Basbousa (Arabic Sweet)

An Arabic/Libyan dessert made with semolina (Indian Sooji) and soaked in sugar syrup flavored with cardamom/rose water. Simple and decadent sweet for all occasions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Course: Dessert                  

Cuisine: Arabic

Yield: 16

Cooking time: 45 mins

  1. Sugar- 1 cup
  2. Water-1 cup
  3. Lemon-half


  1. Semolina-1 1/2 cup
  2. Vegetable oil/ butter- 3/4 cup
  3. Milk-1 cup
  4. Vanilla extract-1 tsp
  5. Egg-1
  6. Cardamom pods-2
  7. Sugar-1/2 cup
  8. All-purpose flour-1/2 cup
  9. Baking powder-1 tsp
  10. 9″ inch pan greased with butter- 1


  • SUGAR SYRUP-Bring water ,sugar and half lemon juice to boil till all the sugar gets dissolved in the water or until string consistency. Add few crushed cardamom pods in the syrup.
  • Cool the sugar syrup to room temp, strain the cardamom pieces and store in a glass jar.
  • Blanch some almonds and keep aside dry.
  • FOR THE CAKE– Take a large bowl and mix all the dry ingredients.
  • Add in the veg oil and milk and combine the mixture well with a spatula.
  • Now whisk an egg and vanilla extract into the above mixture. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour this cake batter into the greased pan.
  • Score lines on the mixture with a knife and make a pattern as shown in the picture.


  • Bake @ 350 deg F for 30 mins.
  • Take the pan out and cut right through the scored lines on the cake.
  • Pour the cold sugar syrup onto the hot cake.
  • Back into oven for another 15 mins.
  • Cool the cake to room temp or serve warm.


  • Fine and coarse semolina can be taken half each.
  • Substitute sugar syrup with thickened milk mixture(Milkmaid + Heavy cream) for a fudgy semolina cake.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s