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Ottolenghi's Famous Cauliflower Cake

This is sure to be a crowd pleaser, even for the cauliflower hater in your midst.
Course Main or Side
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10
Author Valerie Lugonja via Ottolenghi in The Gardian October 2 2010


  • 1 medium cauliflower , 650g-700g, broken into medium florets
  • 1 large red onion , peeled
  • 100 g olive oil
  • ½ tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 10 medium free-range eggs
  • 20 g chopped basil
  • 180 g plain flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 220 g grated Parmesan
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Melted butter , for greasing
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds (or black onion seeds or plain sesame seeds)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Simmer cauliflower florets in large pot covered with water and teaspoon of salt for 15 minutes, until quite soft
  3. Strain; leave in the colander to cool and expel remaining water

Instructions for the Batter:

  1. While cauliflower's cooking, cut a few 0.5cm rings off one end of onion; set aside to garnish cake
  2. Coarsely chop remaining onion; add rosemary and sauté in oil on low for eight minutes
  3. Remove from the heat; set aside to cool
  4. When cool, add eggs and basil to onion mixture; whisk
  5. Sift flour, baking powder and turmeric into large bowl; add Parmesan, one and a half teaspoons of salt and plenty of black pepper
  6. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients; whisk to eliminate lumps
  7. Add cauliflower; stir gently to keep florets whole

Putting it all Together:

  1. Use baking parchment to line bottom of 24cm round spring form pan; brush sides with butter
  2. Toss sesame seeds inside pan to stick to buttered sides; ladle in cauliflower mixture, arranging onion rings on top
  3. Bake in centre oven 45 minutes, until golden and set
  4. Serve just warm or at room temperature