• Lemon and coconut semolina cake with pistachios (Mark Roper)

Once this cake is cooked, it’s soaked with a lemon syrup. It’s a beautiful cake that seems to please everyone. For me it’s more an afternoon treat than a dessert.






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (56 votes)


  • 125 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 230 g (8 oz/1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 90 g (3 oz/2∕3 cup) pistachios, chopped
  • 85 g (3 oz/2∕3 cup) semolina
  • 25 g (1 oz/. cup) desiccated (shredded) coconut
  • 225 g (8 oz/1. cups) self‑raising flour, sifted
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/. cup) milk
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting

Lemon syrup

  • 115 g (4 oz/. cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Butter and flour a 25 cm (10 in) ring (bundt) tin.

Using electric beaters or a wooden spoon, beat the softened butter, lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in two-thirds of the pistachios and all of the semolina, coconut, sifted flour and milk.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 150°C (300°F) and cook for a further 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, to make the lemon syrup, combine the sugar, lemon juice and 125 ml (4 fl oz/. cup) water in a small saucepan and boil for about 5 minutes.

Set aside.

Leave the cooked cake in the tin for 5 minutes before pouring the syrup over the top. Set aside to cool completely before carefully turning out.

Sprinkle the cake with the remaining pistachios. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.


Recipe from So French So Sweet by Gabriel Gaté (Hardie Grant Book, RRP  $29.99) Photography by Mark Roper. Check out our sweet talks with Gabriel Gaté right hereFor more Gabriel fun, check out the Taste le Tour program page to find out more about this year's show, catch-up on episodes and scroll through recipes.