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Bring a Tasty Bit of Egypt Into Your Kitchen

Basbousa is a Middle Eastern Semolina cake soaked in syrup that comes together in under an hour. The name is different from country to country and the recipes vary slightly as well. Read along to find out what you need for preparing this tasty desert at home!


  • 1 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 5 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3 cups Semolina, coarse
  • 1/2 cup Butter, unsalted, melted this is equivalent to 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup Fine Coconut Flakes in the store, this may be labelled as coconut powder or coconut macaroon. I get the Baladna brand from the Middle Eastern market
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp Tahini Paste this is used to coat the baking pan
  • Whole Almonds enough for each piece of semolina cake. approx. 24 almonds

Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 5 cups Water
  • Squeeze of lemon



  • Preheat your oven to 190°C.
  • Prepare a baking dish by brushing the bottom and edges with tahini paste.
  • In a bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. The yogurt will bubble slightly and rise.
  • In another bowl, mix semolina and melted butter until it starts to come together. Fold in the coconut powder.
  • Add the yogurt mixture to the semolina mixture and mix well. Then, add milk and continue mixing until a cohesive batter forms.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it out evenly. Tap the pan against a surface to release any air bubbles.
  • The batter is thick enough to cut before baking. Cut it into even squares or diamonds of your preferred size.
  • Gently press a whole almond into the centre of each piece. You can also sprinkle coconut powder on top of the batter if desired.
  • Bake the cake in the preheated oven, uncovered, on the bottom rack for 25-30 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
  • Move the pan to the top rack and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes to achieve a light brown colour on the entire cake.

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