Yemeni Honey Cake: Bint Al Sahn


So our first taste of Yemen was this honey cake my sister-in-law made for the family a while ago. I dug out the recipe to try for myself.

Confession: On the first try, Mo wanted to try a short cut but we ended up with the wrong dough. It was not delicious.


On day two, I followed the recipe and the end result was much better!


4 c.  flour
4 eggs
1/2 c. water
3/4 c. melted butter
1  t. salt
1  t. yeast
1/4 cup additional melted butter
Cumin seeds or sesame seeds
1 Egg Yolk for wash


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 c. water. Mix together flour, 4 eggs, 3/4 c. butter, salt, and yeast mixture. Knead for 10 minutes with mixer. Add the extra water a little at a time until the dough does not stick to your hands. Cover and let dough sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Split the dough in 8-10 pieces. Form each piece into a ball with your hands. Lay on a surface and coat top with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.yemen-honey-cake
  4. Grease a cake pan and set aside. Take each ball of dough and roll it out until it is very thin and see through. Place into the bottom of the pan and brush with some melted butter.  Repeat for each layer, each time adding melted butter, except for the top layer.
  5. Brush the top layer with one beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle with black cumin seeds or sesame seeds.
  6. Put in oven for about 18-20 minutes.yemen-honey-cake2
  7. Drizzle the top with honey and serve hot.

The nice part about this cake is that it can be as sweet as you want. Just a little honey might be enough or you can add more if it’s a little dry.


My recommendation would be to make sure you really roll the balls thin before you stack them. This way your honey cake is not so thick and is more moist.


Everyone really liked this one, especially Emila! She keeps asking ‘Excuse me, can I have a little cake?’ now.


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