This Mawa Cake is a rich and delicious cake made with mawa (khoya or evaporated dried milk solids), whole wheat flour, butter, milk, cream and sugar. Scented with cardamoms this is a rich buttery eggless mawa cake that has an exquisite taste and can be made for special occasions.
About Mawa Cake
As the name suggests Mawa is the key ingredient in a mawa cake. Wondering what is Mawa? Mawa is basically dried milk solids and also called as ‘khoya’ in Hindi.
In our cooking school, we would call it evaporated milk, as all the liquids and moisture is evaporated, by continuously simmering the milk for a few hours, till you just get the milk solids remaining in the pan.
Mawa can be made at home or purchased from shops. To make this cake, I got the mawa from the shop. This was a soft crumbly kind and did not require any cooking. If you have the hard types, then please cook till the khoya softens and then add it to the cake batter.
Mawa or khoya can be made at home too from whole milk. It takes a lot of time, but worth it, if you can make mawa at home. I have shared the method to make mawa at home at this recipe post -> Khoya Recipe.
Usually mawa cake is made with eggs, but I have developed this recipe to be made without eggs. Eggless baking at home often with its share of hits and disasters, has made me pretty good at baking cakes.
This mawa cake is a lighter textured cake since no eggs are added. The original ones are a bit dense. The taste of this one, is more like a buttery cake with the caramelized nutty flavors of the mawa coming through.
I have kept the recipe basic, like the ones made in the Irani bakeries. There is no addition of nuts or saffron or any spice, besides cardamom. However, if you really want some exotic touch to the cake, then please go ahead and add your favorite nuts and saffron.
I made this eggless mawa cake many times – both with all-purpose flour and with whole wheat flour. Every time the cake is a success and a hit at home. So you can make the cake with any of these flours or in half-half ratio.
Mawa cakes and mawa cupcakes hold special memories for me. One of the schools which I studied in, was a hop skip jump away from Ahura bakery in Andheri West, Mumbai.
After the exams or just before the holidays would begin, we would as a custom, buy mawa cakes from this popular Parsi bakery. It was not only mawa cake but some other baked goodies as well.
Another bakery close by would be Merwans. Since Merwans was just a bit far away, we would usually opt for Ahura bakery.
This habit of buying from Irani and Parsi bakeries continues even today. While coming from my college and later office, I would sometimes, hop to either of the bakeries and do buy the parsi mawa cake and some other pastries. The cakes at times would be warm and not to forget the ladi pav which was sold like hot breads, literally.
Even sometimes a visit to South Mumbai, would see me buying cakes or other baked goods from the Irani and Parsi bakeries based in Grant road, Fort and Colaba. Bun maska and chai from these bakeries is still one of my quick, go to breakfast or brunch.
Some years ago, during my visits to Pune, I would always unfailingly buy mawa cake and shrewsbury biscuits from Kayani bakery. I would have eggs then in my diet.
Folks back at home would liked the shrewsbury biscuits. But I was not fond of them. I felt them too sweet for my taste. I would even pack shrewsbury biscuits for friends and office colleagues.
The parsi mawa cake I have had from these bakeries was just amazing. The cardamom scented cake with a caramelized milky flavor used to be a special treat for me and my sister.
This eggless mawa cake recipe is my tribute to the mawa cakes made and served by the various Irani and Parsi bakeries in Mumbai.
I also made cupcakes from the same recipe, though I did not take photos. The cupcakes got over quickly in no time. So, you can make even mawa cupcakes from the cake batter. If baking cupcakes, then just bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till the tops are browned.
Since the temperatures differ from oven to oven, the baking time may vary. follow these few simple guidelines –
- The cake should get browned from the top and the toothpick should come out clean when you insert it in the cake.
- When you taste the cake, it should not stick to your mouth or palate or teeth. This means that the cake need some more baking. If this happens, then place the cake back in the oven and continue to bake for some more minutes. About 5 to 8 mins.
- In case, the top of the cake starts getting browned quickly, then place a butter paper or aluminium foil on top of the cake. Apart from reducing the quick browning, this will also not make the top layer crusty.
Mawa cake is not your everyday cake. The cake is rich, so I would suggest you making it for special occasions or parties. There is no need to do any kind of frosting or icing on the cake. The cake tastes good as it is. Simplicity at its best.
Serve eggless mawa cake with tea or coffee or for high evening parties. The photos are a mix of both the mawa cakes made with whole wheat flour and all purpose flour.
How to make Mawa Cake
Cream Butter and Sugar
1. Take 140 to 150 grams butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar in a bowl or pan.
2. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Due to habit, I still cream butter and sugar with a spatula (as thats how we were trained and the habit is still there). But to make things easy, you can cream them with an electric beater or in a stand mixer.
Make Mawa Mixture
3. Add ⅔ to ¾ cup crumbled mawa (about 120 to 140 grams of mawa). Make sure to crumble the mawa finely. Or else there will be large bits or chunks of mawa in the cake. You can choose to grate the mawa also.
4. Mix the crumbled mawa with the creamed butter-sugar mixture. Mix the mawa very well.
Make Mawa Cake Batter
5. Next sieve 2 cups whole wheat flour with ½ teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder directly into the bowl.
Instead of whole wheat flour you can also use all-purpose flour or you can use half-half of both the flours.
6. Add 1 teaspoon cardamom powder.
7. Add 1 cup milk and 4 tablespoons of light cream (low fat 25% to 30%). Instead of light cream, you can use 2 to 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.
8. Fold everything till the flour, milk and cream are incorporated well in the cake batter.
9. Pour the batter in a greased or lined round pan of 7 to 8 inches or in cupcake liners or pans.
Bake Eggless Mawa Cake
10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius/356 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 1 hour till the cake is completely done. Check the baked cake with a bamboo skewer and it should come out clean.
If there are sticky batter bits on the bamboo skewer, then keep cake pan back in the oven and continue to bake for some more minutes.
Do remember to preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius/356 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes.
The baked mawa cake photo is below. The cake cracked on the top, as the electricity conked off, right after 15 minutes of baking and then came back after 20 minutes. I had no choice but to keep the cake in the oven.
11. Cool the cake. Then slice and serve it. You can also refrigerate the mawa cake in an airtight container and just microwave for some seconds before serving. This cake is good enough to be made for birthday parties or any party.
Update: One of our reader’s Sushma has been kind enough to share that this mawa cake can be made in the pressure cooker. Sushma made the cake twice and the time taken to bake is from 30 to 40 minutes.
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Mawa Cake (Eggless Mawa Cake)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour – 240 grams or all purpose flour or half-half of both
- ⅔ to ¾ cup Mawa crumbled and tightly packed, (khoya or evaporated milk solids) – about 120 to 140 grams
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons light cream – low fat 25% to 30%, swap with 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 140 to 150 grams White Butter or yellow butter, unsalted – at room temperature
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar or 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder or 8 to 10 green cardamoms crushed finely in a mortar-pestle
- Grease a 7 to 8 inches round pan with butter. Dust some flour on it. Shake and tap the pan so that the flour spreads evenly.
- You can also line the cake pan with butter paper or parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/356 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Grease some butter on the butter paper or parchment paper.
- Crumble the mawa and keep aside. Make sure you crumble it finely as you don't want large chunks of mawa in the cake. You can also grate the mawa.
Making mawa cake
- Take butter and sugar in a bowl or pan.
- Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. You can use a stand mixer, food processor or an electric beater to cream the butter and sugar.
- Add the crumbled mawa and mix very well.
- Then add the flour sieved with baking soda and baking powder directly into the cake mixture.
- Sprinkle the cardamom powder. Pour the milk and cream.
- Fold everything till the flour, milk and cream are incorporated well in the cake batter.
- Pour the cake batter in the prepared cake pan.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius/356 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, till you see that the top is browned and a toothpick or bamboo skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.
- If baking cupcakes, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes or till the tops are browned.
- Allow the cake to cool by placing on a wired tray or rack.
- When cool, slice the mawa cake and serve plain with tea or coffee.
- You can even make mawa cupcakes from the same cake batter.
- You can make the cake with all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour or with a half-half mix of both flours.
- The leftover cake can be refrigerated in an airtight container for a few days.
- Make sure that the mawa is fresh and has not become stale or rancid. Mawa should have a mild sweet taste. If it tastes sour, then discard it.
- Also ensure that the butter is fresh and within its shelf life. If in case the butter has gone rancid, it will have a bitter taste.
- The recipe can be scaled to make a small batch of the cake.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Mawa Cake post from the archives (June 2014) has been republished and updated on 26 September 2021.