Mrs Cecil’s sugee cake: The recipe

Mrs Cecil’s sugee cake: The recipe

One Eurasian family’s tried and tested way of making sugee cake.

Eurasian recipes are often fiercely guarded within the family, but this group of friends thinks that such secrecy will eventually lead to its disappearance. This is how they are preserving their cuisine - by sharing their family recipes.

Made by Andre D’Rozario and Ida Cecil, adapted from Ms Cecil’s mother’s recipe.

Read their story here.

This recipe serves 10-12 people.


150g semolina

200g butter

150g sugar

6 egg yolks

3 egg whites

2 tbsp vanilla essence

4 tsp baking powder

80g plain flour

1 tsp salt

40g chopped almonds

2 tablespoons brandy

Eurasian Sugee_All ingredients
All the ingredients needed for Mrs Cecil’s Sugee cake.


1. Mix semolina and butter ahead of time, and let it set for 1 hour or more.

“Semolina is very dry and sandy. Soaking it in butter makes it lose its crunch so that it becomes more palatable,” said Ms Cecil.

2. Beat egg yolks and sugar until the sugar dissolves completely.

3. Add semolina and butter mix, and fold in.

4. Add plain flour, salt and baking powder, and fold in.

5. Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks.

“Some people leave out egg whites completely, if they want the cake to be more dense.”

Eurasian Sugee_soft peaks
The meringue’s soft peaks.

6. Add almonds to the batter and fold in.

“Some people toast the almost first - each recipe is different.”

7. Add egg whites to the batter and fold in

8. And now for the key ingredient - add brandy and fold in.

“You must add the exact amount - I tried to add extra brandy once and my whole cake became soft!”

9. Transfer batter to a baking pan, and bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

“Sugee cake is a must at every birthday, wedding, anniversary, on the weekends, just for fun, just for tea - as long as you’re breathing, you have sugee cake!”

Eurasian Sugee_friends and tea
Left to right: Andre D’Rozario, Brenda Pereira, Cassandra Anthonisz, Ida Cecil.

Source: CNA/yv