French Fridays ~ caramel-topped semolina cake

Caramel-Topped Semolina Cake

I hadn’t taken a very close look at it this recipe until Laurie posted the official November recipes at French Fridays With Dorie, and I was a little surprised to see Cream of Wheat on the list of ingredients. I’ve loved Cream of Wheat since I was little. As far as breakfast food went, it ran a very close second to CoCo Wheats.


Dorie explains in her book that this cake is usually made using a box mix in France, and I have a feeling that hers is superior to that mix.


The base of the cake is Cream of Wheat (farina), milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and golden raisins.



Then there’s the lemon-kissed caramel.



These are my three favorite photos of the week. I love them so much, I’m posting them as a triptych AND individually.




Those bubbles are awesome. And SO fun to shoot.



I loved this cake. It reminds me of everything comfort food should be. I just wish my kids had liked it more than they did.


My mom really liked it. So maybe I’ll just save it for when she visits.

Next week: pumpkin-gorgonzola flans.
Last week: roast chicken for les paresseax.

36 thoughts on “French Fridays ~ caramel-topped semolina cake

  1. Your caramel pictures are fantastic! I love working with caramel too. I was surprised at how much I liked this one.

  2. Thats nice your mom liked it, it sure looks wonderful. Im not sure my kids will like this one either. Im going to make it next week and find out!

  3. Thanks, Anne Marie. Go check out Mary’s interpretation of this recipe. I think my kids would have liked it more if I had used her approach.

  4. OMG, this looks absolutely delicious. I think I’m going to have to make it, I wonder if it would work with quinoa flakes instead of the cream of wheat? The pictures are unbelievably good, those bubbles, OMG they are gorgeous! Great job!

  5. I loved this recipe, too. I’m still working on caramel issues, though. Your photos really help me see where I needed to take it so it would be a darker color. I only got to photo 3 and I obviously needed to get to photo 4.

  6. WOW!!! Award for best photos!! Beautiful! No you mind sharing what lens you are using? Do you use a flash? My 50mm can’t get in as close as I’d like and my kitchen has terrible lighting….

  7. Thank you so much, Colette! I’m not sure about the quinoa flakes. Try it! Amaranth might be interesting too!

  8. I think the caramel I used for the cake was between photos 3 and 4. (I shot the caramel separately because I forgot to shoot it when I actually made my cake.)

  9. Well, thank you so much, Becky! I used my Canon EF 50mm 1.4 lens. And you know what? My kitchen is pretty dark too, especially over by the stove where I shot the caramel as it cooked. All of those shots are at f/4.0 and between 1/50 and 1/60. The counter where I shot the ingredients and the sugar and lemons gets more light, so I have better luck there, but I wish I had more windows! If you ever want to check out the details of my photos, click on it to go over to that photo’s Flickr page. My Exif information (under Actions) is public.

  10. I barely got my flans in today but these make me want to jump back in the kitchen to make this NOW. I only hope mine turns out as well!
    Trevor Sis. Boom.

  11. I loved all the caramel pictures. I’m always so worried I am going to burn the caramel I could NEVER of taken the pictures. Your cake looks wonderful . The post makes me excited to do this one next. Really beautiful photos. B

  12. Your cake turned out all glistening with goodness, golden brown and pretty! I did the easy, savory recipes first, leaving the dreaded caramel for the end (procrastinator that I am).
    You made caramel and had time to take photos? Amazing. I would have to enlist the help of my whole family for that endeavor πŸ™‚
    But, I love cream of wheat. I am going to endure ignominy if I have to, to get this cake right:)

  13. Beautiful caramel and beautiful cake! Now I know what colour the caramel should be when pulling it off the heat.

  14. Thank you, TSB. I made the flans yesterday. I didn’t care for them (I’ve never cared for squash, so it didn’t surprise me that I didn’t like a savory pumpkin dish), but they were so fun to photograph.

  15. Thanks, Beth. Don’t be too nervous about taking the time to photograph the caramel. It pretty much takes care of itself. You have to be on your toes once it starts to brown (once it starts, it goes pretty quickly), but up until then, there’s nothing really to do!

  16. Your caramel turned out exactly as it should! Mine has been very “almost” every time I’ve tried this recipe.

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