Basbousa – Middle Eastern Delicacy

Basbousa is a native Egyptian (traditionally Middle eastern) sweet cake. Its made of semolina (rawa/sooji) as main ingredient and is soaked in a sugar syrup.  Its a super soft, melt in the mouth sweet, which has a rustic traditional flavor.


It was on my to do list since the day I saw it on an episode on TLC. Its literally a one bowl recipe and needs no fancy material. There are multiple recipes available for this sweet cake,some use coconut in the batter, others use orange or rose water as syrup. I loved this version the most! So here is the recipe. Bake it on!!

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
20 min 30 min 50 min


Semolina (Rawa/Sooji) 1 +1/2 Cup
Whole Wheat Flour 1/2 Cup
Sugar 1 Cup
Melted Butter/Oil 1/2 Cup
Milk 1- 1+1/2 Cup
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Baking Soda 1/2 tsp
3-4 tsp
Water 2 Cup
Rose Syrup(Optional)
 Few Drops
Saffron (Optional)
Few threads
collage (2)
Clockwise from top : Oil,Milk,Vanilla essence,Sugar,Whole wheat flour,Baking soda,Baking powder,Semolina (Rawa/Sooji)

Pans and Pots:

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 thick bottom pan
  • 1 Baking tray (6/7 inches)
  • Wooden spatula
  • Convection oven
  • Gas stove/Induction


Sugar Syrup:

  • Add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar in a thick bottom pan
  • Heat the mixture on a low flame, till the syrup thickens
  • Add 3-4 tsp lemon to the mixture and heat for few more seconds
  • You can optionally add few strands of saffron or few drops of rose water
  • Take off the flame and cool completely

Tip: Do not make the syrup too thick, it should be just pour-able consistency

Cake Batter:

  • Add 1 cup milk,1/2 cup oil/melted butter,1/2 cup sugar,vanilla in a bowl and mix well
  • Add few drops of vanilla essence to the mixture
  • Mix semolina,flour , baking powder,soda together and add to the liquid ingredients
  • Mix well and add more milk if needed, batter should be without lumps

Tip: All the ingredients used in batter should be at room temperature


20170225_131516301_iOS (2)

  • Grease the pan nicely with oil on sides and base and dust it with  flour
  • Pre-heat oven (convection) to 170 C
  • Pour the batter into the baking tray and line it with blanched almonds
  • Bake for 25-30 min or until a toothpick comes out clean

Tip: Bake time will differ from oven to oven and temperature of surrounding too. Set it up for 25 min to start with and bake in bursts of 1-2 min at same temperature to check if it is done


20170225_134230570_iOS (3)

  • Take the pan out of the oven  and run a sharp knife to cut into pieces within pan
  • Pour the cooled syrup over the hot cake and let the cake completely soak the liquid
  • Let it cool completely and serve


If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment below , rate it, and don’t forget to post pictures of your cake! I’d love to see what you bake up. Cheers, friends!


4 thoughts on “Basbousa – Middle Eastern Delicacy”

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