Ras malai cake, also known as rasgulla or rasmalai, is one of India’s most popular desserts.
It was originally created by an Indian chef named Sushrut Banerjee who wanted to create something that would be easier than making traditional curd rice pudding (which can take hours).
What Is A Ras Malai Cake?
Ras malai cake, which translates from Hindi to English as ‘sweet cream’, is essentially a sweetened version of the classic Indian dessert called kulfi, but it uses thickened milk instead of ice cream.
The original dish was created in 1930s-40s when British soldiers were stationed in India.
The name ras malai comes from the fact that it is often served with a layer of condensed milk on top.
Since then, many different types of ras malai cakes have been developed – including ones that are flavoured with cardamom, saffron and pistachio.
Despite its humble origins, this mouthwatering treat has become extremely popular across the world.
It is now considered to be a quintessential part of any Asian cuisine restaurant menu.
How Is A Ras Malai Cake Made?
The first step when creating a ras malai cake is to make the batter.
This involves boiling milk with sugar until it thickens into a sticky mass, then adding ghee (clarified butter) at this stage.
Next comes the addition of rose flavoring, cardamom pods and saffron threads.
The mixture needs to cook until the flavor becomes more intense before being beaten well so that it has a smooth texture.
This is followed by the addition of condensed milk, which creates air pockets within the cake, giving it its characteristic look.
Finally, the mixture is rolled out on a flat surface and cut into circles using small round cookie cutters.
To finish off, these circles are deep fried in oil to form thin layers of the dessert.
Once done, they should turn golden brown and crispy around the edges while remaining soft inside.
Though many variations exist, the basic idea behind a ras malai cake remains the same – the use of condensed milk to give it a creamy consistency, along with the inclusion of other ingredients such as saffron and cardamom.
However, there are different ways in which you can make your own version of this classic dessert.
What Are The Ingredients In A Ras Malai Cake?
A ras malai has several different components but the main ones you will see listed below are milk, sugar, yogurt, ghee, cardamom, saffron, pistachios, almonds, rose water, and raisins.
Other common additions include vanilla extract, coconut oil, and even green food coloring!
You need at least 2 cups of whole milk for this dessert because you want your ras malai to have a thick consistency when cooked.
This ingredient helps sweeten up the dish and adds more flavor.
You should try to use granulated white sugar here so you get a smoother texture.
The best type of yogurt for this recipe is full-fat Greek yogurt which gives off a rich creaminess once mixed with warm liquid.
If you don’t have access to this kind of yogurt then regular plain yogurt will work just fine.
Ghee is clarified butter and contains no dairy products like other types of butter do.
It is used to add flavour and richness to many dishes in South Asia including desserts such as ras malai.
These seeds come from pods found on trees native to Southeast Asia.
They give the ras malai a spicy kick and are often added to sweets in order to enhance their taste.
This spice comes from the crocus flower and gives the ras malai a beautiful golden color, giving it a luxurious appearance.
Similar to almonds, pistachios lend a nutty flavour to the ras malai dessert while adding some crunch to its overall look.
You may not find these nuts in every grocery store around the world but they are commonly available in Middle Eastern countries like Lebanon where people traditionally eat them during festive occasions.
They provide a nice textural contrast to the softness offered by pistachios and help bring out the sweetness in the ras malai.
This ingredient is often added to desserts in order to impart floral notes.
Rose water is extracted from roses using steam distillation techniques.
This process creates a clear, colourless solution containing essential oils, glycerin, and organic acids.
If you can’t find rose water in your local supermarket then you could always opt to buy it online instead!
Here are two links to buy rosewater online:
Raisins are dried grapes and they are usually included in desserts in order to give them a chewy texture.
The sugar coating inside the grape skin makes the raisin hard to bite into without breaking apart too much.
How Long Does It Take To Make A Ras Malai Cake?
The typical preparation time for a ras malai cake ranges from 3-5 hours depending on how much time you have available for your project.
You will need to prepare all the ingredients before beginning this recipe so they’re ready when you start baking them.
- 4 cups basmati rice flour
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1/2 cup milk
Once everything has been prepared, you can begin mixing the batter with your hands until it becomes smooth and uniform.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of A Ras Malai Cake?
A ras malai cake contains around 200 calories per serving.
It has about 0 grams of fat and no cholesterol but does contain high amounts of carbohydrates like sugar, flour, milk powder, butter, eggs, and oil.
The nutritional breakdown of a ras malai cake includes all essential vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc etc.
The protein content of a ras malai cake ranges from 1 gram to 3 grams depending on the brand you choose.
There are more than 150 different versions of this dessert across India.
They vary in size, shape, color, taste, and ingredients used.
Ingredients for a ras malai cake
- 1 cup semolina flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon ghee/butter
- 2 tablespoons curds/yogurt
- 2 cups water
- 2-4 drops cardamom extract
- 3 egg yolks
- Oil for deep frying
Steps to prepare a ras malai cake
Sift the dry ingredients together first then add them into the wet ingredients, mixing well with your hands until everything comes together.
Put aside the batter and let it rest for 30 minutes before using.
In a wok, heat 2 inches of oil on medium-high heat.
Once hot enough, dip a spoon into the batter and lightly scoop out some of the mixture onto the spoon and place it in the oil.
You should see bubbles forming around the edges almost immediately.
If not, lower the temperature slightly.
Flip over the ras malai cake after about 15 seconds and cook for another 10-15 seconds.
Flip again and repeat the process if needed.
Drain the cakes on paper towels and serve warm.
You can store these cakes at room temperature for up to 4 days.
How Many Calories Are In A Ras Malai Cake?
A single ras malai cake has between 400-500 calories per serving depending on size/variety.
The average ras malai cake contains around 440 calories while some varieties contain more than 600 calories!
The calorie count may vary slightly based on how it is prepared but this is generally considered to be a healthy dessert option when eaten with no other ingredients added.
This means that if you plan to make this dish at home then you should keep your portions small so that they don’t add up too quickly.
What Is The Best Way To Eat A Ras Malai Cake?
The easiest way to enjoy this dessert is with ice cream. It goes great with vanilla ice cream!
But if you want to make it healthier, try adding fresh fruit on top like strawberries or bananas.
Another option is to use frozen yogurt instead of plain old ice cream.
You can even experiment with different flavors such as chocolate chip cookie dough, Oreo cookie crust, or peanut butter cup!
Is A Ras Malai Cake Good For You?
A ras malai cake is made with milk solids, sugar, flour, cardamom powder, saffron, pistachio nuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, rose water, and ghee.
The ras malai cake contains less fat than other types of cakes and cookies, but it has more protein, so it may help reduce your risk of heart disease if you eat them regularly.
However, keep in mind that these cakes contain high amounts of refined sugars which could cause tooth decay, especially if they aren’t eaten alongside foods like yogurt and fresh fruits.
How to make ras malai cake
- In a pan over medium heat, melt butter. When melted add cardamom pods, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Stir until fragrant.
- Add sugar and stir constantly until dissolved. Add eggs one at a time stirring after each addition.
- Next add milk along with the vanilla extract. Continue stirring until mixture thickens slightly.
- Now add all dry ingredients into batter. Mix well. You will notice the consistency of batter change from liquidy to stiff dough-like texture.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest overnight at room temperature.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F/180 °C.
- Pour batter onto greased baking sheet evenly. Bake for 15 minutes then turn down heat to 300°F/150°C and continue baking another 7 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into pieces.
Ingredients used for ras malai cake recipes
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons ground pistachios
- ¼ cup chopped blanched almonds
- ⅓ cup finely minced dried cranberries
- ⅛ teaspoon saffron threads
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup rosewater
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Ghee, clarified butter
Recipe notes for ras malai cake
You can use regular milk instead of heavy cream, however, using this type of dairy product will give the cake a richer flavor.
If you want to make this dish vegan, simply omit the egg yolks.
What Are The Side Effects Of Eating A Ras Malai Cake?
The ingredients in this dessert include milk solids, sugar, ghee, rose water, cardamom seeds, saffron threads, pistachios, almonds, cashews, raisins, and cream.
The combination of these foods makes it very filling.
However, some people have reported feeling lethargic after consuming large amounts of ras malai cake.
Some other symptoms include stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, skin rash, and allergic reactions like hives.
How to make a ras malai cake
- Add 4 cups of milk along with 2-1/4 cups of sugar into a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling add 1 tablespoon of ghee and stir till it melts completely.
- Remove from flame and let cool down until lukewarm. Add 2 teaspoons of cardamom powder and mix well.
- In another bowl combine 3 tablespoons of milk solids, 1 teaspoon of saffron strands, and ½ cup of sugar. Mix them together thoroughly.
- Heat up your pan again on low flame and add ¼ cup of ghee and mix well. Pour in one third of the mixture and spread out evenly across the bottom of the pan.
- Take the remaining two thirds of the mixture and pour it back into the same pan. Let cook over low flame until golden brown. Flip the cakes onto a plate and remove the edges carefully so they don’t break apart.
- Cut each cake into eight pieces.
- Put the rest of the ghee and sugar mixture into the same pan and mix well. Spread the mixture all around the sides of the pan and place the cut ras malai cake pieces inside. Cover the pan and let cook without letting any air get trapped between the top layer and the pan. Cook covered for 5 minutes then uncover and flip the ras malai cake pieces.
- Cook it for another 10 minutes and serve hot.
The ingredients you need to make this dessert are milk, sugar, cream cheese, rosewater, cardamom powder, saffron strands, pistachios, almonds, raisins, coconut flakes, and a few other spices.
You will find these in almost all grocery stores around the world but if you want to get your hands on some authentic ingredients then try to source them from local markets.
- The Oven
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 cup castor sugar
- ½ cup milk
- ½ tsp kewra extract
- 2 drops yellow food color
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 2-3 saffron strands
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 box rasmalai
- Put two 6 inch round cake pans in the oven and preheat it to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Add some cardamom powder and a few strands of saffron to a bowl of milk. Mix thoroughly, then set this away for a few minutes to infuse.
- Yogurt should be added to a separate basin with baking soda sprinkled on top, then let to bubble up.
- In a another dish, whisk the castor sugar and oil until they are pale and well blended.
- Add vanilla and kewra extracts.
- Now add the milk that has been infused with the yogurt mixture, sugar, and oil, and stir thoroughly.
- Add baking powder and maida to the wet ingredients. Make sure there are no lumps by whisking.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes at 180C, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake emerges clean.
- Use a serrated knife to divide each cake in half after allowing the cakes to cool completely.
- For the frosting, whip the cream until firm peaks form, then fold in a couple spoonfuls of the rasmalai liquid.
- A few drops of yellow food colouring should be added.
- Drizzle some of the rasmalai liquid over one layer of cake. Whipped cream should be piped in a thick layer.
- Place the second layer of cake after adding some chopped pistachios. Repeat as necessary with additional layers.
- Whipping cream should be added in dollops and distributed evenly over the top.Garnish with small pieces of ras malai and serve!