Basbousa - Semolina Cakes With Syrup

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 33 mins

From Saad Fayed, I love basbousa with coffee after a good meal. They are just enough to add that extra "umpf" to a meal. The syrup is not too sugary, but sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. Cooling period of 20 minutes not included.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Prepare syrup first.
  2. Dissolve sugar inwater in a medium saucepan.
  3. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil.
  4. Once the syrup begins to boil, add in honey.
  5. Reduce heat and allow to slowly boil for about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  8. Lightly grease and flour a 9x12 baking dish.
  9. Cream together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla.
  10. In a separate bowl, combine semolina, baking powder, and baking soda.
  11. Slowly add to butter and egg mixture.
  12. Stir in milk.
  13. Pour mixture into baking dish and smooth with spoon.
  14. Take a butter knife and make diagonal lines from left to right and complete to make diamond shapes.
  15. Place an almond in the center of each diamond.
  16. Bake for 25 minutes.
  17. Remove cake from oven and pour syrup over cake until no more can be absorbed.
  18. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  19. Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream.


Most Helpful

10 star basboosa.Some like a drier grittier basboosa and some like a yummy moist cakey basboosa, well this is it.I have tried a recipe that called for using yogurt and it was a sour flop. This cake was very easy to make. I added a bit orange blossom water into the batter and the syrup. I also made a bit extra syrup because I like my middle eastern cakes sweet. I also reduced the semolina to 1 3/4 cup and added 1/4 shredded coconut. I did however have to increase the baking time quite a bit to approx 40 minutes. I will use this recipe over and over in the future. Thanks for the recipe.

chef FIFI June 23, 2006

I found this a really quick and easy recipe. My husband **really** likes it, and says it's the perfect partner to a cup of coffee. He's had repeat servings today. We had only a few slight variations in our recipe: I ran out of semolina while making this. I was a 1/3 cup short, so I made up the remainder with finely ground polenta (cornmeal). I only had whole almonds in skin on hand, so these went on as well. Also, our unbaked mix was a little to 'wet' to have diagonal lines drawn into it as instructed. And - just as the cake was finished baking and ready for syrup, I had to drive out somewhere in a hurry, so I left the syrup on the cake in a still warm oven. This caused the honey syrup to make a really nice shiny toffee glaze on the almonds, and brown the cake slightly. That was really nice! Thank you for posting this, it was a very lovely recipe. I don't visit here often, and this is my only review! I stopped by looking for semolina cake recipes because we had... (don't laugh) ...we ran out of flour. Today, our family enjoyed this cake warm, as well as cold from the fridge. We'll definitely make it again. Thank you!

assai August 18, 2006

I guess this was good because it was eaten all up by those I gifted it to. We are gluten free so could not taste it. I had a little difficulty getting it out of the pan and ruined the first piece. Like another reviewer I could barely draw lines in it as the mixture was very wet. I used Recipe#322374 as it is perfect and I wanted to use orange blossom water. I did add the honey though. I also added a bit of orange blossom water & a bit of unsweetened desiccated coconut to the batter like chef FIFI did. I used sweet (unsalted) butter, homogenized milk, plus the rest. Some of the almonds, which I blanched and split myself, sank into the batter because it was so thin but it cooked fine. I may make this again and would like to add coconut like chef FIFI did and use the same orange blossom water syrup again insha Allah.

UmmBinat March 25, 2011

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