Daring Bakers: Mawa Cake and Bolinhas de Coco

It’s that time of the month again!  For those of you who aren’t familiar, Daring Bakers is a group of bloggers and non-bloggers who are assigned a “secret” challenge at the beginning of each month.  The 27th of each month is the “reveal” date, in which those who blog can write about their experiences and recipes for the challenge.

Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen was our August 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to make some amazing regional Indian desserts. The Mawa Cake, the Bolinhas de Coco cookies and the Masala cookies – beautifully spiced and delicious!

Our guidelines this month were to make the Mawa Cake and one of the two given cookies.  Mawa is the Hindi term for milk that has been cooked down to the point all of the liquid content has been evaporated and all that is left is milk solids.  The Mawa in Mawa Cake results in a deliciously dense and caramel-y flavor that is reminiscent of pound cake.

Of the two cookies, I chose to make Bolinhas de Coco, which are semolina and coconut cookies.  Although crispy and light on the first day, the cookies failed to retain their texture from the second day onwards.  The recipe for these cookies can be found at Aparna’s site.


The Mawa Cake, however, was amazing!  I made it for Eid because we were expecting lots of guests and I thought that it would make a nice addition to our spread.  Boy, was it a hit!  Everyone enjoyed the cake and asked for seconds!  This cake will definitely be made over and over again in our home.  Thanks Aparna for the fabulous challenge!


Mawa Cake

Yield:  1 Cake


For Mawa:

  • 4 cups whole milk

For Cake:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup crumbled mawa
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Blanched or sliced nuts to decorate


Make Mawa:

Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan and bring it to a boil, stirring often to prevent burning.

Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the milk has reduced to one-fourth of the original quantity.  Stir often to avoid burning.  Reduce heat to low and allow the milk to cook a little longer.  Stir regularly until the milk solids (mawa) take on a lumpy appearance.  There should be no visible liquid left in the pan, but the mawa should be moist.

Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.  Once completely cooled, mawa can stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.  Allow to come to room temperature before using.

4 cups of milk yields approximately ¾ to 1 cup mawa.

Make Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased 9-inch spring form pan (or 8-inch baking pan that is deep).

In a large bowl, beat butter, crumbled mawa, and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated.  Add milk and vanilla and mix well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cardamom powder, and salt into the batter and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated.

Pour the prepared batter into the spring form pan.  Lightly smooth the top.  Decorate with nuts.

Bake for about 1 hour, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  If the cake seems to be browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.

Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.  Remove from pan and cool completely.


19 responses

  1. Very scrumptious cookies and decadent cake you have made here. I haven’t dared to take up the Daring Baker’s challenge yet. I am pressed for time:) Insha Allah I must as it sounds like fun!

  2. Both of these look great! I’ve never heard of either of these and had no idea milk is mawa in hindi…I thought it was the same as urdu (I’m tempted to spell it dude 🙂 ) This sounds like a fun challenge…but lately I haven’t been blogging as much so not sure if I could keep up…maybe when school opens next week I’ll get my act together.

    • Actually milk is doodh, lol, and Mawa is the same thing as khoya (milk that’s reduced down to just the fat/solids)… it’s used a lot in mithai.
      Aww, your kids are starting school next week! That’s so exciting/sad/crazy at the same time! May Allah increase their knowledge in their education in both wordly studies and their deen. 🙂

      • LOL….I was writing that comment and couldn’t figure out how to write doodh…..dude kept coming to my mind and that looked weird 🙂

        Ameen…Well only one is starting school…Bilal is still at home and will start school 2014. So not looking forward to the drive and waking them up….and getting Bilal to leave the school after we’ve dropped Hasan is so difficult. Once we’ve left the school then it’s such a challenge to get him into the car……I hope Insha’Allah he is better this year.

  3. I have never heard of these. I suppose the mawa cake intrigues me more. I was going to ask what is mawa until I found that you had answered that question already lol Both recipes look great though! My cookies never look that way I swear!

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