Helbeh (Fenugreek Sweet Cake)


Helbeh is one of those things I remember my mom making. It’s chock full of fenugreek, which gives it a distinctive flavor I happen to adore. Maybe my body needs fenugreek, because I’ve been craving Helbeh for a while. I dug up a few recipes, and they all came out different but tasty. The one you prefer kind of depends on how you like your helbeh, either cakey or more on the traditional dense side. I’m good either way as long as the fenugreek is present. The one I’m sharing is the cakey one my hubby likes most.  It’s a little lighter because I incorporated 1 cup of flour instead of all semolina.


The only other changes I made to the recipes involved the oil and the sweetener.  Helbeh is traditionally made with olive oil, something I prefer not to heat, so I went with coconut oil instead.  It’s also typically sweetened with a sugar water and orange or rose blossom syrup called atter.  Maple syrup seemed like a healthier fit, so that’s what I went with.  Otherwise I stayed pretty true to the original.  Oh yeah, did I mention the fenugreek? I love fenugreek.  ;).


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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 3 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  2. 3 cups semolina flour (smeed)
  3. 1 cup all purpose Einkorn flour
  4. 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  5. 2 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  7. 1 package dry yeast
  8. Pure maple syrup
  1. Wash fenugreek seeds, put in sauce pan, add 1 cup hot water and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the yeast mixture: mix yeast, 1 teaspoon organic sugar and warm water and let it rise (make sure the water you’re mixing the yeast with is NOT hot, just warm).
  3. Meanwhile, mix semolina flour, all purpose flour, coconut sugar, and baking powder.
  4. Add the coconut oil to the flour mixture.
  5. Mix well to combine by rubbing the mixture with your hands.
  6. Add yeast mixture.
  7. Add the fenugreek seeds with the water (cooled not hot).
  8. Mix the dough and work it out until everything is well combined.
  9. Transfer dough to a greased round 15 inch baking tray or two smaller pans.
  10. Press to fill the tray. Level with palm of your hand. Cut into diamond shaped pieces.
  11. Cover and leave to rest in warm place for at least 1 hour.
  12. Bake at 350F preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes until golden.
  13. Take out of the oven and pour maple syrup all over, and leave aside to absorb.
  14. Cut and serve.
Plant Based Abby http://plantbasedabby.com/
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