • on March 22, 2007

      My family is in love with this recipe and has warned me of the outcome should i fail to make it again ;) Wonderfully moist. I think it would keep well but am unsure as my guys won't let me test that theory. I halved the recipe and made in a 8x8 pan and using the vanilla as I had no rose water. Am looking forward to trying it with rose water though. TY chef FIFI

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    • on April 29, 2011

      This is good. I gave it to my FIL for his diwaniya. I made two versions, one gluten & corn free for us and the other as stated. We preferred it without the additional coconut on top but it does look nice. As I can only speak for the gluten & corn free one but have read another review of the regular which agrees with us we preferred it two days after sitting in the refrigerator and we liked it much better cold. I used a very good quality halal vanilla paste to taste but if I were to make this again I would like to include some Iranian rose water (superior to Indian ect in my opinion) as I found the taste one dimensional. I used 2 % milk for both versions and used mainly unsweetened coconut of the smaller variety (not sure what that is called but found in a Middle Eastern shop) in the cake along with some shredded sweetened coconut and I reduced the sugar fully. I used shredded sweetened coconut on top of the regular version and baked that in a 9 X 13 inch pan which made for really tall pieces and took way longer to cook than 30 minutes, it was more like 47-50 and the top was getting a bit too dark but that may be due to my oven which runs higher I think. I suggest to reduce the corn oil a bit as it was very oily as well. The gluten/corn free version I baked a half batch in a 9 X 13 inch pan for a shorter cake and that is how I would do it if I were to make it again either way, I recall it baked in about 30 minutes without too brown a top. The following is how I made ours allergy free. I replaced the corn oil with canola oil in a bit lesser amount as I found the first cake somewhat too oily, I know it is said corn oil adds good flavour, I don't know how it tastes. I replaced the regular baking powder which contains corn starch with some baking soda and then added 1 tbs organic apple cider vinegar to the liquid mixture to help it rise. You must bake immediately. I used freshly squeezed lemon juice for both versions, and for the flour I used a white rice flour/brown rice flour/tapioca starch mix (starch in half the amount) and followed the rest. I don't think I will make this again but if I do I will make said changes.

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    • on February 20, 2011

      Oh wow!!! I don't even like coconut and I love these. Made exactly as written and baked in a jelly roll pan. Came out fantastic in 25 minutes. Got rave reviews at the test event I took it to (our science fiction club meeting). Next weekend I'll be making it for Girl Scout Thinking Day as a "taste of Egypt" for our table. 200 mini cupcakes here I come! Thanks so much FiFi!!

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    • on September 23, 2009

      Absolutely fantastic! A beautifully moist cake without the heavy syrupy texture of so many arabic cakes. Whole family loved them including the kids. Thanks for sharing.

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    • on August 18, 2009

      I made this for Ethnic Bites here at work and we loved it.

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    • on October 14, 2007

      What a fantastic cake! I have some middle eastern friends here in the US, I made it for them for Eid al-Fitr as a gift, they loved it! It really reminded them of home, and I even used rose water, which I was afraid would have a perfume taste to it, but it turned out delicious. I will be making this cake many times in the future. It is by far the best coconut cake I have ever made!

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    • on July 01, 2007

      This was really good. I also halved this recipe and made it in an 8x8 pan. The center was still soft after 30 minutes cooking time, so I went an extra 7 minutes or so, and probably could have gone even a bit longer than that. I let the cake sit for about 10 minutes before pouring the sugar syrup over it. I used over 3/4 of the syrup, but not all. This cake was incredibly moist, very good.

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    • on October 20, 2006

      We made this for a home school co op when studing the region. We all loved it. It was even better after is sat in the fridge for a day or two. Thanks for a great recipe.

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    • on August 13, 2006

      I made this on Friday morning for Shabbat and it was a big hit! It was practically inhaled! I didn't change a thing, just made the recipe as is, but didn't opt for the rose water, just added more than a dash of my Ruth's Homemade Vanilla Extract. I did find that it took longer than 10 minutes for the syrup to get thick-ish, about 20 minutes of boiling. Thanks for a great recipe, I will definitely make this again!

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    • on June 20, 2006

      I made this for "Middle Eastern" night for the supper club. Everyone wanted the recipe and there was a mini auction for the last piece! It was wonderful! Thank you for a great recipe, Chef FIFI -- I will definitely make it again!

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    • on March 17, 2006

      Chef fifi thanks very much for this recipe it tastes lovely. We made this in ramadan last year. I just wanted to ask you how I could make it a little less oily as after fasting I wanted something a bit lighter. What would you recommend? Chef Zermane

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    Nutritional Facts for Middle Eastern Coconut Cake (Harissah)

    Serving Size: 1 (297 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 12

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 1211.5
     
    Calories from Fat 800
    66%
    Total Fat 88.9 g
    136%
    Saturated Fat 49.5 g
    247%
    Cholesterol 97.2 mg
    32%
    Sodium 262.2 mg
    10%
    Total Carbohydrate 102.6 g
    34%
    Dietary Fiber 12.9 g
    51%
    Sugars 72.2 g
    289%
    Protein 11.5 g
    23%

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