My wife’s #Basbousa|Semolina Cake

Sunday’s in my home consist of morning pancake breakfasts and evening desserts with Basbousa (Semolina cake).  My family originates from Yemen, and this is not a traditional Gulf dessert, therefore we didn’t eat this much growing up; unless someone made it for us.  Rather, Basbousa is a dessert that is known in the Sham region and Egypt.  Sham region consists of Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.  There are different variations of Basbousa but my favorite is the version with shredded coconut.  Depending on who I speak with, some call it Haresa but I call Semolina cake Basbousa and my wife’s basbousa is my favorite.  It took a while but she finally gave me her secret recipe.



  • Servings: 12-14 Squares
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

1 1/2 cup coarse semolina (smeed khishin)
1/2 cup fine semolina (smeed na3em)
1 cup sweetened coconut
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup unsalted butter ( 11 tablespoons ) melted
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanila
1 cup plain yogurt (laban)


Syrup (katir)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp rosewater

Basbousa Directions:
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Then mix the eggs butter and yogurt together and pour it on top of the smeed mix. Thereafter, butter a pan and pour it in the pan; cut it into squares and add the nuts u would like (Blanched almonds are best).  And place in the oven for 30 mins or until its golden brown. Pour the katir on top and serve.

Syrup directions: place sugar & water in sauce pan, boil until sugar is desolved. Summer for 20 minutes. Add rose water and lemon at the end and pour over basbousa while basbousa is still hot.  

4 replies »

    • Thank you for mentioning this information. No the syrup is not hot when pouring. I should have clarified that. You can make the syrup before you bake or even while baking. Allow it to cool and then as soon as you take it out basbousa, pour over.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s