Remake | Syrian Rice and Peas Cake


You guys probably won’t even recognize today’s rice and peas cake.

Syrian rice and peas cake

That’s probably because the last time you saw it, it looked like this. Big difference. Those were the old school days of photographing food outside without adequate daylight and then subsequently posting it with minimal editing. And to think I thought it was a great photo at the time. My how far we’ve come.

I made this dinner cake last week for a project I’m working on (more to come on that later) and I decided to repost it because of 1. these newer and highly improved photos that actually make you hungry to eat said cake and 2. an easier recipe to follow. If you want to learn the fun history and facts about this cake, make sure you check out the old article!

Syrian rice and peas cake

Syrian rice and peas cake

1 cup mixed nuts: pistachios, pine nuts, almonds
2 T butter, unsalted

16 oz ground beef**
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
**Add 1 T olive oil if using lean beef

16 oz frozen peas, blanched

1 “nest” or handful angel hair pasta (aka egg noodle pasta)
1 T butter, unsalted
2 c jasmine or basmati rice
1/2 tsp salt

Layer 4
In a large pot over medium-high heat, break angel hair noodles into pieces. Add butter and sauté until golden. Add rice and mix well until rice turns white in spots, about 1 minute. Add water. Bring to a boil then cover and turn to low heat. Simmer until water is completely absorbed. While rice is cooking, prepare layers 1-3.

Layer 1
In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté nuts with butter until golden and aromatic. Set aside.

Layer 2
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine beef, onion, salt and pepper (and oil if using). Cook until beef is thoroughly browned and cooked through. Set aside.

Layer 3
Blanch peas in a large pot. Strain water and set aside.

Assembly: In a bundt cake pan, spread nuts evenly across the bottom. Top with meat, spreading evenly to distribute. Top with peas. Finish with rice. Pack rice down as firmly as possible, trying to make the surface as flat and even as possible. Cover cake pan with foil for about 2 minutes. Carefully flip cake over on to a flat surface (baking sheet or flat plate). Allow to set for 1-2 minutes before removing pan. Serve immediately. 

*Cake will lose shape. Spoon out portions over top a flat surface that can catch the crumbles. 

Syrian rice and peas cake


A travel photographer and writer with an insatiable desire to explore the world and inspire others to see it for themselves.


  1. January 25, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    Both dishes still look good to me 🙂 True though, the longer you blog, the better you get at photo’s, editing .. and finding your style.

    What is the side sauce? Sour cream or tzatziki sauce?


  2. May 26, 2017 / 12:05 am

    I think the first photo was just fine! I’d rather think about you eating it warm than see it styled and edited!

    • May 26, 2017 / 12:11 am

      Aww thanks Johanna! That’s sweet of you to say! Either way, it’s a delicious dinner – hope you can give it a shot sometime! 🙂