Pomegranate Molasses Butter Cake

Pomegranates!  Do you remember your first time experiencing them?  Perhaps a pomegranate martini, the seeds in a salad, or maybe drinking straight POM juice?

When I was around 7 living in Michigan, my mother would always bring home pomegranates in the fall. We would sit at the table peeling the flesh away to get at those wonderful, tart, crunchy seeds.  She called them Indian apples, but all I knew was that I loved eating them and my fingers stayed stained red for days.

In the last few years, pomegranate juice had been quite the fad due to its antioxidant benefits. I found it interesting that last month the FDA issued a warning letter to POM, for “using published literature to make illegal claims on unproven antioxidant and anti-disease benefits.”  Either way, pomegranates have been around a long, long time and used in many different countries.

Last week I was reading the NY Times and came across a recipe for pomegranate molasses butter cake- it sounded so yummy, I had to make it.  The author wrote about different pomegranate molasses available and recommended the Cortas brand. Compared to the other brands, this one was the only one that didn’t have a bunch of crap, like caramel, coloring, etc in it; just plain old pomegranates.

After a bit of research I found a great Middle Eastern grocery store in Andersonville  and they had the Cortas brand. The smell from baking this cake was testing my patience- it couldn’t be done quick enough.

The combination of sweet & sour, with the moistness made this cake a hit.  Since you readers know about my issues with milk, I did change that part.  I wish you all were here to share a slice with a nice cup of tea. Enjoy!



1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk  (I used Almond Milk)

3 tbsp pomegranate molasses, plus 1 tsp.

3/4 cup sugar, plus 4 tsp.

3 large eggs

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

6 tbsp light cream (I used organic half-n-half)

3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9″ square baking pan, dust lightly with flour and knock out excess.

2. Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, combine milk and 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses.

3. In a large bowl, cream together stick of butter and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until well combined.

4. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with milk mixture.

5. Pour batter into pan and bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean- about 35-40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges, turn cake onto a rack, and then turn right side up again.

6. Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, cream and 1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses.  Brush glaze over cake, letting it drip down over sides. (This made about twice what was needed).

7.  In a small, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, combine nuts, 1 tsp. pomegranate molasses and 4 tsps. sugar.  Stir constantly and watch carefully until sugar melts and coats nuts, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle over top of cake.

Thanks to Jessica May for the first photo.



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4 responses to “Pomegranate Molasses Butter Cake

  1. Mom

    The cake looks so delicious. I was wondering how the guy in the picture got those seeds to look like they were popping out. Never saw them cut quite that way. I am going to look for that brand of molasses. I might try it for Easter.

  2. Melissa

    Everyone will enjoy the cake- it is super yummy!

  3. Definitely a great cake recipe! I tried to make this one up and my whole family loved it. Thanks for sharing with us the wonderful recipe. It also went really well with a hot cup of coffee. Even my friend who review coffee for a living definitely loved it.

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