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Pomegranate Molasses Cake

November 19, 2018

Makes one 9-inch square cake.

Pomegranate molasses lends its unique tart-sweet flavor to a cake that can be enjoyed for either dessert or brunch. The glaze is heavenly!


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature 

Glaze and Topping

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses, divided
3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts 
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 to 6 tablespoons half-and-half 


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Butter or spray a 9-inch-square baking pan, line the bottom with parchment, and lightly butter or spray the parchment.

3. In a bowl, blend the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine milk with 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses.

4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until well combined.

5. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with half the milk mixture, so you end with the flour mixture. Beat after each addition until just combined.

6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 38 to 40 minutes, until top is golden brown and cake passes the toothpick test. Cool cake for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edges, and turn cake out onto a rack. Flip the cake to turn right side up on the rack. Remove the parchment.

7. While the cake cools, prepare the glaze and topping. In a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, combine nuts, 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses and 4 teaspoons sugar. Stir constantly and watch carefully until sugar melts and coats nuts, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

8. For the glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, 4 tablespoons of the half-and-half, and 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses. The glaze should be easily pourable, but not runny. Use a toothpick to puncture several small holes in the top of the cake, then gently pour glaze over cake. It helps cleanup to do this on the rack over a sheet of parchment.

9. Sprinkle prepared nuts over the top of the cake and it’s ready to serve.

Cook’s note: Pomegranate molasses is used often in Middle Eastern cooking, and tastes nothing like the molasses we use in gingerbread. For special dietary needs at a family get-together, we made a special version of this cake with GF flour,  vegan butter (aka margarine), and lactose-free milk and half-and-half to make it gluten- and lactose-free. It was denser than the original, but still delicious! Pecans could be used in place of walnuts.