The Middle East is a mystery to me. Although I am quite familiar with the famous Middle Eastern dessert of baklava - the puffy pastry filled with honey, nuts and dates. My only other association with the Middle East is Turkey. The country of exquisite mosques with the Bosphorus River dividing Europe and Asia.
Hagia Sophia: First a Greek Orthodox basilica, then an Imperial mosque,
and currently a museum. (Photo credit)
Turkey is also the place where a handsome young American was doing 007 work and promoting democracy with Radio Free Europe. And met a beautiful young American on her way to becoming a tennis star at a cocktail party. The twosome produced two daughters; one of them you know as The Ninja Baker.
Middle Eastern affairs of the heart are the extent of my knowledge. But Amanda Mouttaki of Maroc Mama is an expert in the cuisines and cultures of the Middle East. (Her post about Turkish baklava will bring on big time cravings for the dessert.) Naturally Amanda is the host for this week’s virtual #SundaySupper where foods from the region will be featured. (Scroll down for details of how to reserve a seat at the #SundaySupper Twitter event.)
The Ninja Baker's Easy Baklava Cake
I made baklava cake for the Middle Eastern #SundaySupper. I tucked dates and walnuts into a honey cream cheese frosting between two layers of American yellow cake. Combining the dense, crunchy date and nut filling of the Middle Eastern baklava with the soft fluffy cake was a good idea. Okay. A great idea! My fears about an overly sweet dessert were assuaged with my first bite of baklava cake. The honey cream cheese which provides the filling and frosting for the baklava cake is here.
Honey, dates and nuts are hallmarks of baklava. I've introduced the Middle Eastern delight to the American classic yellow cake. The recipe is easy. The result is delicious!
Yellow cake batter (from a box or your favorite recipe)
*If using a package, substitute 1 cup of milk for the water.
- 1/2 cup chopped dates plus additional for garnish
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts plus additional for garnish
- Honey cream cheese frosting
- Whip up a yellow cake batter. Bake two 8" cakes. Cool.
- Sandwich the cakes with honey cream cheese frosting, dates and nuts.
- Frost the sides and tops and garnish with the additional dates and nuts.
Here are a few more recipes inspired from the Middle East for Sunday Supper.
- Muhammara – Supper for a Steal
- Homemade Labneh Cheese – The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Jerusalem’s Burnt Eggplant with Garlic, Lemon & Pomegranate Seeds – Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Sun Dried Tomato Hummus – Family Foodie
- Fried Cauliflower w/ Sesame Parsley Sauce (Qarnabeet Mekleh Bil Taratoor) - girlichef
- Burnt Eggplant and Chickpea Soup – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Couscous, Lentil and Chickpea Salad – Citronlimette
- Persian Jeweled Rice – Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Lebanese Rice – Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Quinoa Falafel- Jane’s Adventure in Dinner
- Jamie Oliver’s Beef Tagine – Shockingly Delicious
- Chicken Biryani – Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Crockpot Curry Chicken – The Foodie Army Wife
- Quinoa Falafel with Fresh Herbs – Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Shakshuka – kimchi MOM
- Beef Tagine Over Couscous – Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Grilled Red Snapper with Cilantro and Onion Stuffing or ????? ????? ?? ???? – Food Lust People Love
- Falafel with Israeli Salad - Webicurean
- Chicken Shawarma – The Texan New Yorker
- Spaghetti Squash Pastitsio with Greek Yogurt Bechamel – Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Kushari – Curious Cuisiniere
- Israeli BBQ Chicken – From Fast Food to Fresh Food
- Quick Persian Rice with Spiced Beef – MarocMama
- Ghraybeh Cookies – Killer Bunnies, Inc
- Fried Honey Citrus Cakes – Neighborfood
- Easy Baklava Cake – NinjaBaking.com
- Ghraybeh - That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Sesame Tahini Cookies – Magnolia Days
- Basbousa (Semolina Cake) – Mess Makes Food
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.
Wishing you moments of rapture as mysteries of our world are revealed.
The Ninja Baker
© ™ Watkinson 2012
The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.