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Basbousa recipe

Basbousa recipe

23 ratings

Originating in Egypt, Basbousa is a sweet semolina cake that is doused in an orange-flavoured syrup and topped with flaked almonds. It's a beautifully indulgent cake from food writer Dina Macki. See method

  • Serves Serves 6 (cuts into 12 pieces)
  • 10 mins to prepare and 40 mins to cook
  • 219 calories / serving
  • Vegetarian


  • 50g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 medium egg
  • 50g natural Greek yogurt
  • 30ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract​
  • 160g coarse semolina
  • 55g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder​
  • 35g caster sugar
  • blanched almonds, to decorate (optional)
  • flaked almonds, to decorate

For the syrup

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange blossom or zest and juice of 1 orange
  • juice of ½ lemon

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    10g 14%
  • Saturates

    6g 29%
  • Sugars

    21g 24%
  • Salt

    0.1g 2%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 21.4g Protein 2.7g Fibre 0.6g


  1. Add all the syrup ingredients and 100ml water to a medium pan, give it a quick stir and place over a high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins, then remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. 
  2. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C and grease a 20cm x 16cm cake tin with butter. 
  3. Whisk the 50g butter, egg, yogurt, double cream and vanilla extract with 40ml warm water in a mixing bowl until incorporated. Add the semolina, coconut, baking powder and caster sugar and mix well. The semolina will absorb a lot of the liquid, but once it all comes together you should be left with a thick pourable consistency. 
  4. Pour into the cake tin and spread out in an even layer. If you’d like to make it look traditional, score out your squares or diamond shapes and place one almond in the middle of each shape. 
  5. Place in the oven, reduce the heat to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C and bake for 35 mins, checking at 25 mins. It should be golden with some slightly browner edges and a skewer will come out clean. 
  6. Remove from the oven and poke a few holes in the top of the cake with a skewer, then pour over the syrup. Leave to cool in the tin before cutting into square or diamond shapes. Add the flaked almonds to decorate.

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We cannot guarantee that all ingredients needed for this recipe are certified halal. Please check that products are certified halal before purchase.

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