Basbousa or semolina cake is a Middle Eastern dessert dunked in simple sugar syrup. It goes by many different names and is wildly popular Lebanon,Turkey,Greek, Northern African countries etc. The recipe varies based on the country, some contain egg while others don’t, some include yogurt while others include milk, some with coconut and others without, some prepared with clarified butter and others with vegetable oil. I followed Libyan recipe which is eggless, yogurt less and coconut less yet cake is soft, moist, juicy and ofcourse yummy. Serve it with hot tea or coffee.
I have submitted this recipe for entry into The Great Denby Cake Off. The competition page is here.
Yields: around 16 squares (depends on size of slices)
- 1 1/2 cup – Rava / Semolina
- 1/2 cup – All purpose flour
- 1/2 cup – Sugar
- 1/2 cup – Melted butter or oil
- 1 cup – Milk (room temperature)
- 1 tsp – Baking powder
- 1/4 tsp – Baking soda
- 1 tsp – Vanilla essence
- 10 to 15 nos – Almonds for garnishing
For making sugar syrup:
- 1 cup – Sugar
- 1 cup – Water
- 1 tsp – Lemon juice
- Let us make sugar syrup first, add a cup of sugar and water along with a tsp of lemon juice. Bring it to boil and cook until it is slightly sticky. No need for any consistency like one string or two string. Just melt sugar and keep it aside.
- Soak almonds in hot boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes and remove the skin, keep it aside.
- Take a mixing bowl, add rava / semolina, all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and mix well everything. Add butter, followed by milk, vanilla essence and fold everything together gently.
- Preheat oven for 350 F or 180 C, meanwhile grease a cake pan with butter. Pour the batter to it and gently pat to spread it evenly. Score the batter with a knife either square or diamond as shown in the picture. Place almonds on top of each square as shown in picture.
- Bake it for 30 mins. After 30 mins remove from oven and cut right through on the scored lines. Again place it back in the oven and bake it for 12 to15 more minutes until well cooked and brown on top. You can check it by inserting tooth pick, it should come out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and pour the cold sugar syrup over the hot basbousa or semolina cake. Cover everywhere with sugar syrup and allow them to soak for 40 to 45 minutes. Once it turns to normal temperature, slice them again on the scored lines and serve along with tea or coffee. Eggless basbousa or semolina cake is ready.
- Baking time differs depending on the oven you are using. Mine took 30 mins plus 12 minutes to cook completely.
- You can replace melted butter with olive oil or any other oil.
- Sugar syrup should be slightly sticky. No need for any consistency like one string or two string.
- You can slice this cake either square or diamond as per your wish. Sugar syrup should cover all over the cake and that helps the cake to be juicy.
- If you prefer you can add rose water or orange flower water at the end of making sugar syrup.