Basbousa Recipe – Semolina Cake


Basbousa Recipe - Semolina Cake

Hello lovelies, I am back with a delicious Basbousa Recipe – Semolina Cake.

Talking about recipes, I was browsing cooking videos on YouTube and a video came along that said “A pro chef cooks Egg Benedict in a tiny apartment.” So my Q is, how big an apartment do you need to cook Egg Benedict? I mean if we need a huge apartment to cook those tiny eggs, wouldn’t we need a villa to cook a 7-course meal. And her apartment wasn’t THAT tiny. I live in an apartment and my kitchen ain’t big at all but I have cooked food enough to feed 100 people in that kitchen. The crazy things that people would post/caption just to get those extra views. #rolleyesmoment

Anyways, sorry for ranting. Let’s get back this delicious cake.

SO, what is a Basbousa?

It is a semolina cake drenched in syrup. It originates from the Middle East and is now popular in parts of Europe too. However, there are many variations to it. Some calls for yogurt, some uses eggs, some are sugar based where else other recipes might use honey instead. The syrups can be plain or flavored with citrus, rose water or even spices like cinnamon or cloves.

Basbousa Recipe - Semolina Cake My mom loved the cake as she has always been a fan of Semolina. For those of you who are not familiar with semolina, it is a flour ground from durum wheat, the kind of high-protein wheat used in pasta making. It has the consistency of cornmeal. Desserts made from Semolina are typically popular in the Middle East and India too. In India, desserts like kheer and ladoos are often made from Semolina.

This Basbousa Recipe – Semolina Cake is dense yet soft and has a melt-in-the-mouth texture. I cut the basbousa into wedges although they are often cut into little squares, like brownies, as it is pretty rich and sweet. I topped the basbousa with almonds and coconut flakes. I think chopped pistachios would be good too!

Basbousa Recipe - Semolina Cake

Arabic sweets originate from many different cultures due to civilizations that occupied the region, thus the recipes do vary according to regions. Nevertheless, their sweets are mostly unique in flavors. These desserts are mostly on the sweet side and I feel that this is one of the reason why it is very popular during Ramadan. I mean you definitely need a nice treat after fasting for the whole day!


Basbousa Recipe - Semolina Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups semolina
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
For topping
  • ¼ cup baked sliced almonds
  • Desiccated coconut (optional)
Ingredients for simple syrup:
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 1¾ cup water
  • 1 short cinnamon stick (optional)
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.
  2. Place the butter in a small bowl and melt in the microwave. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine together the sugar and yogurt.
  4. Add in the semolina, baking powder and milk.
  5. Finally stir in the melted butter, and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes so that the butter is absorbed.
  6. Transfer the semolina mixture into a lightly greased 9 round cake pan or baking dish.
  7. Bake for about 40-45 minutes.
  8. While the cake is baking, prepare the cinnamon simple syrup.
  9. In a small sauce pan or pot, combine the sugar, water and cinnamon stick.
  10. 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.
  11. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Let cool completely, then remove the cinnamon stick.
  12. As soon as the basbousa is removed from the oven, pour the cool syrup on the hot basbousa.
  13. Let cool completely; syrup must be absorbed into the cake for about 1 hour.
  14. When ready to serve, top the cake with the coconut and almonds.



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