Basbousa is the Mediterranean sweet for those who like extra juicy sugary cakes. This soft semolina cake is a favorite in many Middle Eastern countries, and most especially in Egypt. Called ‘Nammoura’ in Lebanon and some Mediterranean countries, this cake is called ‘Basbousa’ in Egypt where it enjoys the most popularity. Other sweets are also popular there too, but this sweet and very simple to make cake enjoys the highest demand. It’s very short list of ingredients and the simplicity of preparation make it the most popular cake to bake at home on a short notice.
     It is considered a cake, but it is really different that the regular cake you would encounter in birthday parties. It is cut into small squares and soaked in sugar syrup. Here I am sharing with you the original version of basbousa.

Coarse semolina- 2 ½ cups
Desiccated coconut-1cup
Self-rising flour- ½ cup
yoghurt- 200g
unsalted butter, melted-200g
vanilla extract-1tsp
almonds- 25

sugar-1 ½ cup
lime juice-1tsp
rose water-1tsp

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix the semolina, coconut, sugar, flour, yoghurt, melted butter and vanilla in a bowl. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little milk – but it should still be fairly stiff. Spread the mixture with your hands in a buttered 30 × 25 × 5 cm baking tray. Cut it into diamond shapes, pressing hard.
  • Place an almond in the centre of each diamond. Bake for 35–40 minutes until golden brown.
  • Meanwhile to make the syrup, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir in the lemon juice and rosewater and remove from the heat. Leave to cool.
  • Pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still hot. Cool to serve.
  • Makes approximately  25-30 pieces.