Semolina cake (Basbousa)

A sweet Egyption semolina cake that simply goes in one baking tray, and voila!

Serves 6

Makes about ½ cup


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  • 2 ⅔ cups (500g) semolina flour
  • 2¼ cups (450g) sugar
  • 2 tsp (10ml) baking powder
  • ½ tub (500g) plain double-cream yoghurt 
  • 1 cup (250ml) melted ghee (clarified butter)
  • Almonds



  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 2 cups (500ml) water
  • Juice (30ml) of ½ lemon



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line and grease a 15cm x 25cm baking dish. 
  3. Combine all ingredients and mix to form a thick batter.
  4. Press mixture into baking dish, flattening the top with a spatula. 
  5. Slice cake into squares or diamond shapes and press an almond in the centre of each. 
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. 
  7. For syrup, combine all ingredients in a pot over medium heat.
  8. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved (about 3-4 minutes). 
  9. Pour syrup evenly over cake when it comes out of the oven. 
  10. Set aside for a few minutes for syrup to be absorbed. 
  11. Serve once cooled, topped with a dollop of yoghurt.


Cook’s note: Want to make your own clarified butter? Melt butter on the stovetop until completely melted, then scoop off all the white milk solids floating on the top. Remember, you have to melt more butter than the recipe calls for, as you are discarding some of it after melting.


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