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Basboosa (Middle Eastern semolina cake) recipe

Basboosa (Middle Eastern semolina cake) recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Sponge cake
  • Semolina cake

This sticky Lebanese confection is made with semolina, baked to a golden brown, and drizzled with sweet orange blossom water syrup.

6 people made this

IngredientsServes: 16

  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 475ml fine semolina
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 225g plain yoghurt
  • 15g butter, softened
  • 16 blanched almond halves
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 475ml water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 15g butter
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Extra time:1hr › Ready in:1hr50min

  1. Line a 23x33cm glass baking dish with aluminium foil and generously butter the foil. Spread the tahini evenly over the bottom in a thin layer.
  2. Mix together semolina with 300g sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Mix in the yoghurt and 15g softened butter gently with your hands until the dough is smooth. Spread dough out into the prepared baking dish. Pat the surface smooth. Cover the dish with foil, and allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 squares; push an almond half gently into the top of each square.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cake is set and the top is lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  5. While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Place 400g of sugar into a saucepan with the water, and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Stir in the lemon juice, and boil the syrup for 5 minutes; stir in butter and orange flower water until combined. Pour the hot syrup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let cool for 1 to 2 hours to let the syrup absorb before serving.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(7)

Reviews in English (6)

by conformityki11s

This dessert was so delicious, one of my friends asked me to make it for his birthday instead of cake! I used more tahini than originally called for (about 1/4 cup instead of 1 tbsp) because I had trouble getting the paste to spread far enough on the bottom of the dish, and I only used about half the syrup in the end. The dessert was deliciously nutty and had a nice moist, slightly grainy texture without being too sticky.-13 Oct 2011

by Marielise

Delicious! Actually, the ingredients are not expensive at all, I found everything at a middle eastern halal market. Thank you Basboos-04 Apr 2014

Semolina Cake With Cream (Basbousa)

Published: Dec 1, 2018 · Modified: Jul 20, 2020 by Amira · This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

A gloriously creamy and moist semolina cake, stuffed with luscious cream drizzled with syrup then topped with nuts. A pastry shop style cake with a stunning look that will get everyone's attention.
For a traditional basbousa recipe, try this all-time fan favorite basbousa, and if you are into semolina check out this Revani cake.

An Egyptian style semolina cake (basbousa) gets reinvented to be a show-stopping piece of art. Cream filled basbousa is moist, spongy, sweet and melts in your mouth. This got my kids go crazy as they devoured it in half a day.

Ingredients You'll Need

  • Semolina: You'll need course semolina for this recipe. This Arabic cake should be crumbly and grainy in a way, and fine semolina won't give it the right texture.
  • Ghee: I've tried to make basbousa with regular butter, but ghee or clarified butter really is the key to getting the perfect flavor.
  • Yogurt: You can use any type of yogurt. I've made it with full fat and low-fat yogurt, and greek yogurt was the only one that didn't work. So only avoid greek yogurt.
  • Sugar: The dough itself will need white sugar, which you can use less since you'll be soaking the basbousa cake in sugar syrup anyway. It depends on how sweet you like it.
  • Baking Powder: You'll only need a little bit of baking powder, but it's what gives this basbousa its delicate and addicting texture.
  • Honey: I found that honey was the missing ingredient to giving it that special flavor. And it also helps the dough come together.
  • Tahini: You can use olive oil, ghee, or vegetable oil too. You only need a little bit to grease your baking pan with.
  • Raw Nuts: I like garnishing my basbousa semolina cake with pistachios. You can use almonds, pine nuts, or cashews, or just leave It plain.
  • Orange Blossom Water: I always make my simple syrup with orange blossom water. It just adds that special touch.
  • Lemon Juice: My aunt taught me to add a tiny bit of lemon juice to my simple syrup to intensify its flavors and thicken it up faster.

Basbousa Recipe (Semolina Cake)

Basbousa is a traditional Egyptian – middle eastern sweet cake. Basically Basbousa (also known as revani or harissa) cake is a semolina cake with coconut soaked in syrup. This dessert is popular in all Arab cuisines and many other cuisines all over the middle east. Each county has their own version of basbousa, this version of semolina cake is light, fluffy and sweet. This recipe perfect for the Ramadan or any other occasion

WORK TIME 20 Minutes
RECIPE CUISINE Middle eastern

1½ cups (270g) Semolina
1/2 cup (65g) Plain Flour
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 cup (90g) desiccated/shredded coconut
1/2 cup (115g) Butter, melted
3 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 cup (230g) Plain yogurt/Sour cream
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Almonds, blanched or regular

1½ cups (300g) Sugar
1½ cups (360ml) Water
1 teaspoon Rose water/orange blossom
2 tablespoons Lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 180C (360F). Grease an 9x9-inch (23cm) or a 9-10” (23-26cm) round cake pan with butter.

2. In a large bowl beat egg with sugar until light and pale. Add melted butter, vanilla extract, yogurt, and beat on low speed until incorporated. add semolina, flour, coconut, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined.

3. Transfer the mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Cut a diamond or square design in the cake with a butter knife. Place an almond in the center of each diamond.

4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Meanwhile make the syrup: in a small saucepan place water and sugar, place the saucepan over medium-high heat until boils. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add lemon juice, rose water and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Cut the cake again along the pre-cut lines and pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still hot. Let cool before serving.


This Egyptian recipe for sweet semolina cake is incredibly easy to make. It's topped with a delicious rosewater and lemon syrup.



Skill level


  • 2½ cups coarse semolina
  • 90 g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 75 g (½ cup) self-raising flour
  • 200 g thick yoghurt
  • 200 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 25–30 g blanched almonds
  • milk, if needed
  • 330 g (1½ cups) sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp rosewater

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 190°C. Mix the semolina, coconut, sugar, flour, yoghurt, melted butter and vanilla in a bowl. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little milk, but it should still be fairly stiff. Spread the mixture with your hands into a buttered 30 cm x 25 cm x 5 cm baking tray. Cut it into diamond shapes, pressing hard. Place an almond in the centre of each diamond. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir in the lemon juice and rosewater and remove from the heat. Leave to cool.

Pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still hot. Cool to serve.

Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Alice Storey and Georgina Larby. Creative concept by Belinda So.

Middle Eastern Dessert Recipe#Basboosa cake recipe#Easy basboosa recipe by Zara's kitchen.

Basboosa a straightforward semolina cake that is an Egyptian recipe, super straightforward to make. Authentic basboosa is soft and juicy. The super delectable cake is sprinkled with nuts or almonds and drizzled with sugar syrup to place the ultimate seal to perfection.

Ingredients FOR CAKE:
1-1/2 cup sooji(Rava)
1/2 cup basic flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup coconut (crushed)
1 cup oil
1 cup curd
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp yellow food items color
bake at 180 degrees
2 cup drinking water
2 cup sugar
boil for 10 minutes

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B asbousa is a popular Middle Eastern dish, made of semolina(suji) and coconut, soaked with simple sugar syrup which is flavoured with lemon and rose water.
T his baked semolina dessert is known in different names in different region of Middle East and Egypt, like Basbousa/hareesa in Arabic, Revani in Turkish or Ravani and Revani in Greek. In Egypt, it is known as basbousa/basboosa . I have found this recipe on my friend's blog, "A Homemaker's Diary" . This was on my to-try list for long time. I wanted to try it as it sounded very delicious, something diffrent but very familiar flavor for us Indians.
F inally, on the occassion of my parent's anniversary, which was yesterday, I baked for them. Not any traditional cake, but they enjoyed this unusual cake on their special day. I also want to dedicate this sweet semolian dessert on the occassion of International Women's day to all special women(my grandmom, my mom, my mother-in-law) in my life who have inspired me, supported me, loved me unconditionally and taught me the most important life lessions each and every day.

B asbousa is very easy-to-prepare cake. This version I tried in eggless, if you want to bake it with eggs, then replace the yoghurt in this recipe with 2 eggs. I also added some roasted almonds and cashews to teh extra crunch, as my recipe source suggested, but its completely optional. Traditionally, an almond is topped on each basbousa piece, but I added chopped pistachio, as I love the flavor of pistachios. There is another variant of Basbousa available by the name of Pastusha , which is originated in Kuwait, which is similarly made but topped with ground almonds and flavoured with orange flower water.
T here are many versions available on the web, where little bit of flour is also added with semolina, I'll give it a try next time but this time I followed my friend's recipe to the T, Check out her recipe here. As this dessert dish comes from the land of saffron, I added few strands of saffron to the sugar syrup for the awesoem flavor of saffron.

You need :
Semolina(suji) : 1 1/2 cup
Curd/yoghurt(dahi) : 3/4 cup
Grated Coconut : 1/2 cup
Butter/Ghee : 4 tblsp.
Sugar : 2/3 cup[ use powdered sugar for easy mixing]
Roasted almonds/cashews : 1/2 cup(chopped)
Baking powder : 1/4 tsp.
Rose essence : 1 tsp.
halved pistachios/almonds for decoration
For sugar Syrup :
Water : 1/2 cup
Sugar : 1/4 cup
Lemon : 1
Rose essence : 1 tsp.
Saffron : few strands (my addition)


Basbousa (also known as Revani, Hareesa and Nammoura in various places) is a traditional Middle Eastern sweet moist cake, usually made with semolina and soaked in a simple syrup. The word ‘basbousa’ is Arabic for ‘Just a Kiss’, and this lovely cake certainly lives up to its’ name!

Ingredients for Basbousa

  • 1 3/4 cups coarse semolina/sooji
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt (or you can mix half yoghurt and half milk)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds, blanched and peeled

Ingredients for Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla or rosewater (you can even use any other flavouring that you prefer, like saffron or cardamom)


First, prepare the syrup. Combine the water, sugar and lemon juice in a small pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and gently simmer for about 5-8 minutes.Then turn off the heat, stir in the rosewater or vanilla essence and set the syrup aside to cool down.

In a large bowl, mix together the semolina, flour, baking powder, sugar, coconut and salt. In a small jug, mix the liquid ingredients, yoghurt, melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and then gradually add the liquid ingredients while mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon to form a thick batter.

Pour and level out the batter in a greased 11࡭ inch pan and lightly score the top with diamond or square shaped cuts. Press a whole almond in the middle of each square or diamond. Then cover and set the pan aside for half an hour. This helps the semolina to absorb the liquids. In the meantime, preheat the oven at 180 C.

Uncover the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Then remove from the oven and carefully cut all the way through the marks you had made earlier. Pour the cooled syrup as evenly as possible all over the hot basbousa. Then place the pan back in the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting out the pieces and serving.


(Lebanese Semolina Tart). Combine all ingredients (just mix with a fork, do not beat) and poured into a greased pan. Put into oven (375F/180C) for about 30 minutes (hint: when edges are firm and lightly browned it's ready. If rest of cake needs browning grill/broil for a few minutes.) Cut into squares or diamonds and place an almond in the center of each (this step is optional) SYRUP Make a syrup ( before making the cake ) by boiling 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water. Remove from heat, add a tsp of butter. leave to cool. When the cakes comes out of the oven, pour the cooled syrup on top. Hint, for the syrup, I use only 1/2 cup of sugar I add a little bit of vanilla to it. I also use, 1 1/4 cup of semolina flour and 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut.

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Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • ⅓ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk, or as needed
  • ¼ cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix together the semolina flour, baking powder, 1 cup sugar, coconut and butter. Add the yogurt and milk mix until moistened but not runny or liquid. If you see that it is too dry, add more milk. Spread into a greased 8 inch square baking dish, smoothing the top as much as possible. Decorate the top with whole almonds.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. While the basboosa is baking, combine the water, 1 cup of sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook for at least 5 minutes.

When the basboosa has finished baking, pour the syrup over it as evenly as possible. Place it back in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the syrup has been fully absorbed. Let rest for about 20 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving.