OGAILY Sesame Saffron and Cardamom Cake with sweet Tahini glaze

Hope you all had a wonderful Eid!

Last week, I was on my way back from Venice to Florence and nearing the last leg of my holidays. There was a couple sitting diagonally opposite of us in the train, who were probably from some Middle Eastern city, discussing about Eid.

Five Days passed in a blur and It suddenly striked me, it’s Eid today!

Reminiscing the Eid festivities while writing this post sitting in train, I was kind of missing all the festivities of Eid! When I closed my eyes and inhaled, I almost felt like I am having a good time sipping some “kadak chai” and “Ogaily” at cafe Lumee.

Though muslims celebrate their favourite festival, Eid, all over the world, with customary fervour, it assumes altogether a different proportion in the homeland of Islam; the middle-east.

I am lucky to be a witness to that festive gusto, for over a decade now, without a single year of break in between. However, as they say, everything has a beginning somewhere, my first Eid away from my second home, happens to be in the land of Pizza, Italy.

OGAILY or Egali is fragrant Kuwaiti cake but quite popular all over Middle East. The cardamom, saffron and rose water gives it a rich flavour and the nuttiness from sesame seeds together makes it royal.

Though the tahini glaze is not a part of the traditional recipe, but believe me you can’t stop licking your fingers once you have it with the sauce.

Step by step direction for the cake



  • 1 1/5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2teaspoons ground cardamom or cardamom powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (300 g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup rose water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

For the sweet Tahini glaze

  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon plain tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1tsp unsalted butter( optional)
  • 2 tsp cardamom powder
  • A pinch of salt


  1. In a bowl mix the saffron,warm water, rose water, and keep aside for 3-4 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven at 170 to 180 degrees. Meanwhile, grease your cake mould( bundle cake mould) with butter and sprinkle generously with toasted sesame seeds.
  • In a large bowl beat the eggs,sugar and vanilla on high speed for few minutes until nice and fluffy.
  • Add oil and melted butter and mix until well incorporated.
  • In a seperate bowl, mix sifted flour,baking powder, cardamom powder and salt .
  • Now mix flour mixture to the beaten egg-sugar mix and gently fold until without any lumps. Finally add the saffron-rosewater-cardamom mixture and give a final gentle mix.
  • Finally, pour the cake mix into the prepared pan and Bake for 40 minutes or until till done, test with toothpick when it comes out clean.
  • Allow it to cool down a little and then flip onto a plate once you see the cake leaving off from the edges.

To make the tahini glaze

  1. Heat the condensed milk and milk on low heat until nice diluted texture. Now add the tahini paste, butter and whisk thoroughly until well combined.
  2. Add the cardamom powder and salt and give a final whisk.
  3. Turn off the heat and let it cool down completely before you pour over the cake.
  4. Once completely cooled pour over your saffron cake or you serve separately along with your cake.

Serve this rich fragrant cake with tea or Arabian coffee .

***Note : When you are making the tahini glaze adjust the texture ( thin or thick) by adjusting the amount of milk into the glaze mix. Keep in mind that the glaze will get thicker when it cools down because of the condensed milk.

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