CAKE!, Desserts, Recipes We Love

Recipe: Burmese Coconut Milk Cake

Check out this amazing recipe for Swegyi Sanwei Makin – a coconut milk cake popular in Burma.

This is sweet and can definitely be enjoyed as a dessert. Add some mango ice cream for an extra treat.  Luckily for you, the cake is also great if you like sweet breakfast treats.

The ingredients are simple and the cake is easy to make.

Bread flour 1 cup
Coconut milk 2 cup
Brown sugar 1 cup
Butter 2 table spoon
Egg 2
Salt 1 pinch
Coconut slice 1 pinch


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 320 °F
  2. Mix all the ingredients  and pour into a medium pan
  3. Stir mixture over medium heat for 15 mins until the ingredients becomes solid.
  4. Add coconut slice.
  5. Bake in the oven for 40-45 mins.

Hands-on time to make this cake is less than an hour. Give the cake time to cool before digging in.


Coconut Milk Cake

Holidays, Savory dishes

A Healthier Dip For Your Independence Day BBQ

Independence Day is just around the corner and you may be wondering what you can bring to the BBQ. You want something that is unique, healthy, and delicious.

Since potato chips, hot dogs, and popsicles will be plentiful, why not bring something your health and tastebuds will thank you for?

Look no further than this Berbere-Spiced Red Lentil Hummus that we came across from The Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

The main spice in this hummus is Berbere.  It is traditionally found in many Ethiopian dishes. Enjoy this hummus  in a pita sandwich with meat or veggies. It also tastes great by itself or served as a dip with fresh injera (an Ethiopian bread).

Pick up your order of fresh, authentic injera at the Sweet Sanctuary today. Your barbecue guests will love this healthy, flavorful combination!

Recipes We Love

8 Birthday Cakes From Around the World

DISCLAIMER: Don’t read on an empty stomach!

Can you recall the best birthday cake you ever had? Many people can remember with vivid detail the decadence of a thoughtfully cooked birthday treat.

Cakes are a tradition that many cultures use to celebrate birthdays. Most Americans have at least one piece of cake on their birthday.

But you may be surprised to learn what other people around eat to celebrate their birthday. It’s not all cake, and it’s not always sweet. Some are even savory! Here is a glimpse of what birthday “cakes” look like in 8 different countries:

1. Australia

The classic birthday treat down under is a light and fluffy meringue cake. Pavlova is usually topped with cream and local, colorful fruits like kiwi and passionfruit.

Australian Birthday Cake

2. Indonesia

In Indonesia, many holidays celebrations include a savory cake made of rice and vegetables. Its layers of yellow rice symbolize wealth and prosperity for the birthday individual.

3. China

Pear-shaped pastries filled with lotus paste are often birthday gifts. In Chinese literature, the pear symbolizes immortality and long life, a wish for aging Chinese people.

4. England

The British often mix a symbolic item into their birthday cakes. A coin symbolizes wealth, or a thimble is a sign the person won’t marry.

5. Denmark

Danish birthday cakes for children are called kagemands or kagekones. Usually the rolled out pastry is shaped like a cake woman or man and is then decorated with candy, chocolate, and icing. Children enjoy the tradition of cutting the cake into pieces. The birthday boy or girl gets to eat the head.

6. Ghana

In Ghana cake is not as common. Instead breakfast treats are served during birthday celebrations. Kelewe, is a go-to, consisting of fried plantains spiced with ginger and pepper.

7. Chile

Chileans enjoy merengue birthday cakes with fruit fillings. Lucama, a traditional fruit, that tastes like sweet custard, is a popular flavor for filling. In many Latin American countries, it is traditional to have the “cumplenero” and bite into the cake without utensils, while their friends and family push their face into the cake.

8. Italy

The cassata/rum cake or just the “birthday cake” in Italy, is three or four layers of sponge cake soaked in a rum flavoured mixture, filled with vanilla and chocolate pasty cream (pasticciera) and topped with whipped cream icing and garnished with nuts. Some versions involve covering the cake with a shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel icing and candied fruit, especially citrus fruits grown in the various Italian regions.

Looking to bring something different to your next birthday celebration? Check out Sweet Sanctuary! We offer baked goods and treats from all over the world.

General information

Learn more about Sweet Sanctuary

About Us

Sweet Sanctuary furthers refugee integration in the Oakland community through delicious, multicultural baked goods.

Oakland has a large population of refugees. Once refugees are admitted into the United States, they are faced with many new challenges. One of the biggest challenges is employment primarily due to their low level of English proficiency and lack of formal work experience. The Sweet Sanctuary provides employment, English language classes, and other business related skill trainings to the refugee women who struggle most due to these reasons.

learn more about current events related to refugees

Our Bakers

Our employees are from various countries including Bhutan, Burma, Iraq, Iran, Eritrea, and Afghanistan. They utilize the baking skills and recipes which they know from their home countries. This allows the Sweet Sanctuary to provide a unique variety of offerings for customers. Our customers can enjoy, in addition to luxury of high-quality baked goods, learning about the culture and history of the countries of our employees.

check out some examples of our country cards!

Our mission

Sweet Sanctuary promotes two-way cultural exchange between refugees and natives of the community, and thus the integration of refugees into the community.

Recipes We Love

24 Easy Ramadan Recipes That Will Keep You Energized Throughout The Day

As our brothers and sisters around the world celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, millions of Muslims around the world will abstain from food and water between dawn and dusk.

Don’t forget the importance of food

Especially during Ramadan, it is important to eat foods that will keep your energy high during the hours of fasting. While it might seem like a good idea to load up your plate, this won’t help anything if those foods are unhealthy, loaded with sugar, and contain little protein. In fact, you’ll be hangry by mid-morning and will be probably be grumpy throughout the day.

The suhoor is the most important meal of the day and should healthy and fulfilling: with lots of fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats. You should also remember to eat fruits and veggies.  Try to incorporate lots of different color on your plate – greens, carrots, peppers.

(Also, don’t forget to drink at least two glasses of water during the early hours – but try not to chug the water)

Nour Zibdeh, a registered dietitian based in Virginia, and Amanda Saab, spoke with HuffPost and shared 24 recipes that will keep you full throughout the day, even when you’re pressed for time. They shared recipes for the suhoour and for the iftar.

We’re loving Amanda Saab’s Avocado Egg Toast

Stay full and energized throughout the day
Avocado Egg Toast
  • Prep: 5 mins     Cook: 5 mins

• 2 eggs
• 1 tablespoon heavy cream
• 1/2 avocado, mashed
• 1/2 tablespoon butter
• chives, chopped
• chive blossoms, optional
• cherry tomatoes, optional
• kosher salt
• pinch of Cayenne pepper
• 2 slices of whole grain bread, toasted

1. Whisk together eggs and cream. Melt butter in sautee pan and scramble the eggs

2. Season avocado with salt and Cayenne pepper.

3. Spread onto the toast. Top with the scrambled eggs, chives and cherry tomatoes

4. Season with more kosher salt, if desired

5. Enjoy 🙂