A Middle Eastern semolina and yogurt cake, perfect with coffee or tea.
Basbousa is delicious served after a meal, or with coffee or tea, and makes a lovely gift wrapped in cellophane and ribbon.
If, like me, you love anything made with semolina, you will love this dessert.
Basbousa is a delicious Middle Eastern cake made from a coarsely ground semolina and yogurt.
It is a popular dessert in Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. In Arabic it is known as Basbousa which means ‘just a kiss’, while in Lebanon it is called Namoura, and in Greece, Revani.
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There are many different ways of preparing Basbousa, but this particular recipe is always a real hit.
In fact, this basbousa recipe is so simple, you will be making it all the time.
- It is best made with coarse semolina for a fabulous slightly spongy texture – the milk and yoghurt provide sufficient moisture.
- If you prefer a sweeter dessert, make a thicker sugar syrup by adding more sugar, according to your taste, and cooking for longer.
- For mini basbousas, pour the mixture into buttered cupcake tins and bake for 15 minutes.
Note: This recipe does not use eggs.
It is often made with Rosewater, or you could use orange blossom water instead (we prefer this). Cortas is our favourite brand as it has a wonderful fresh aroma and flavour, and it’s easily available in Asian shops.
Alternatively, you could just use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice instead.
Some versions of basbousa are made with coconut, so you could mix ½ cup desicated coconut flakes in with the mixture before pouring it into the baking dish.
To store, cover and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze the entire cake or pieces in freezer bags.
Are you making this Basbousa recipe? Do let me know how it turned out in the comments! And please give it a star rating below!
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- 325 g coarse semolina 2 cups
- 200 g caster sugar 1 cup
- 280 g Greek yogurt 1 cup
- 60 ml milk ¼ cup
- 60 g melted butter ¼ cup, or almond butter
- ⅓ teaspoon baking powder
- 20 almonds
For the syrup
- 235 ml water 1 cup
- 200 g caster sugar 1 cup
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- Preheat the oven to 320℉/175℃/160℃ fan, and butter an 8-inch (20 cm) baking dish.
- In a large bowl, mix 325 g coarse semolina, 200 g caster sugar, 60 g melted butter and ⅓ teaspoon baking powder.
- Add 60 ml milk and 280 g Greek yogurt and mix till it is like a paste.
- Spread the mixture evenly into the buttered baking dish and smooth it down. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
To make the syrup
- In a small saucepan, combine 235 ml water and 200 g caster sugar. Stir till the sugar dissolves, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and add 1 teaspoon orange blossom water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Set aside till the cake is ready.
Assemble the cake
- Remove the cake from the oven. Cut into diamond shapes with a butter knife and press an almond on each piece.
- While it is still warm, pour all the syrup slowly and evenly over the top of the cake, it will take a while to soak all the way through.
- Place the cake back in the oven at the same temperature, for 5 minutes or till the top is a lovely golden colour. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- For mini basbousas, pour the mixture into buttered cupcake tins and bake for 15 minutes (till golden brown). Pour sugar syrup over the mini version and bake for another 2-3 minutes.
- Semolina and orange blossom water can be found at most Italian or Middle Eastern grocery stores.
- This recipe does not make a very sweet cake but feel free to adjust the level of sweetness by reducing or adding to the amount of sugar in the syrup.
- Keep the cake covered in a cool kitchen for up to 3 days.
- This cake freezes well and can be frozen whole, packed in plastic wrap, or in pieces in freezer bags.
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Nutritional information is calculated automatically and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The information above is an estimate per serving.
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