Chocolate cake

Celebrate with a taste of Beirut’s Vegan Chocolate Cake


2 tablespoons orange zest

1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla or plain vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour (dip into flour bin, sift later)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt


2 fresh bananas, sliced

1 large lemon, juice (about 1/3 cup more or less)

1/4 cup apricot jelly or up to 1/3 cup (more or less as needed)

1 tablespoon sliced ​​pistachios (optional)


1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 to 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup powdered sugar

4 tablespoons vegan butter or clarified butter or vegan ghee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 9-inch cake pan, greased, floured and lined with parchment paper

1 blender or food processor or bowl with electric beater

1 colander

1 sieve

1 brush for glazing bananas

For 6 persons.


Preheat the oven to 375F. In the bowl of a blender or food processor or regular bowl (if doing it manually), place the creamed chocolate chips, grape molasses, tahini, vanilla, and lemon zest. orange, and blend until smooth. Add the dry ingredients, previously mixed in a bowl and sifted, and mix until homogeneous.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake has risen and fallen and an inserted knife comes out clean.

Fresh cake.

Make the frosting by mixing the sifted cocoa powder, icing sugar, vegan butter, vanilla and almond milk. Use enough almond milk to make a creamy but thick cream suitable for icing.

Frost the cooled cake. Place in the fridge to harden the frosting and allow for easier topping with bananas or other fruit. When the cake is cool and the frosting is firm, slice the bananas and place them on the cake, overlapping the slices. Immediately brush the bananas with freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent oxidation of the bananas. Gently melt the apricot jelly and apply to the bananas.

Refrigerate the cake to set the frosting, then cover the cake to keep it cool. When ready to serve, place at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Joumana says, “Apricot jelly can be obtained by heating canned apricots and straining it once it becomes liquid by removing the fruit. Use the jelly to glaze the bananas and store the extra glaze in a covered container in the fridge. Apple jelly can replace apricot jelly. Grape molasses can be replaced with date molasses or carob molasses or even dark brown sugar. Almond milk can be replaced with oat milk.

For this recipe and other traditional Lebanese and Middle Eastern recipes, go to:

See also:

Watch Joumana’s expert video on creating your own manooshe from scratch:


Taste of Beirut is the culmination of Chef Joumana Accad’s years of travels and research in Lebanon and truly brings the tastes and flavors of this culturally rich region to her readers. A simple dish such as dandelion greens (called “salad” in the Middle East) made with dandelion greens sautéed in olive oil with onions and garlic, seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice and garnished with toasted pine nuts is a sweet and delicious appetizer and is enjoyed with slices of Arabic bread. The Accad version of Muhammara, or Red Pepper and Walnut Dip, is a must-see, calling for roasted red peppers, garlic, walnuts, cumin and pomegranate molasses. It is also served with Arabic bread. “I returned to Lebanon three years ago to soak up the culinary scene and gather all the information I needed for my cookbook. During my stay, I cooked weekly in Beirut with established master chefs, learning tips and techniques to successfully prepare these traditional dishes.


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