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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Coconut Cashew Cake (Sanwin Makin)

Coconut Cashew Cake (Sanwin Makin)

1 hour

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Coconut Cashew Cake (Sanwin Makin)

Free

Rich with the flavor of coconut, traditional Burmese semolina cake, called sanwin makin, is made by cooking the semolina into a thick porridge before baking. We lightened the cake’s texture by using a straightforward cake-mixing method and added ground cardamom for fragrance and flavor. Toasting the semolina and shredded coconut first brings out their nuttiness, and soaking them in coconut milk softens their texture so the cake bakes up with a soft crumb. Roasted cashews add texture and visual appeal to the golden brown cake. Though sanwin makin is usually served chilled, we like our cakey version at room temperature or even slightly warm, with lightly sweetened whipped cream on the side.

1

9-inch cake

Tip

Don’t use light coconut milk, which lacks the richness of full-fat coconut milk. And don’t forget to stir the coconut milk before using. Avoid cream of coconut and sweetened coconut flakes, both of which contain added sugar. They will make the cake too sweet.

1 hour

170 grams (1 cup) semolina flour
30 grams (⅓ cup) plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
218 grams (1 cup packed) light brown sugar
4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon table salt
32 grams (¼ cup) unsalted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
Ingredients
  • 170

    grams (1 cup) semolina flour

  • 30

    grams (⅓ cup) plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, divided

  • 1

    14-ounce can coconut milk

  • 218

    grams (1 cup packed) light brown sugar

  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted and slightly cooled

  • 3

    large eggs

  • teaspoons baking powder

  • ½

    teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¼

    teaspoon table salt

  • 32

    grams (¼ cup) unsalted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped

.
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Reviews
Michele R.

Made per recipe and it came together exactly as expected. Always appreciate that Milk Street's recipes are so reliable for outcome. Delicious. Best served day it is baked we think. Leftovers were good but glad we baked it morning of day we planned to serve it for guests.

Brad G.

Could the semolina be replaced by cornmeal for a GF version? Or perhaps something else? Looks amazing but I can't have semolina.

Janelle C.

This is a great question. Would you post it in our Q&A Forum for Milk Street Insiders and Digital subscribers? It's currently free for all to use and we're sure others would love to hear the answer to this one.

https://www.177milkstreet.com/discussion/

Best,
The Milk Street Team

John D.

Love this cake - moist and delicious - it’s nice to be able to make recipes like this which are lactose-free, not needing heavy cream and such (butter lactose is insignificant). I can eat anything coconut all the time!

Janet B.

I baked this cake today and was very pleased with it. It came together quickly, baked beautifully, turned out of the pan easily and was moist and delicious with the cardamom a perfect addition to the tastes of coconut and cashews.

Thomas F.

Made a mistake of keeping the oven at 350 when I started (must have not hit the start button), but I think it turned out well. There is a Burmese restaurant near me and I've tried their sanwin makin. This is quite similar in flavor, but I have to say I prefer the texture of theirs, which is reminiscent of a flourless cake texture.


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Coconut Cashew Cake (Sanwin Makin)

Get Ready to Cook

1

9-inch cake

1 hour

Tip

Don’t use light coconut milk, which lacks the richness of full-fat coconut milk. And don’t forget to stir the coconut milk before using. Avoid cream of coconut and sweetened coconut flakes, both of which contain added sugar. They will make the cake too sweet.

Ingredients
  • 170

    grams (1 cup) semolina flour

  • 30

    grams (⅓ cup) plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, divided

  • 1

    14-ounce can coconut milk

  • 218

    grams (1 cup packed) light brown sugar

  • 4

    tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted and slightly cooled

  • 3

    large eggs

  • teaspoons baking powder

  • ½

    teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¼

    teaspoon table salt

  • 32

    grams (¼ cup) unsalted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped

Step 1 of 4

Prepare Oven

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Line the bottom of a 9-inch-round cake pan with a round of kitchen parchment. Mist the parchment and sides of the pan with cooking spray.

Step 2 of 4

Combine Ingredients

170
grams (1 cup) semolina flour
30
grams (⅓ cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
1
14-ounce can coconut milk

On a rimmed baking sheet, combine the semolina and the 30 grams (⅓ cup) of shredded coconut in an even layer. Toast until fragrant and golden at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer to a large bowl, immediately add the coconut milk and whisk to combine. Set aside until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Step 3 of 4

Make and pour the batter

218
grams (1 cup packed) light brown sugar
4
tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3
large eggs
teaspoons baking powder
½
teaspoon ground cardamom
¼
teaspoon table salt
4
tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
32
grams (¼ cup) unsalted roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
2
tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

Increase the oven to 375°F. To the semolina mixture, add the brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Whisk until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the cashews and remaining 2 tablespoons shredded coconut.

Step 4 of 4

Bake and serve

Bake until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.


Run a knife around the pan, then invert onto the rack and remove the pan and parchment. Invert again onto a serving plate. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

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