Vermicelli Cake (called vamazelli in Guyana) is a dessert made from toasted vermicelli noodles cooked in sweetened milk and warm spices. When cooled the noodles and milk come together to form a rich and delicious cake. The Trinidadian version of this dish is called Sawine. Instead of cooling into a thick cake, their version is a bit more loose and remains in a liquid form. Dried fruits and chopped nuts are added to both versions of this vermicelli dish.
Vermicelli is one of my husband's childhood favorites. Growing up in Guyana, in my family we didn't eat vermicelli often. It was a sweet reserved for religious holidays like Eid or Diwali. In my husband's family his aunt made it often as an after school snack.
What is Vermicelli Cake
Vermicelli cake is a dessert made with a wheat based vermicelli noodle. The noodles are broken into pieces and toasted in butter. The toasted noodles are then cooked in warm milk and spices until it thickens. This dish is called a cake because when it is cooled it can be cut into slices like a cake.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Authentic: This recipe has all of the authentic flavors of Guyanese Vermicelli Cake (Vamazelli Cake).
- Easy to Follow: With Step by Step instructions and visual guides this recipe is easy to follow
- Delicious: This recipe is a crowd pleaser. It is rich, decadent and absolutely delicious.
How to make Vermicelli Cake
Prepare the spiced milk by combining the condense milk, evaporated milk and water in a large pot. Then mix together until the condensed milk dissolves. Then add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla essence and mix together well. Add to medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Next, add the butter to a separate pot on medium heat. Then add the vermicelli noodles and cook until light brown (toasted). Then pour spiced milk to the pot with the toasted noodles.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Once the milk starts to boil, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid slightly ajar and and simmer for about 15 minutes stirring a few times to prevent burning, until it is fully cooked
Once the noodles cook and thickens pour the vermicelli into a greased baking dish and rest at room temperature until it cools completely.
Tips for making vermicelli cake
- Allow the vermicelli to cool completely before cutting into it. It will make the difference between a nicely compact slice and a sloppy mess.
- Some people like to set vermicelli in the refrigerator. For maximum flavor impact, set the vermicelli outside of the fridge. I prefer to just let my vermicelli sit on the counter, at room temperature until it cools down.
How to Make Sawine
You can also use this recipe to make Trinidadian style Sawine. Sawine is a type of vermicelli porridge. It is thick but has a lot more liquid that this vermicelli cake. It also does not thicken into cake as it cools. To make sawine, simple add 2 cups of liquids (water or evaporated milk) to this recipe. Follow all the steps as outlined in the recipe card, but once the noodles cook remove the vermicelli from the heat before it thickens. Serve with some crushed pistachios, maraschino cherries or sliced walnuts over the top.
Link to the video tutorial:
Printable Recipe Card
- In a large saucepan combine condense milk, evaporated milk and water. Mix together until the condensed milk dissolves into the evaporated milk. Then add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla essence and mix together well.
- Add the saucepan to medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to infuse the milk with all the spices. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Next, warm a large pot on medium heat. Then add the butter. When the butter melts completely add the vermicelli noodles and toast until brown but not burnt. Work in batches as needed.
- Then pour spiced milk to the pot with the toasted noodles. Pour the milk through a sieve or strainer to collect and discard the spices. Then add the raisins and mix together well.
- Bring to a boil the mixture to a boil, stirring often to prevent the milk from boiling over. Once the milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid slightly ajar and allow the noodles to simmer for about 15 minutes stirring a few times to prevent burning, until it is fully cooked.
- If your milk thickens before the noodles are fully cooked add another cup of water and mix together well, then continue to simmer until the noodles are fully cooked.
- Once the noodles cook and the milk simmers down to a thick and creamy consistency pour the vermicelli into a greased baking dish and allow it to cool completely.
- When the vermicelli cake cools, garnish with maraschino cherries and enjoy!
Enjoy your recipes
SIMONE A JESSAMY says
I tried the plait bread, now I'm trying the vermicelli cake. Easy, simple recipes. Thank you
Althea Brown says
No thank you and happy cooking.
My daughter has Celiac disease and has to be gluten-free. Is there a way I can make this with gluten-free vermicelli? If there is one? Ty