Basbousa - Middle Eastern Sweet Cake

Basbousa - Middle Eastern Sweet Cake


Basbousa is a traditional Middle Eastern sweet cake, typically prepared from semolina, soaked in a sweet syrup. While the sugar syrup may contain essence of orange blossoms, or rose water, the pain preparation itself may integrate coconut.

The recipe is prepared by the people across the Arabian peninsula, the Balkans as well as the Horn of Africa. Accordingly the dish is known by a host of different names in local dialect.

Read ahead for the complete recipe.

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Basbousa - Recipe

Ingredients Required

  • 150 grams of butter
  • 150 grams of sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups semolina
  • 1 teaspoon essence of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

 For Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of half a lemon

Procedure of Preparation

  • Preheat the oven at 200C
  • Melt the butter, and allow it to cool down to room temperature
  • In a large bowl mix the sugar and buttermilk
  • In a separate bowl, mix in semolina, vanilla, baking soda and baking powder
  • Whisk in the semolina mix with the sugar mix. Add melted butter, and whisk thoroughly.
  • On a greased cooking pan, gently pour in the mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let the Basbousa sit for about 20 minutes.
  • In the mean time you may prepare the sugar syrup.
  • Mix in the water and sugar kept aside. Add to it lemon juice.
  • Bring the mix to a boil, and let it simmer over a low heat, with constant stirring, for about 20 - 25 minutes.
  • In the mean time bake the basbousa for another 30 minutes. Pour sugar syrup while the basbousa is still warm .
  • As per local traditions, it is generally served as an accompaniment to tea or coffee.

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