Semolina Cake - Basbousa

Semolina Cake - Basbousa

This semolina cake recipe is inspired by the Arabic cuisine. There is a similar Greek cake, Revani, but I will stick to the name 'Basbousa' because that's how I tasted it first and found the recipe from our friends Felah and Geea. As simple as it is to make, this semolina cake is extraordinarily tender and good. Notice there is some sugar syrup but the cake is unexpectedly fresh. It won't let you stop eating and it's not too sweet at all.

Normally, it's made from Arabic semolina, which is finer than the Romanian one. I didn't have it at first and I made the cake with our semolina. Then I found Arabic semolina, but I still liked it better with the Romanian one, so you don't have to look for special ingredients.

If you don't have other flavours, use vanilla essence and lemon juice. It will be wonderful and tender. Notice that I put saffron, it's optional, but if you want to get as close as possible to the original recipe, you can put it in the syrup.


180 g
or 1 cup
White flour
150 g
1 cup
250 g
1 cup
Coconut flakes
40 g
half a cup
Vegetable oil
150 ml
half a cup
500 ml
2 cups
3 pieces
600 g
2 cups for the syrup + 1 cup for the cake
0.5 pieces
the juice
Baking powder
2 tsp
Vanilla Extract
1 tsp
+ 1 teaspoon flower water, 1 teaspoon rose water / essence and saffron - optional
50 g
for decoration on top, can be replaced with simple walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts etc.

Step by step

Step 1

In a saucepan, pour 2-3 glasses of water and 400g of sugar (or 2 glasses).

Mix well, place over heat and bring to the boil.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 1
Step 2

In the recipe, I used water filtered in a Brita jug from Kitchenshop.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 2
Step 3

When the syrup comes to the boil, stir to dissolve the sugar very well.

Add the juice from half a lemon.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 3
Step 4

Add 1 teaspoon of flower water (no more), if you have.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 4
Step 5

And a few saffron threads, if you have any.

Mix the syrup well again and turn off the heat. Let cool a bit.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 5
Step 6

Meanwhile, we prepare the cake.

In a larger bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 6
Step 7

Continue to beat and gradually incorporate the oil.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 7
Step 8

Pour in the buttermilk, add vanilla and rose essence (if you have).

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 8
Step 9

Then put all the dry ingredients - flour, semolina, coconut and baking powder.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 9
Step 10

Mix well with a whisk until the batter is smooth, without lumps.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 10
Step 11

Brush a deep oven tray with oil, here I have a glass dish - 20x30cm.

Pour batter into the pan and smooth out evenly.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 11
Step 12

Arrange the almonds at equal distance on top.

You can replace with cashews or walnuts.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 12
Step 13

Place the cake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 35-40 minutes, until well browned.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 13
Step 14

Remove from the oven and, while it's still hot, cut into even pieces.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 14
Step 15

Immediately pour the syrup over the hot cake.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 15
Step 16

Now allow it to soak and cool completely for 4-5 hours.

Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 16
Step 17

Although it's syrupy, it's also fluffy and slightly moist and it's quite fresh from the lemon juice.

And if you also used the flavors I told you about, it will be an authentic Basbousa :)

Anyway, it's delicious and I recommend it.


Semolina Cake - Basbousa - Step 17
Quantity: 1 kg
Prep time: 60 min
Difficulty: easy
Ready in: 20 min
Publish date:

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