Goan Jackfruit Cake(Phanas Dhonas)

You have to be an absolute jackfruit lover to bake and eat a jackfruit cake. You either love jackfruit or you hate it, there is no in between! I belong to the first category and never miss the season without making jackfruit delicacies, savoury or sweet. People from coastal regions are well versed with jackfruit dishes. My mom’s side being from Konkan, Maharashtra’s coastal region and my mom-in-law being from Goa, my love affair with jackfruit has thrived and blossomed ! In this blog I am sharing a very traditional recipe from both Konkan and Goa, ie the ripe jackfruit cake.

In Konkan, this cake is called sandan(सांदण) and in Goa it is called Dhonas(धोणस). I have added a twist to it by baking this cake and not steaming it. That way it gives me a flexibility to bake it in larger quantity and in any shape desired. You require to use a ripe jackfruit for this cake. We primarily get two varieties of jackfruits in India. You can differentiate between these two varieties based on the characteristics of the flesh. There is a firmer version called Kapa(कापा) in marathi which is lighter yellow in colour, crunchier and drier. This one has more flesh and is slightly less sweet. It is typically consumed as is because it gives a good eating experience. The second version called barka(बरका) in marathi, is dark golden yellow in colour. It is softer and moister and also sweeter and is mostly turned into pulp. If you have a whole jackfruit, cut it only when it starts emanating a strong sweet smell which is difficult to miss. That indicates that it is ripe.

My cousin’s garden yielded me a kapa type of jackfruit. So I decided to make a jackfruit cake using that although it is more common to use the barka variety. Believe me it turns out as delicious with the kapa variety also. You have to remove the seed and then grind the flesh into pulp. As the jackfruit is naturally so sweet, you require minimal quantity of additional sweet. Jaggery is a good addition as it is healthier than sugar and compliments the coconut and jackfruit so well. Coconut to be used is freshly scrapped and not grated. Cashew nuts being Goa local, is a common garnish. For the body of the cake, I am using semolina, however you could also use a rice rava which is more common for the Konkan variety of this cake.

Here is the recipe :


  1. Semolina 1 cup
  2. Ghee 1/4 cup
  3. Jaggery powder 1/2 cup
  4. Jackfruit pulp 2 cup
  5. Milk to adjust consistency
  6. Scrapped coconut 1/2 packed cup
  7. Cashew nuts halved
  8. Cardamom powder 1 tsp


  1. Heat ghee in a pan and roast the semolina till it takes a hint of pink and is fragrant. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix together, jackfruit pulp, jaggery powder, scrapped coconut and cardamom. Whisk to dissolve the jaggery. Add the roosted semolina and whisk well to form a homogenous mixture.
  3. The batter needs to be dropping consistency. Add milk spoon by spoon to adjust the consistency.
  4. Pour the batter in a greased baking tray, garnish with halved cashew nuts and bake in a pre-heated oven in a water bath at 180 Degrees C for 35-40 min or till done.
  5. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares of desired size. Serve warm.

I have gone traditional and not added any rising agent like baking powder or soda. If you want a lighter cake add 1/2 a tsp of baking powder. Also you can easily replace the jackfruit pulp by ripe mango pulp and satiate the mango lovers at home. So give this recipe a try while the jackfruits are still in season.