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+ servings
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
Basbousa is a pastry typical of the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans made from semolina and ground almonds, that is soaked in flavored syrup.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Armenian, Balkan, Cypriot, Greek, Israeli, Jordanian, Lebanese, Middle Eastern, Syrian, Turkish, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 people
Author: Vera Abitbol
For the cake
  • 3 cups fine durum wheat semolina
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup cooled oil (or melted butter)
  • 12 oz. plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
For the garnish
  • 4 oz. roasted and crushed pistachios
For the syrup
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rose water (or orange blossom water)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the mold
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  1. Start by preparing the syrup as it will need to be completely chilled to soak the hot cake.
  1. Pour the water, sugar and lemon juice into a saucepan over high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and cook the syrup over low to medium heat for up to 10 minutes.
  4. When the syrup is completely cold, add rose water (or orange blossom water) and mix well.

  1. In a large bowl, combine the semolina, ground almonds, caster sugar, salt and baking powder. Add oil, yogurt, and mix.
  2. Grease a baking dish and dust with flour before pouring the preparation.
  3. Pack the preparation well and smooth it out to the corners with a spatula. Using a knife, pre-cut 2-inch (5 cm) squares.

  4. Allow the preparation to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 F (200°C ) while the dough is resting.

  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake is golden brown.
Soaking and garnishing
  1. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the cooled syrup over it, leaving the cake inside the mold and spreading the syrup evenly.
  2. Sprinkle generously with crushed pistachios. Allow to cool completely before cutting the pieces along the pre-cut marks.