Recipe: Chocolate and Labneh Cake with Slivered Pistachios »

From Baladi by Joudie Kalla

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<i>Baladi</i> by Joudie Kalla

Baladi by Joudie Kalla [©Murdoch Books]

Chocolate and Labneh Cake from Baladi


Baladi, which translates to 'my home, land and country', is the second book on Palestinian cuisine from Joudie Kalla. This book showcases more of the wide-ranging, vibrant dishes and flavours that make up one of the lesser known Middle Eastern cuisines.

Here's a recipe for those who enjoy the sweeter things in life! 

Chocolate and Labneh Cake with Slivered Pistachios

Joudie writes:

This cake came about by accident and I just had to include it here. I was running a cooking class and forgot to buy soured cream, so decided instead to use the labneh in my fridge as a substitute. I was panicking and worrying about it going wrong, but it actually worked perfectly – even better than I thought it would – and I have never stopped making it this way.

Sometimes the best things come to you when everything is upside down, and this was one of those occasions. If you don’t have labneh, you can use extra thick Greek yogurt.

Ingredients (Serves 8)

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 110g soft butter
  • 110g golden caster sugar
  • 110g soft light brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp labneh
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 170g plain flour
  • 55g cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • handful of slivered pistachios (about 70g)

For the icing

  • 170g unsalted softened butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 170g labneh
  • 70g cocoa powder, sifted 2 tsp vanilla paste


Preheat the oven to 180ºC Fan (200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6). Line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment.

In a bowl, mix together the eggs, butter, sugars and labneh, then add the vanilla extract. Beat for a couple of minutes.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a separate bowl, then add the salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Add this to the egg and sugar mixture and mix for about 30–60 seconds.

Place in the tin and cook for about 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing, combine the butter and icing sugar together in a bowl and mix well. Add the labneh, sifted cocoa powder and vanilla paste and mix for about 2 minutes until the icing is smooth and creamy. Place in the fridge to firm up slightly.

When the icing is ready and the cake is cooled, spread the icing over the cake, scattering the chopped pistachios on top.


This recipe is from Baladi by Judie Kalla and reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher.

Read more in the press release here »

Baladi: a celebration of food from land and sea by Joudie Kalla is published by Mudoch Books (Syd, NSW; Oct 2018; HC; 256pp; RRP A$49.99).

It is available at good bookshops and can be purchased online via »



  • United Kingdom - all (UK)

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March 28th, 2019
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