Basbousa - Sweet Semolina Cake

A sweet semolina cake topped with flavoured sugar syrup. Very easy to make, it is known by different names in different parts of the Arabic world - Nammoura in Lebanon, Basbousa in Egypt, Harissa in Syria and Revani in Turkey and Greece. This recipe serves 5-6 people.

Preparation time 10m Difficulty
Cooking time 35m Budget
Serves 4 Published Monday, 26 August 2013
Recipe type Mithai Author Manisha Sharma
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For 4 people ()


  • 2 1/2 cup(s) semolina (coarse)
  • 1/2 cup(s) caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup(s) desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon(s) baking powder
  • 1 cup(s) yoghurt, thick & beaten
  • 1 cup(s) unsalted butter/ghee, melted
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract/almond extract
  • 25 almonds, blanched/pistachios
  • teaspoon(s) milk, if needed
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) sugar syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) caster sugar
  • 1 cup(s) water
  • 1 teaspoon(s) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon(s) rosewater
Nutrition facts
(diet, vegetarian, gluten free, lactose free)

    Basbousa - Sweet Semolina Cake Directions
    1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Generously grease a medium-sized baking pan.
      Mix the semolina, coconut, sugar, flour, baking powder, beaten yoghurt, melted butter and vanilla in a bowl. If the mixture is too thick, add a little milk.
    2. Spread in a greased baking tray and smoothen the top using your hands after wetting in milk or melted butter/ghee. Then cut into diamond shapes with a table knife.
    3. Place one blanched almond or pistachio in the center of each diamond. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
    4. While the cake is baking, prepare the sugar syrup. Stir sugar and water until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and rosewater. Remove from the heat and leave it to cool.
    5. After the cake is cooked, pull it out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes or until it is warm and not hot.
    6. Pour the cool syrup over the cake while it is warm. Let it stand until it cools down to room temperature before serving.
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