Sweet Semolina Cake (Basbousa)

It’s the end of the third week of VeganMoFo! We’ve really been having fun veganizing Egyptian favorites for you.  Here’s a round up of this week’s recipes:

So, let’s top the week off with something sweet!  Basbousa is a favorite dessert among Egyptians.  It’s heavy and full of sugar, but it certainly is a special treat.

For the cake:
2 cups semolina

1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (we used soy)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons non-dairy butter (we used samna nebeti)
¼ to ½ cup roasted almonds, sliced or pistachios, chopped

For the syrup:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (375 degrees F or 190 degrees C).  Oil a medium size casserole pan.
1.  Mix the semolina, sugar, non-dairy butter and baking powder with your hands.

2.  Combine the non-dairy milk and the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to make a slurry.

3.  Add the non-dairy milk slurry to the mix.  Stir until a dough forms.

4.  Pour the dough into the casserole pan.  Be sure it is spread evenly in the pan.

5.  Roast the almonds or pistachios by heating them on low heat in a skillet until lightly brown.

6.  Place almonds or pistachios on top of the mix.  If you like you can cover the entire cake, only half or leave it plain without any nuts.

Basbousa before cooking

7.  Let the basbousa sit for an hour.  (Make the syrup now, so it has time to cool.)
8.  Put the basbousa in the oven and cook for 30 to 45 minutes.

Basbousa after cooking

9.  When you take the basbousa out of the oven and it is still hot, pour the cooled syrup over the cake, being sure to cover all the sections of the cake.

Pouring the syrup

For the syrup:
1.  Heat the water and sugar on low heat until it boils.
2.  Add the lemon and cook for 2 minutes.
3.  Add the vanilla and cook for 1 more minute.
4.  Remove from heat and cool before putting on the hot basbousa.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:

  • Use pistachios or almonds to top.
  • Cut in diamond shapes to serve.
  • Use coconut in the mix, if you like.

Nutritional Information (for 1 piece of 20):
Calories: 240; Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 50g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 3g

Alf Hana!!!


6 responses to “Sweet Semolina Cake (Basbousa)

  1. Pingback: A Traditional Egyptian Whole Food Sweet! | Alf Hana

  2. Pingback: Enjoy plant-based versions of your favorite foods during Ramadan | Alf Hana

  3. Pingback: Pharaoh’s Friday #16: Holiday Feasting Egyptian Style and Vegan! | Alf Hana

  4. Tried this recipe but used a baking tin instead and was wondering if I was meant to let the mixture sit for an hour. It turned out good but the cake didn’t really hold its shape. Did I pour too much syrup?

    • Hi there,
      Just be sure that you have cooked the cake itself for the required time, and that when you pour the syrup on the cake, the cake is still hot and the syrup is cooled or cold. See if that helps!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s