Basbousé - Semolina cake Recipe
Basbousé - Semolina cake
Flavours of Syria
Total time: more than 2 hours

Prep. time: A few minutes
Resting time: 4 to 5 hours
Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

Adelle, co-founder of Filles Fattoush and writer, explains that "in Syria, there are two typical desserts: baklava and basbousé. Basbousé is the classic Syrian cake that is the usual accompaniment to a cup of strong Turkish coffee. It's even better," she notes, "when shared in good company!"

Hints and tips
(1) It's primarily the syrup that gives sweetness to basbousé. Adjust the quantity to your taste.

(2) Depending on the baking pan you use, line with parchment paper so that you can later cut the squares without damaging the coating. 

For 9 portions (squares)

- 440 g / 2 cups medium wheat semolina
- 110 g / 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 100 g / 1/2 cup sugar
- 180 ml / 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 125 ml / 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Whole nuts (pistachios, cashews, almonds as desired)

Syrup (1)
- 800 g / 4 cups sugar
- 500 ml / 2 cups water
  1. In a bowl, combine the semolina, coconut flakes and sugar.
  2. Mix in the yogurt, baking bowder and vegetable oil with a wooden spoon. Combine well to form a smooth batter.
  3. Oil a square baking pan (8"/20 cm). Spread the batter into the pan.
  4. With a knife, cut the cake into nine 5 cm/2" squares.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 4-5 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190° C/375° F. 
  7. Decorate each square with nuts; bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. For a crisper texture, put the basbousé under the broiler for 1 minute.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup: in a saucepan over medium heat, heat the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. 
  9. Remove from the heat; add the orange or rose water.
  10. Pour the hot syrup over the basbousé as soon as it is removed from the oven.
More recipe ideas

Recipe from Les Filles Fattoush Syrian cookbook. 

Photo: Les Filles Fattoush + MSCOMM montage

Search within the site
Advanced search >
Register free to receive our official newsletter
Sign up
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:
Get the daily and monthly recipe posts automatically added to your newsreader.
Sign up