Basbousa – A Traditional Egyptian Semolina Cake | How to make Basbousa – A Traditional Egyptian Semolina Cake

By Jayshree Nishchal  |  3rd Jun 2016  |  
5 from 1 review Rate It!
  • Basbousa – A Traditional Egyptian Semolina Cake, How to make Basbousa – A Traditional Egyptian Semolina Cake
Basbousa – A Traditional Egyptian Semolina Cakeby Jayshree Nishchal
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About Basbousa – A Traditional Egyptian Semolina Cake Recipe

Basbousa, a traditional Egyptian cake made with semolina, coconut, rose water, sugar syrup and topped with almonds, is truly delicious and really easy to make. This classic dessert has many variations and names throughout the Middle East. Some recipes call for orange flavoured syrup, some calls for yogurt in the batter, some are made with cream or some uses eggs/condensed milk. I have adapted the recipe from Basmati Arabic recipes.

Basbousa – A Traditional Egyptian Semolina Cake

Ingredients to make Basbousa – A Traditional Egyptian Semolina Cake

  • For sugar Syrup :
  • 400 grams or 2 cups sugar
  • 375 millilitre or 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • For cake :
  • 500 grams or approx 3 cups medium coarse semolina (known as suji/rawa in Hindi)
  • 50 grams or 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 100 grams or 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 100 grams or 1/3 cup of hot sugar syrup (from the syrup made with above mentioned ingredients)
  • 225 millilitre or 1.5 tablespoon less than 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 15-20 almonds, blanched and halved
  • little butter to grease the pan
  • [1 cup = 250 ml]

How to make Basbousa – A Traditional Egyptian Semolina Cake

  1. First make the sugar syrup. Add sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling add lemon juice to it. Boil it for another 2 minutes. Switch off the flame and add rose water to it.
  2. In a big bowl, add semolina, desiccated coconut, sugar and baking powder. Mix them.
  3. Add melted butter and 100 grams of sugar syrup prepared as above. Mix them to just combine.
  4. Add lukewarm milk to it. Mix everything together. DO NOT overmix.
  5. Grease a baking dish with butter. Spread the mixture evenly in to the greased baking dish. Use your hands to press gently to form a smooth top. Cover the dish with cling film and keep it at room temperature for 4-6 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180 C/fan 160 C/350 F/gas mark 4.
  7. Cut the basbousa into diamond shape with a sharp knife dipped into the water. Place blanched almond on every diamond shape and press gently.
  8. Bake the basbousa in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until done.
  9. To get the nice golden colour on top, broil them (after baked) under the grill for 2-3 minutes or until you see a nice coloured crust on top.
  10. Pour the cold syrup on basbousa as soon it comes out of the oven. Let it cool and soak all the syrup before serving.

My Tip:

Recipe calls for resting time of 4-6 hours but to speed up the process I kept it in the fridge. You can do either way. People even keep the batter overnight in the fridge. Remember to bring it to room temperature before baking. The broiling step is completely optional. I did it to get the nice colour on the top. To blanch almonds, keep them soaked in water for 30-40 minutes. Then peel and cut them into halves. While pouring sugar syrup on the basbousa, you may feel that the syrup is little extra for the cake but it’s not! Just pour all the syrup on the top as it will get soaked by the cake.

Reviews for Basbousa – A Traditional Egyptian Semolina Cake (1)

Sudha Anoopa year ago