Basbousa Recipe Semolina Cake

Basbousa (Semolina Cake)


Basbousa is a traditional Egyptian – middle eastern sweet cake. Basically Basbousa (also known as revani or harissa) cake is a semolina cake with coconut soaked in syrup. This dessert is popular in all Arab cuisines and many other cuisines all over the middle east. Each county has their own version of basbousa, this version of semolina cake is light, fluffy and sweet. This recipe perfect for the Ramadan or any other occasion.

For the Cake:

  • 1½ cups (270g) Semolina
  • 1/2 cup (65g) Plain Flour
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 1 cup (90g) desiccated/shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup (115g) Butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (230g) Plain yogurt/Sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Almonds, blanched or regular

For the syrup:

  • 1½ cups (300g) Sugar
  • 1½ cups (360ml) Water
  • 1 teaspoon Rose water/orange blossom
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (360F). Grease an 9×9-inch (23cm) or a 9-10” (23-26cm) round cake pan with butter.
  2. In a large bowl beat egg with sugar until light and pale. Add melted butter, vanilla extract, yogurt, and beat on low speed until incorporated. add semolina, flour, coconut, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Cut a diamond or square design in the cake with a butter knife. Place an almond in the center of each diamond.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile make the syrup: in a small saucepan place water and sugar, place the saucepan over medium-high heat until boils. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add lemon juice, rose water and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Cut the cake again along the pre-cut lines and pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still hot. Let cool before serving.