Friday, 9 May 2014

Mavalvala's Mava Cake

Mava nu Cake

The ever popular Mawa or Mava nu cake was the headlines a few weeks ago when an established family run bakery in Mumbai shut down after over a century. Sad, I would say as it had not run its course in popularity. I read many a review about the queues, the constant fresh food they offered and the excitement and affection for the place seemed to pour out from each one. These Irani tea shops as we refer to them lovingly are getting more extinct. Fewer people seem to realise the importance of keeping them alive. The informality, the everyday affordable place, a safe hang-out place. The retired would watch the world go by, keep abreast with the local news and keep an eye on the young. Both generations there for the affordability and familiarity.

Never having had the pleasure of tasting a mawa cake, I felt excited to concoct one. I am delighted to report I quite loved it. Now I need a fan of the yummy delicious sinfully delightful nublai no khorak  cake who can make it, taste it and report back to tell me if it tastes similar!! And I have had wonderful reviews so am happy to continue sharing this recipe.

My family said it tastes like rewa, bhakra and kumas all rolled into one. Perfect.

An assortment of Mavalvala's Mava Cakes 

Call it reva in a cupcake?


120 mini cup cakes
50 cup cakes


1 1/4 cup home made mava (recipe below) OR 10 oz 280gm at room temperature

1 cup/8ozs /250gms soft salted butter (brown butter is best)

2  1/2 cup sugar

Dry ingredient bowl

3 cups sifted all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp salt
Wet ingredient bowl 

6 large eggs
4 tbsp milk
2 tbsp vanilla essence


In a bowl beat the mava and the butter for 3 minutes and add the sugar continuing to beat for another 5 minutes until mostly smooth.

Lower the speed to the minimum and add 1/3rd of the dry ingredient. alternate with half of the wet ingredient and then repeat, ending with the dry ingredients. Stop the machine, stir the mixture gently with a spatula as a lot may be stuck at the bottom of the mixing bowl. Give it one more gentle burst with the electric whisk and voila. 
Prepare 2 loaf pans with parchment and butter.
In a preheated oven of 350F/180C bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Test in the centre for the stick to be clean.
Best eaten warm.

Mava recipe

In a stainless steel pan mix 4 cups of milk with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4th tsp salt. On a low heat stir until completely dissolved. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat once again allowing it to simmer for 1 1/2 hours. This will turn it into mava. It is the exact amount used in the cake recipe.
The Mava will be yellow and lumpy. As the beater blends it the cake will be smooth. You can prepare this upto one week in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator.


To make brown butter simply simmer the butter until it seperates and the solids are a golden brown. The aromas of the nuttiness will add to the richness of this cake.

Store bought mava works just as well. Beat well with the browned butter until you get it fluffy and creamy.

Cardamom is an acquired taste, some people prefer not to eat it. This recipe will be fine if you do not include it to suit your taste buds. 

Try 1 tsp nutmeg or /and  a generous pinch of saffron if you prefer. 
original Mawa cakes come as cupcakes and you can butter your muffin pans, or line them with cup cake liners, or put a piece of parchment if you like. However shorten the baking time to 15 minutes. Test with a skewer to make sure its done before removing. 
Draw a cross on top of the cup cakes or sprinkle flaked almonds for decoration before baking.

NB.There is no literal translation for the phrase nublai no khorak, but in general it means could you eat anything more fattening? Lol.

For more Parsi recipes including khatai, batasa and more, 
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

you may also download my e-cookbook by clicking on the link below.

Niloufer's Kitchen:Quick and Easy

Here I share a twist on my recipe by an excellent baker and friend. She used a soft skinned orange called kinno and brushed it with sugar syrup, (one could brush it with an orange jam, fresh juice or marmalade if preferred). She mentioned she put in only half the cardamom powder to allow the orange flavours to be enhanced. Looks delicious.

Readers Comments.
The 'down side up' Orange mawa cake. A little twist to the traditional mawa cake.
Thank you, Niloufer Mavalvala for allowing me to make some orange changes to your mawa cake recipe.
The cake is really moist and the flavour of the orange seeps through, goes well will the mawa and cardamom in the recipe.

Farah Cyrus Ardeshir
25th October 2017 shares her mava cakes and says "Cy loves it "


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