Dessert in the Desert


Finding vegan desserts in this part of the world has been no simple task.  You know about the banana sambusas we were making in Sana’a, right?  We also found a dessert called makhloutah which is made from ground almonds, tons of sugar and some other unknown ingredients.  Here in Hadhramaut, my best dessert attempts have been apple crumble (i.e. my failed attempts to make pie crust became a crumble topping) and fried banana dumplings.  But once in a while, you just want to eat a cake- no butter, no eggs, no milk- just a simple vegan cake.  Is that too much to ask for?  Not any more! 

As some of you may know, most vegan cake recipes revolve around vegan butter substitutes, egg replacer, non-dairy milks, ground flax seeds, etc.  Well, when none of the above are available, try this recipe for a hearty, healthy, simple vegan cake.  If you’re looking for a fluffy, airy “Whole Foods” type cake, this recipe is not for you.  You can come to the desert and figure out how to reinvent that one yourself.  We are content and satisfied with this humble cake and hope you will be too. 

Apple Cinnamon Cake


3 cups of wheat flour (not whole wheat or white flour, something in between)

1 cup of sugar (evaporated cane sugar or  any substitute you see fit)

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla powder

3/4 cup of cooking oil

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 cups of water

2 apples (cored and cut into large chunks)


1.  Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl

2. Mix all wet ingredients with apples in a blender

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring thoroughly

4. Pour mixture into greased baking pan and bake.  Our oven doesn’t indicate how high the temperature is, but my guess is that 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes should be sufficient.  Poke the cake with a knife and if it comes out clean, it should be ready for your enjoyment.

Note- I also substituted the apples with bananas and it was great!


2 thoughts on “Dessert in the Desert

Add yours

  1. assalaamualikum dear sister!

    I have been looking into going to Yemen to study Arabic as well as teach English. I contacted sanaa apts and the brother in charge told me that you and your husband had rented one of his apts for a short time.

    I may be going to sanaa inshaAllaah. I wanted to know an email address at which I can contact you as I would like to get in touch with a sister before coming.

    jazakAllahu khairan,

    your sister in Islaam,


  2. assalaamualikum sis,

    Hope to get your email as I’d like to contact you regarding life in hadramawt. Please do let me know what ur email ad is.

    Waiting for ur reply,

    Ur sis in Islam,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: