Basboosa - Easy Semolina Cake

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins

This has been a favorite dessert in many Middle Eastern and North African countries- this is my mother's recipe. It's very simple and easy to remember.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. First make the cake:.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder very well in large bowl.
  4. Melt butter, add into mixture.
  5. Add yogurt into the mixture, mix well.
  6. Add eggs, mix well again.
  7. Beat mixture for 2 minutes til there are no lumps.
  8. Pour into 9 X 13 inch baking pan brushed with very little oil.
  9. Bake in middle rack of oven for 45 minutes.
  10. While the cake bakes, prepare the syrup:.
  11. Mix 3 cups sugar & one cup water in a pot, put on stove on high heat.
  12. Add in vanilla and cinnamon stick. Stir well.
  13. Squeeze half lemon into mixture, drop the lemon itself in there after squeezing.
  14. Mix well, let boil for 1 minute, remove from heat.
  15. After cake is a golden color (after about 45 mins), remove from oven, and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  16. Pour syrup onto the whole cake, let cool. Cut into as many pieces as you like.
  17. Enjoy!
Most Helpful

I know nothing about Middle Eastern food, but for a 7th grade World Fair project for my son, we had to find something from Saudi Arabia. This recipe was easy & it was a hit (although I'm sure all the students were bouncing off the walls considering the sugar content!). Like the other suggestions, we also cut down the sugar in the syrup. LOVE the cinnamon/vanilla/lime combo! We will make this again because it's so yummy!

dubaubel May 05, 2010

I also cut the sugar down to 1 cup in the syrup. Love love love this cake! Tastes fantastic warmed. Can be frozen and reheated in microwave for later enjoyment. Thanks for a simple but fantastic recipe. So good with a little whipped cream. :)

Pom Pom December 18, 2009

this was just okay... the recipe makes too much syrup than you actually need to soak the cake. Also the cook time is way too long. I took mine out of the oven about 35 min into cooking and it was already over done. the edge of this cake is not suppose to be crispy or caramelized. it is not suppose to have any sort of a crust. it is a good cake. the taste is spot on... but i think the recipe needs a little bit of adjusting.

Maya's Mama August 27, 2009