Basbousa Cake

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Basbousa translated literally means, "just a kiss"

Today we welcome to WOT television chef Lamees Attar-Bashi, and owner of the about-to-launch food brand, Bashi’s Superfood Snacks. Today she is sharing with us her recipe for this sweet and delicious Egyptian cake that has become a Middle Eastern classic.

Basbousa is a semolina “cake” soaked with syrup, a prominent butter flavor, that has an extremely moist, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Originally from Egypt, this dessert spread widely to the rest of the Middle East and other Mediterranean countries who
have developed their own version of it, making under different names like Harrisa or Nammoura to name a few.

Variations of this recipe include additional ingredients like egg, yogurt, coconut ghee instead of butter.  

Why I love this dessert so much is its texture —  It’s airy and light and the option to add a thick cream on top makes it even more delicious. Believe me when I tell you that you will not be eating JUST ONE piece… This is dessert addiction on a whole new level!

Basbousa Cake

Author Lamees Attar-Bashi


For the cake
  • 2 cup course semolina
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt plain
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds cut in half for garnishing
  • 1 tbsp oil
For the sugar syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon


For the cake
  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 350 F
  • Mix all dry ingredients together (semolina, coconut, baking powder and sugar). Beat the egg and then add to it the oil, vanilla, milk and yoghurt and whisk together all ingredients until they become creamy and smooth.
  • Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and mix using a spatula (don't over mix) until all ingredients are well combined.
  • Transfer to cake pan and spread half the mixture, then add a thick layer of thick cream, and cover with the 2nd half of the mixture to make the surface even. Pour the 1 tbsp of oil on top and pat gently using the back of a spoon until it smoothens completely.
  • Make slight cuts with a knife to mark the squares (this will be done twice) once this is done place half an almond in the middle of each piece.
  • Place the tray in the middle of the oven for up to 20 minutes at first, take it out and gently cut the squares again (this is to avoid it crumbling when you are trying to cut it after being fully baked).
  • Take the tray and place it back into the oven and cook for another 20 minutes or until it becomes golden. Take the tray out and let it rest for 5 minutes and then pour the syrup evenly on top of the cake, making sure the syrup is at room temperature.
  • Let it cool for an hour. Cut it thoroughly before serving and serve with more thick cream.
For the sugar syrup
  • Place sugar and water in a pot and place on the stove. Bring to a boil and stir until all sugar has been dissolved.
  • Add the cardamom and let it continue boiling on medium heat until it is reduced to third (around 15minutes).
  • Before removing from heat add the lemon set aside and let it reach room temperature.
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Lamees Attar-Bashi

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by Camila Alves McConaughey