Friday, 10 July 2015

Mawa (Cup) Cakes

Mawa Cake
Mawa cake, with it's milky aroma and sunset hue, has been a favourite among the Parsi folk and all other Mumbai/ Puneites alike, it has a rich caramel and cardamom flavour, and its texture, is similar to that of a pound cake, it is best accompanied with a cuppa evening chai.

Since it is very rich and dense on its own, it is served in its own rustic glorious form, with no frills (frosting) attached. The hills are alive and so is every living being around the Indian subcontinent, the monsoons have arrived pleasantly on time this year and my refrigerator calls my name and asks me to make some pudhina (mint) and ginger chai (milk tea) and though I know, that many a soul would feel delighted to feel the crispy munch of a deep fried bhajjiya (fritter), mine is happiest when it bakes and smells the familiar waft of vanilla which fills the house, when my subject of love is on its penultimate ladder from being done.

Of late, my toddler seems to be enjoying a moist and flavourful vanilla cupcake.... or two ;-), which has been making a repeat appearance out of our mini oven of late. Seeing this, the adults in the "very parsi" fam asked me a very pertinent question, "Hey Pari, why don't you make mawa (evaporated milk solids) cakes?", this accompanied by a hope filled/ cheesy grin... And the wheels in my head stated to go round and round... "ah yes why didn't I think of this community fav before!", So I picked up my phone, fired up the great Sir Googals, and typed "mawa cake", and much to my happiness I found a recipe on Riot of Flavours.

I went through the recipe, took out my trusted calculator and halved the same. This yielded me 12 cupcake sized mawa cakes.

A little dope on mawa cake: "Hearsay has it that, a hundred years ago Irani cafes in erstwhile Bombay and Pune started to serve simple chai and brun maska (bread and butter) to weary men, who came to the city away from their families and villages in order to earn a livelihood. Now since there where no refrigerators in those days, the milk for the chai, had to be boiled over and over again for it to avoid going bad. This repeated boiling often evaporated all the liquid from the milk and they were left only with dough like milk solids at the bottom of the pot,known as mawa or khoya. (Largely used to make Indian sweetmeats since time immemorial). Some experimental Parsi gent (apparently the owner of the very famous B. Merwan Irani restaurant). then decided to add this mawa, to the cakes that they regularly baked at their restaurant. This gave birth to the delicious mawa cake we all know and love".

To make 12 mawa cupcakes

You will need:

1/2 cup mawa/ khoya
1 cup flour (maida)
1/4 cup salted butter (softened) + 1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup (approx 100 gms) caster or superfine sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
4 tbsps whole milk
2 large eggs or Flaxmeal egg substitute (see notes)
A few drops of vanilla essence.


-Cream sugar, butter, mawa and milk till smooth.
-Gradually add in a beaten egg and flour mixed with baking powder, alternating between the two, in order to incorporate all the ingredients well.
-Bake @ 180 degrees Celsius for 25 - 30 mins.



1.To make flaxmeal egg replacer: For every one egg, make a paste of one table spoon flaxseed powder and 3 tbsps water, allow to stand for 30 mins before using.



  1. Replies
    1. Flaxmeal egg substitute, use one tbsp of powdered but NOT roasted flaxseeds and soak in 3 tbsps water for 30 mins to form a gel like paste, use this per 1 egg.

  2. Hi,I am a big big fan of mawa cakes and desperately want to make this one. There is just one request if you could give the mawa, flour and butter measurements in cups instead of gm.I don't have anything to measure gms. Would be really grateful.

    1. Hi Foodie here you go:
      Mawa 1/4 cup (use upto 3/4 cups if u love a rice mawa flavour)
      Butter 3 tablespoons
      Flour 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

      Cheers 😊


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