Basbousa or Sweet Semolina Cake – Egyptian/Mediterranean dessert

 

Delicious Egyptian dessert…

This is an easy to make sweet cake made with semolina. The batter can be made by just combining all the ingredients using a spatula, no need of stand mixer or electric hand mixer. After 30 minutes of baking, the cake looked absolutely beautiful with golden colored top and browned sides. As soon as the cake is taken out of the oven, we need to pour the sugar syrup over the cake. The cake turned out very moist and I enjoyed the coarse texture of the semolina. The cake itself isn’t too sweet, so those who lack sweet tooth can enjoy this cake without the sugar syrup. I added orange blossom water to the sugar syrup, enhanced the taste of this cake greatly. I shared this cake with my friends at work, everyone had only one thing to say: “Absolutely delicious!”

Semolina is the grains of durum wheat and is used for making crepes, sweets, puddings, porridge, etc.

Basbousa

Ingredients:

For making cake batter

  • Semolina- 2 cups
  • Desiccated coconut- 1 cup
  • Baking soda- 1 teaspoon
  • Buttermilk- 1 1/4 cups (Or combine 1 cup plain yogurt and 1/4 cup water)
  • Sugar- 1 cup
  • Butter, melted- 3/4 cup
  • Whole almonds

For making sugar syrup

  • Sugar- 1/2 cup
  • Water- 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice- 2 tsp
  • Orange blossom water- 2 tsp (available at most Middle Eastern stores)

Instruction

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, combine 1 cup plain yogurt and 1/4 cup water.
  • Into a large bowl, add buttermilk and sugar using a whisk till the sugar dissolves in it.
  • In another bowl, combine together the semolina and baking soda.
  • Add the semolina mixture to the buttermilk and sugar, combine well using a whisk.
  • Add the melted butter and mix until well incorporated.
  • This batter has a thick consistency as we have added semolina.
  • Grease a square or round cake pan (8 inches) with butter.
  • Spread the batter into the greased pan.
  • Even out the surface using a spatula.
  • Using a knife make diagonal or square pattern. Place a whole almond on the center of each diagonal piece.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, insert a sharp knife into the center of the cake if it comes out clean, the cake has cooked well. If not, bake for 5 more minutes.
  • While the cake is baking in the oven, make the sugar syrup.

Making sugar syrup:

  • Place a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water together, let come to a slight boil.
  • Add lemon juice and orange blossom water.
  • Lower the heat and let the sugar syrup simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • The sugar syrup will thicken when it cools down.

Serving the cake:

  • As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the sugar syrup over the cake.
  • Let the cake rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Chilled Basbousa tastes much delicious.

 

Basbousa or Semolina Cake - Egyptian/Mediterranean dessert
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
For making cake batter
  • Semolina- 2 cups
  • Desiccated coconut- 1 cup
  • Baking soda- 1 teaspoon
  • Buttermilk- 1¼ cups
  • Sugar- 1 cup
  • Butter, melted- ¾ cup
  • Whole almonds
For making sugar syrup
  • Sugar- ½ cup
  • Water- ½ cup
  • Lemon juice- 2 tsp
  • Orange blossom water- 2 tsp
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F or 200 C.
  2. If you don't have buttermilk, combine 1 cup plain yogurt and ¼ cup water.
  3. In a large bowl, combine buttermilk and sugar using a whisk till the sugar has dissolved.
  4. In another bowl, combine together the semolina and baking soda.
  5. Add the semolina mixture to the buttermilk and sugar, combine well using a spatula.
  6. Add the melted butter and mix until well incorporated.
  7. This batter has a thick consistency as we have added semolina.
  8. Grease a square or round cake pan (8 inches) with butter.
  9. Pour the batter into the pan.
  10. Even out the top using a spatula.
  11. Using a knife make diagonal or square pattern. Place a whole almond on the center of each diagonal piece.
  12. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  13. After 30 minutes, insert a sharp knife into the center of the cake if it comes out clean, the cake has baked well. If not, bake for 5 more minutes.
  14. While the cake is baking in the oven, start making the sugar syrup.
Making sugar syrup
  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and water, let come to a slight boil.
  2. Add lemon juice and orange blossom water.
  3. Orange blossom water enhances the taste of this cake greatly.
  4. Lower the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. The sugar syrup will thicken when it cools down.
Serving the cake
  1. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the sugar syrup over it.
  2. Let the cake rest for a few minutes before serving.
  3. Chilled Basbousa tastes much delicious.
Notes
*You could decorate the cake with almonds or pistachios while serving.
*Instead of sugar syrup, you could even pour maple syrup over the cake.

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