What Are the Different Types of Halal Cake?

Glyn Sinclair

Halal cake comes in many different shapes and flavors. It can be wedding cake or birthday cake, and is as varied and tasty as non-halal cake, including chocolate, lemon, fruit and rice cake. The only difference is that they are made in accordance with the Islamic tradition and law of halal. Haram, meaning unlawful, is the opposite of halal, which means lawful. Halal cake is made without alcohol or any haram products at all, such as certain ingredients like animal fat-based cake shortening.

In a general sense, "halal" means "lawful" in Arabic, and refers to that which is permitted under the rules of Islam.
In a general sense, "halal" means "lawful" in Arabic, and refers to that which is permitted under the rules of Islam.

Food derived from pigs, carnivorous animals, and animals that have been improperly slaughtered are all considered haram. Any grains, fruit or vegetables that have been untouched by haram products are considered halal and are permitted to be eaten. Blood products are also considered haram and because of this the animal’s jugular vein is cut during the slaughter process and allowed to drain completely. For a product to be considered halal, the animal it comes from needs to be slaughtered in the name of Allah. Haram and halal are terms applied to every aspect and action of Islamic life and are not simply related to food.

Halal cake is prepared in accordance with Islamic principles.
Halal cake is prepared in accordance with Islamic principles.

Many non-Halal cake recipes include alcohol to bring out flavor. Halal cake often uses fruit juice as a way of replacing the alcohol, as well as including flavoring from vanilla extract that is free from alcohol. Bakers typically use shortening made with pork fat, whereas halal bakers will substitute this product with solid fats made from fruit instead. Substitutes made from from apples, prunes, and bananas all work well and still make for a good flavor. Gelatin that is derived from a pig is also considered haram and excluded from halal cake baking.

When making halal cake, bakers will take care not to allow utensils to come into contact with haram foods or surfaces. There are times when ingredients are questionable and they are referred to as mushbooh. Usually these items tend to be gelatin and emulsifiers and should be thoroughly researched before they are included in the cake.

When purchasing ingredients to make a halal cake it is important to read labels carefully and check whether the are halal or haram. Each ingredient should be checked to see if it fits with the halal ethos. The product should not be used in the cake mixture if any items are found to be haram. It is recommended to discard the product if any ingredients fall under the mushbooh category, or to call the manufacturer to double-check.

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Discussion Comments


@ocelot60- Try using a plant-based oil to replace the animal shortening. I have found that olive oil, canola oil, and palm oil all make good substitutes for animal fats. They are better for your health, too.

If you want to add a little extra flavor and moisture to the mix, you can follow what the article suggests and add a little fruit such as apple sauce or some mashed banana. However, I think that you still need to add some oil along with the fruit to keep the cake rich and moist.

Experiment with your recipe, and I think you will find the right balance of ingredients to turn it into a tasty halal cake that is just as good as the cake with animal fats.


I have a cake recipe that has been in the family for years. I think it has stayed that way because every person who has ever tasted it has raved about how wonderful it is. The secret of the recipe is the animal shortening that is used to make it so rich and moist. How can I make the same cake using a halal recipe without compromising the flavor and texture?


I have a friend who is Islamic, and he explained how important it is to Islamic people that they follow strict halal diets. He made a halal cake for my birthday last year, and explained how he did it and how the ingredients and baking methods made it halal. Not only did I get an interesting lesson on different cultures and their diets, but I also was treated to a fabulous cake!

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