Basbousa (Middle Eastern Semolina Coconut Cake)

4.58 from 14 votes

Basbousa (Basboosa) is a Middle Eastern dessert made from sweet semolina and coconut cake. It is also called revani or namoura in some parts. Here is how to make it at home.

Basbousa served in the baking tray.
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About Basbousa

Basbousa (Basboosa) is a soft and super moist dessert popular in Middle Eastern countries, especially Turkey. It is also called revani or namoura.

This traditional Turkish dish is pronounced as ‘Bass-b-ouza’.

Basbousa is a sweet semolina and coconut cake flavored with orange zest.

It comes together easily using simple ingredients and equipment. You might have tried many savory Middle Eastern dishes like Hummus, Pita, or Mutabal. Now, try this dessert as well.

Ingredients

All-Purpose Flour & Semolina – The base of this Middle Eastern cake is made using fine semolina and a little bit of all-purpose flour.

Desiccated Coconut – This is one of the main ingredients in this traditional recipe. It complements the semolina well and gives the dessert a beautiful coconut flavor.

Orange Zest gives it a hint of tanginess, making this dish delicious. So do not miss this one.

Blanched Almonds – Soak almonds in hot water, remove the skin, and then use them to top your basbousa.

Eggs and Yogurt ensure your dessert is soft and moist. Avoid adding eggs for an eggless version.

Others – You will need granulated white sugar, melted salted butter, neutral-flavored oil, and baking powder.

How To Make Basbousa

Make The Sugar Syrup

Add 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup water to a saucepan.

Water and sugar added to a saucepan.

Cook over high heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring a few times. 

Once the sugar is dissolved, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and mix well. 

Adding lemon juice to the pan.

Remove the pan from heat and keep aside.

Ready sugar syrup.

Make The Cake

Preheat the oven to 350℉ (180℃). Line a 9×11-inch baking tray with parchment paper.

Baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Add 2 large eggs and ½ cup of granulated white sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk well using an electric hand blender or a wire whisk.

Eggs and sugar added to a bowl.

Add ½ cup plain yogurt and whisk until combined.

Yogurt added to the bowl.

Now add ½ cup of melted salted butter and ½ cup of any neutral-flavored oil and whisk well.

Melted butter and oil added to the bowl.

Add the following ingredients.

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 and ½ cups fine semolina
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
Vanilla extract, flour, semolina, coconut, orange zest and baking powder added to the bowl.

Mix everything well.

Ready batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared tray and spread it evenly using a silicon spatula.

Batter poured in the tray and spread evenly.

Using a sharp knife, make diamond-shaped marks on the batter.

Diamond shaped marks made on the batter using a knife.

Arrange blanched almond halves over the cake.

Blanched almond halves arranged on the cake.

Keep the tray in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the tray from the oven.

baked basbousa.

Run a sharp knife over the marks once again.

Knife run on the marks again.

Pour sugar syrup over the warm cake and let it cool completely (at least an hour). Remove the diamond-shaped pieces and serve.

Sugar syrup poured over ready basbousa.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make basbousa without eggs?

To make eggless basbousa, replace eggs with ¼ cup of plain yogurt and keep the rest of the recipe the same.

How to make vegan basbousa?

Replace eggs, yogurt, and melted butter with 1 cup of whipped silken tofu and ¼ cup of non-dairy milk to make a vegan version of basbousa.

How to make gluten-free basboosa?

To make it gluten-free, replace all-purpose flour and semolina with a combination of almond flour, rice flour, and corn flour.

Storage Suggestions

Basbousa can be stored in an airtight container for about a day at room temperature.

You can refrigerate it for about 4-5 days. Reheat it in a microwave for a few seconds, as it may get a little hard after refrigeration.

Take the amount you plan to serve and microwave it for a few seconds. Heating the whole Basbousa repeatedly will decrease its shelf life.

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Basbousa (Basboosa) is a Middle Eastern dessert that is basically sweet semolina and coconut cake. It is also called revani or namoura in some parts. Here is how to make it at home.
4.58 from 14 votes

Basbousa Recipe (Middle Eastern Coconut Semolina Cake)

Basbousa (Basboosa) is a Middle Eastern dessert that is basically sweet semolina and coconut cake. It is also called revani or namoura in some parts. Here is how to make it at home.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 15 people

Ingredients 

For The Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For The Cake

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ½ cup melted unsalted butter
  • ½ cup any neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 and ½ cups fine semolina
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 10-12 blanched almonds (halved)
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Instructions 

Make The Sugar Syrup

  • Add sugar and water to a saucepan.
  • Cook over high heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring a few times. 
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice and mix well. 
  • Remove the pan from heat and keep aside.

Make The Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉ (180℃). Line a 9×11-inch baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Add eggs and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk well using an electric hand blender or a wire whisk.
  • Add yogurt and whisk until combined.
  • Now add melted butter and oil and whisk well.
  • Add vanilla extract, baking powder, all-purpose flour, desiccated coconut, semolina, and orange zest.
  • Mix everything well.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tray and spread it evenly using a silicon spatula.
  • Using a sharp knife, make diamond-shaped marks on the batter.
  • Arrange almond halves over the cake.
  • Keep the tray in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the tray from the oven.
  • Run a sharp knife over the marks once again.
  • Pour sugar syrup over the warm cake and let the cake cool down completely (at least an hour). Take out the diamond-shaped pieces and serve.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

To make an eggless version of basbousa, skip the eggs and replace them with ¼ cup of yogurt.

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 69mg, Potassium: 99mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 229IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1mg
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4 Comments

  1. Hi, with the amount of sugar 1/2 cup , is the dessert moderately sweet or richly sweet. i want to try this but don’t want it to be overly sweet 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you Neha, I made this for Eid and was a superhit. It wasn’t too sweet and everyone loved it . This will be my permanent Basbousa recipe. The orange zist added a nice flavour to it