Thursday, December 1, 2011

Basbousa / Semolina cake

If you are some one who hates desserts but can still snack on not so sweet desserts, this is the recipe for you. If you are wondering how the hell a semolina cake would taste, tastes wonderful. This recipe is one of the famous Egyptian cake recipe. Very light and delicious. First the cake is baked and then it is soaked in the sugar syrup. This is what makes the cake so spongy and soft, which just melts in your mouth.

Preparation time = 20 mins (Excl. Baking time )
Serves = 8-10
Calories = Approx 140/ medium size piece

For Cake-
1 1/2 Cups Semolina
1/2 Cup All purpose flour
1 Cup Whole milk
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 Tsp Baking powder
Salt (Pinch)
1 Stick or 8 tbsp Unsalted butter
Whole almonds for decoration

For Sugar Syrup-
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Tbsp Almond essence

1. Mix the semolina, sugar, baking powder, flour, salt. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Beat the egg. Now add the milk, beaten egg, melted butter and vanilla extract to the flour mixture. Mix well. This is how it should look after the mixing is done.

2. Now grease a 8x11 pan with butter. Spread the prepared mixture in to the pan.

3. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Now cut the mixture into diamond shapes and bake for 30-40 mins or until the cake is golden brown. Allow the cake to cool.
4. Meanwhile prepare the sugar syrup. To a sauce pan, add sugar, water, lemon juice and bring to boil. Once it starts boiling, simmer flame and allow the syrup to thicken. The lemon juice will help preventing crystallization of sugar. Finally add the almond essence and turn off the flame.
5. Now pour the sugar mixture on top of the cake evenly making sure every corner is covered. Now repeat the cuts again and decorate with almonds.

6. Serve chilled or warm!!!!

You can always control the amount of sugar syrup you wanna add. If you want it on very moist side, increase the quantity of sugar syrup while soaking the cake. Just add up few more cups of sugar to the syrup preparation. We eat less sweet in our family so we use less sugar.

Some traditional recipes call for coconut in the cake and also as topping. I just cut it down. The less ingredients, the fewer calories. There's always an option to how we can change the recipes according to our palate and make healthy eating habits.

 posted 2011


  1. If you've found a way to make hareesa/ basbousa low fat, then you're a culinary genius! The basbousa I know is soaking in a sugary syrup - don't get me wrong, it's absolutely delicious! My family recipe consists of:

    3 cups semolina
    3/4 cup unsweetened butter, melted
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 cup plain yogurt
    1/2 cup wholeblanched almonds for garnish

    The syrup itselt has about 4 cups of sugar in it.

  2. thats ok and thanks for the comment. I guess i am jst an amateur girl learning to cook. All i did was just use less butter and less sugar according to mine and my families taste buds. i used milk for yogurt which also saves me calories. and when i say its low calorie i am comparing to the wonderful cake slices which have hundreds of calories in it.also 3 cups of semolina has more than 1800 cals in it, while i used 1 1/2 cup semolina (800 cals) and 1/2 cup all purpose flour ( 70 cals). so i guess the math is here. that makes a lot of change in the world of calories. ill try your family recipe too. thank you for the recipe