The Eurasian sugee cake.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2020

A short compilation of photos and videos of sugee cake making at Styrsö, Sweden for Christmas 2020.

I learnt to bake semolina cake or sugee cake from my father. I began with cracking of the eggs for him, and separating the egg yolks from the egg whites. No shells or yellows in the whites allowed.

Over the decades, I´ve tried new recipes, including:

A rustic version of the Eurasian Almond Sugee Cake

Sémola bizcocho de almendras – the Eurasian Almond Sugee Cake – recipe by Dorothy Yap Cordeiro, my father´s mother.

The Almond Sugee cake: a Singapore Eurasian heritage – a Singapore heritage version.

Spanish orange almond cake to Easter, Styrsö, Sweden – a sugee cake / almond cake variation.

This year, I´m back to using Dorothy Cordeiro´s basic recipe:


500g fine semolina / sugee flour
500g butter
500g castor sugar (250g in two separate bowls)
500g almonds (blanched and finely ground)
1 vanilla pod (contents scraped added to the semolina)
1/2 tsp bitter almond extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
10 egg yolks
11 egg whites
2 tbsp brandy
pinch of salt
Baked at 175C oven for ca. 45 minutes or till the tops caramelize

And in my mind´s eye, my grandfather Aloysius stands by the apartment window peering into his bird cage. He whistles a tune, and waits for the little one to reply. The tiny yellow feathered one answers in a melodic trill. Aloysius smiles. And so, the afternoon conversation goes.

Sugee cakes, gift wrapped.