Basbousa (Egypt)

Basbousa2Basbousa is a traditonal Middle Eastern sweet cake made from semolina, the same wheat used in pasta and couscous. This sweet cake is usually soaked in simple syrup and can be eaten with nuts, heavy cream, or plain.

There are so many variations of semolina treats so we’d like to thank The Mediterranean Dish for sharing this recipe.


  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup fine semolina PLUS 1 cup course semolina
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unseetened shredded coconut or coconut chips
  • 1/4 cup shaved almonds

Ingredients for Cinnamon Simply Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 short cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Place the butter in a small bowl and melt in the microwave. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine together sugar and yogurt. Now add in the semolina, baking powder and milk. Finally stir in the melted butter, and let the mixture sit briefly so that the butter is absorbed.
  4. Transfer the semolina mixture into a lightly greased 9″-round cake pan or baking dish. Bake in the 350 degrees F-heated oven for about 40 – 45 minutes. If necessary, broil ever so briefly so that the top of the basbousa gains color. Watch carefully. When ready, remove from oven.
  5. While the cake is baking, prepare the cinnamon simple syrup. In a small sauce pan or pot, combine the sugar, water and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Turn heat to low and let cook for a few minutes until the syrup thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Let cool completely, then remove the cinnamon stick.
  6. As soon as the basbousa is removed from the oven, pour the cool syrup on the hot basbousa. Let cool completely; syrup must be absorbed into the cake. For best result, let it sit for 1 hour before serving.
  7. When ready to serve, top the cake with the coconut chips and the coconut and shaved almonds. Slice and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you cannot find fine semolina, you can substitute it with 2 cups course semolina or 2 cups of Original Cream of Wheat enriched farina.

Orange flower water of rose water can be used in addition to simple syrup.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.