Basbousa (Semolina Cake)

I had no idea how this cake would be because I’d never used Rose Water before, but it was really good! I modified a couple things, like the amount of sugar syrup and sugar in that because it seemed pretty overwhelming to me with the amounts that I was seeing in other recipes. I think mine came out really good!

I know it’s not entirely traditional, but just like a Grandma that lives in Arabia, I just make things with what I have and what I think would go good together.

It’s not overly sweet and makes a great light dessert after a Middle Eastern meal, or with tea or coffee for an afternoon pick me up.

I love cakes like this with whipped cream and fruit, the textures of the cake, cream and cold fruit just go together so well!


Basbousa (Semolina Cake)

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert, North African Food, World Recipes
Cuisine Egyptian, Middle Eastern, North African
Servings 12


For the Cake:

  • 1 cup Fine semolina
  • 1 cup All-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Dried, sweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 stick Butter, melted
  • 1 cup Plain yogurt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Rose Water
  • Whole almonds Whole almonds are traditional, but I used slivered.

For the Sugar Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 cups Water
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Rosewater

For Serving:

  • Unsweetened coconut, and/or cut up fruit
  • Ice Cream or Whipped Cream


Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8 x 8" baking dish.
  • In a bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, mix, and then add the yogurt, rose water and eggs. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with almonds.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until browned on top. Toothpick inserted into center of cake should come out clean.

Make the sugar syrup.

  • While cake is baking, combine the sugar and water in a small sauce pan over high heat; boil until the sugar is dissolved. Turn heat down and simmer 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add the lemon juice and rose water. Set aside until the cake is done.
  • When cake is done, cut into serving pieces while hot. Pour sugar syrup evenly over top of cake. Allow to cool.

To serve

  • Not traditional, but I think it's really good with ice cream or whipped cream, or both! Also yummy with some cut up fruit.


Rose water is available in Middle Eastern markets, and some major grocery stores, but if you can't find it you can get it here.
Keyword cake, coconut

Share and Enjoy !


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating