Recipe: Halva cake with blueberry compote

A deliciously different combination that will go down a treat at teatime


(C) Blake Ezra Photography 2023 Not to be reproduced without written permission. @BlakeEzraPhoto

  • place PRE 20 - 30 minutes
  • place COOK 45 minutes
  • place SERVES 8 - 10
  • printicon
  • The assembled cake will keep for a couple of days refrigerated.

    For the cake

  • Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease and line three 20cm round cake tins.

  • In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and salt.

  • In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, oil, tahini, vanilla, and non-dairy yoghurt. Combine the two and slowly add 180ml boiling water. Mix until well incorporated.

  • Divide mixture evenly among the three tins, bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes. Rotate for even baking and bake 10-15 minutes more, or until the cakes are golden and springy.

  • Remove from oven, carefully flip the cakes onto a wire rack to flatten the tops and cool upside down.

    For the blueberry compote

  • In a small pan over low heat, cook the blueberries, sugar, and lemon zest, stirring gently.

  • Once the sugar has dissolved and blueberries released their juices, raise temperature to medium and simmer until the mixture slightly thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice, and cool. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before using.

    For the frosting

  • In a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade attachment, process the broken halva, milk and salt, until you have a smooth paste.

  • Combine the softened butter (or margarine) and icing sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream at medium speed until light and fluffy, for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl with a spatula.

  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the halva mixture and mix until fully incorporated.

    To assemble

  • Place one cake on a cake stand. Spread 1/3⅓rd of the frosting over the cake. Top with half the compote, crumbled halva, and one broken-up sesame snap.

  • Repeat with the second cake layer, ½ the remaining frosting, the remaining compote, and more halva. Add another broken-up sesame snap.

  • For the top layer, spread the remaining frosting and decorate with halva shreds, fresh blueberries, and broken sesame snaps.

Extracted from: Amsalem, A Collection of Recipes for Hope
This recipe collection has been compiled to raise money for Israeli food charity Leket.
Full collection available for a £15 donation.


For the cake
300g granulated sugar
345g plain flour
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
2 eggs
120ml vegetable oil
230g tahini
1 tbsp vanilla essence
240g non-dairy yoghurt
For the compote
150g blueberries (fresh or frozen)
100g granulated sugar
Zest of half a lemon
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
For the frosting
454g vanilla halva, in small pieces
120ml milk (or non-dairy alternative)
½ tsp kosher salt
200g unsalted butter (or margarine), softened
60g icing sugar
To decorate:
Crumbled halva
Halva strands
3 sesame snaps

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