Sunday, 22 June 2014

Basbousa / Semolina and Coconut Cake

Basbousa / Revani : Eggless Coconut and Semolina Cake drenched in simple syrup. It is soft, moist in the middle and crunchy on the top.



  • 2 Cups fine Semolina
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup toasted Coconut / desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 Cup Caster Sugar / Powdered granulated Sugar
  • 150 Grams unsalted Butter - melted
  • 3/4 Cup plain thick yogurt ( yogurt should be sour , use fresh yogurt for better taste)
  • 20 Blanched Almonds for Garnish

For the syrup  

  • 3/4 Cup water
  • 1 Cup Granulated white Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoon Rose Water / Orange Blossom

Preparation : 

Blanch the Almonds : 

1. In a microwave safe mug heat 1 cup of water on high for 4 minutes
2. Add 20 almonds to the hot water in the mug. Let them rest in the water for 10 minutes
3. Take a almond out from the hot water and try to pinch / rub it between your fingers. If the skin comes off easily, your almonds are ready. Otherwise, let the remain in the hot water for 5 more minutes
4. Remove skin of all the almonds and set aside
5. Transfer the almonds to a kitchen towel and let them dry for 2 to 3 hours or overnight. You can blanch the almonds the previous day and store it in air tight container when they are dry

Prepare Toasted coconut :

I used fresh coconut and hence I toasted them in the oven. If you are using desiccated coconut, you can skip this step and proceed to the next step


1. Remove brown skin of the fresh coconut. You need only the white flesh
2. Grate the coconut into fine shreds
3. Spread the coconut on a baking tray and bake at 170 C in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until the coconut is slightly golden over the edges. Do not walk away while the coconut is in the oven. Coconut tends to brown too quickly. You need to keep an eye on them
4. Once toasted, remove from the oven and Cool them completely

Prepare the syrup  

Prepare the syrup ahead before baking the cake. The syrup has to be at the room temperature and the cake has to be warm. Hence make the syrup and set aside before you start baking the cake

1. In a sauce pan, add water and sugar
2. Once 2 minutes, the sugar would have dissolved completely
3. Let the syrup boil on medium flame for 10 minutes
4. The syrup should be thick. Do not boil the syrup to 1 string consisntency. The syrup should be little bit thinner than the string consistency. Add rose water / orange blossom and mix once
5. Set aside and let it cool

Directions for baking the cake

1. Preheat the oven to 170 C / 350 F
2. In a large bowl, add semolina, baking soda, salt and mix them together


3. Add the toasted coconut / desiccated coconut and powdered sugar or castor Sugar to the semolina and mix well



4. To this dry mixture, add yogurt, melted butter and using a spatula combine everything well


5. The mixture will be like thick dough



6. Grease a 10 inch pie pan / plate / cake pan. Place a parchment paper on the bottom of the pan / plate.  Then lightly butter the bottom and sides again


7. Transfer the semolina coconut wet mixture into the greased pan. Using a spatula, smooth the top


8. Using a sharp knife, mark squares or diamond shape on the dough. Place a blanched almond in the center of the diamonds and gently press them in the dough


9. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes on the kitchen counter

10. Then bake at 170 C for 20 minutes

11. Remove the cake from the oven and cut them through the previously made markings. This cake will be crumbly after it is baked. We will be able to cut perfectly after it is baked. That is why it is recommended to cut it during half way through the baking process

12. Return the cake to the oven and bake for 15 minutes more or until the edges are light golden

13. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool down a bit

14. When the cake is warm, spread or pour the syrup all over the cake and let it soak in the syrup for 4 to 5 hours or preferably overnight

15. This cake tastes best the next day when it is totally drenched in the syrup



  1. Awesome recipe Salma! Dil khush ho Gaya.

  2. Wow!!! Thts awesome recipe...and my favourite too....:)

  3. Your photos said it all. Thanks for this amazing recipe.I'm gonna try it with Celebes Desiccated coconut