Cream of Wheat Cake (Basboosa)

Total Time
1hr 5mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 50 mins

This is a traditional Middle Eastern sweet made of semolina flour (what Americans call Cream of Wheat), yogurt and coconut, baked then soaked in either a rosewater (traditional) or lemon scented syrup. Don't let the ingredients put you off. It tastes nothing like what you'd expect. Moist, balanced sweetness, addictive.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the semolina flour (Cream of Wheat), baking powder, 1 cup sugar, coconut and butter. Add the yogurt and milk; mix until all is well moistened, but not runny. It should be the consistency of brownie batter. If it's too dry, add a little more milk.
  3. Spread into prepared baking dish, smooth the top.
  4. Bake 45 minutes until golden brown.
  5. While it is baking, make the syrup: Combine the water and sugar, bring to a boil and boil for at least 5 minutes. You can do this on top of the stove or in the microwave.
  6. When it is finished baking, pour the syrup over the hot cake and place back into the oven for 5 minutes or until the syrup has been fully absorbed.
  7. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.


Most Helpful

I really liked this recipe. I pretty much stuck to the recipe except I added both the rose water and the lemon juice to the syrup. I also cut the cake before I added the syrup. I thought that it might make the syrup soak up more evenly. Next time I might try adding rum or hazelnut liquor to the syrup.

rlwrobel December 30, 2009

This is a total keeper. I always make harisa and I actually like this one better then my own. Just changed a couple things. I used Farnia flour instead of the semlina and ommitted the coconut. And I hate rose water, I never use it. Then I will pour the cooled syrup onto the hot harisa and let it sit on the counter rather then put in the oven. If I see it a little fry I will add a little more syrup. Nonethe less...Try this one. Its the real thing!!!

Faten August 18, 2007

This is now my go to basboosa recipe :) DH says it tastes good and I make it for my FIL's dawaniya. I can't taste it myself as I am gluten free. I make 1 1/2 times the recipe to use a 9 X 13 inch pan with less of the syrup per preference here & next time I will use half the sugar as it is still too sweet for family. I use Cedar brand semolina (light coloured, not durum semolina used for making pasta), plus the rest of the ingredients, including both Iranian rose water, I find of superior quality, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Like Faten, I let the cooled syrup just absorb on into the basboosa on its own I don't put it back in the oven. I like to cut it into diamond shapes to look nice. I will make this again. Originally made for ALL YOU CAN COOK BUFFET - SPECIAL EVENT!

UmmBinat April 09, 2012

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