Algerian Nut Cake Khbeezat Tunis

Khbeezat Tunis recipe

Khbeezat Tunis recipe

Named after an Algerian woman by the name Tunis, this cake is rich in almond flour, rose water and lemon zest.


Algerian Almond Cake (Khbeezat Tunis)

I love balancing the sweet floral notes of the almond cake with the creamy tanginess of a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche. Sometimes Algerians use peanuts and coconuts instead of the almonds, or a mix of different nuts. Feel free to try it with your favorite combination.

by Soumeya | May 2019

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Inactive time: 0 minutes
  • Total time: 60 minutes

Servings: 12


  • 16 ounces honey
  • ½ cup rose water
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted ground almonds (see note)
  • 6 eggs *
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest finely minced *
  • Optional: ½ cup toasted blanched almond slices and sour cream or creme fraiche to serve


  1. In a small saucepan combine the honey and rose water. Stir over medium heat until it is well combined and there are no honey ribbons visible. As soon as you see the first simmer bubbles come to the surface, remove from the heat and set aside to cool. This will be the syrup that will be used to soak the almond cake.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. Grease a 4-5 quart baking dish
  4. In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients: bread crumbs, baking powder and almond flour. Mix until everything is well integrated.
  5. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, and lemon extract until just combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Add the oil and lemon zest. Whisk lightly and do not overmix.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and fold them in using a spatula. See notes for troubleshooting.
  8. Place the batter in the baking dish, shake it gently to level it. Bake until golden brown, 40- 50 minutes.
  9. Take out the cake from the oven and pour the syrup all over. Let the cake come to room temperature uncovered and soak for 8-12 hours.
  10. Serve at room temperature.


  1. To make fresh bread crumbs process a few slices in the food processor until you achieve fine crumbs. If you end up using dried bread crumbs you will have to add a little more rose water (2 tablespoons) to account for the dryness.
  2. Do not use almond flour under any circumstance, it turns the cake into a brick. Ground almonds are the size of a basmati rice grain that has been cut in half.
  3. The batter is forgiving but if it is too thin or too dry to spread then use almond flour or tablespoons of oil to help adjust it. Baking time can be impacted by the wetness of the batter.
  4. This dessert keeps for up 2 weeks. Keep it in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature 30 minutes before serving

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