Basboosa (Middle Eastern semolina cake)

    1 hour 50 min

    This sticky Lebanese confection is made with semolina, baked to a golden brown, and drizzled with sweet orange blossom water syrup.

    7 people made this

    Serves: 16 

    • 1 tablespoon tahini
    • 475ml fine semolina
    • 300g caster sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 225g plain yoghurt
    • 15g butter, softened
    • 16 blanched almond halves
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 475ml water
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 15g butter
    • 1 teaspoon orange flower water

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr50min 

    1. Line a 23x33cm glass baking dish with aluminium foil and generously butter the foil. Spread the tahini evenly over the bottom in a thin layer.
    2. Mix together semolina with 300g sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Mix in the yoghurt and 15g softened butter gently with your hands until the dough is smooth. Spread dough out into the prepared baking dish. Pat the surface smooth. Cover the dish with foil, and allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 squares; push an almond half gently into the top of each square.
    3. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cake is set and the top is lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes.
    5. While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Place 400g of sugar into a saucepan with the water, and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Stir in the lemon juice, and boil the syrup for 5 minutes; stir in butter and orange flower water until combined. Pour the hot syrup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let cool for 1 to 2 hours to let the syrup absorb before serving.

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    Reviews in English (6)


    This dessert was so delicious, one of my friends asked me to make it for his birthday instead of cake! I used more tahini than originally called for (about 1/4 cup instead of 1 tbsp) because I had trouble getting the paste to spread far enough on the bottom of the dish, and I only used about half the syrup in the end. The dessert was deliciously nutty and had a nice moist, slightly grainy texture without being too sticky.  -  13 Oct 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Picky Syrian approved! Orange water is a must for authentic flavor.  -  22 May 2012  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Delicious! Actually, the ingredients are not expensive at all, I found everything at a middle eastern halal market. Thank you Basboos  -  04 Apr 2014  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)