This cake has density to it, it can be served vegan by substituting extra virgin olive oil for butter and water for milk, it will taste just as good. Traditionally its cut in small squares and each square has a pine nut or blanched almond, I've served it with toasted sesame seeds when I wanted Sfoof and was out of pine nuts and almonds. You can omit the anise, however the flavor adds a little sweetness and takes it to another level.
I absolutely love this cake and I hope you will too!
Sfoof is great served with tea or coffee for breakfast.