- Nutmeg Nanny - https://www.nutmegnanny.com -


Sharing is caring!

This basbousa is made with semolina flour, almonds, coconut and a delicious rose water scented sugar syrup. It’s so delicious and so easy to make!

Welcome to the second post of The Secret Recipe Club.  This month I was lucky to receive the blogger Avanika of the delicious site Yumsilicious Bakes. As I searched through her recipes I found several I wanted to make. It’s always so hard to make a decision….ahhh!

I finally settled on a recipe called basbousa. I had never heard of this particular dessert so it immediately peaked my interest. In her post Avanika said it’s a traditional Middle Eastern dessert that is similar to the Indian dessert Coconut Halva.

The coconut flavor is mild but definitely present.  It’s has a dense bar cookie texture and the syrup gives it just the right amount of sweetness.  This was also my first time using rose water. I was worried it would add too much of a floral taste but happily it worked perfectly with all the other flavors.  I made no changes to the recipe except for the fact that I didn’t blanch my almonds. The best part about this recipe is that it’s a breeze to make. Everything gets mixed together and into the pan it goes.  What can be simpler than that?


This basbousa is made with semolina flour, almonds, coconut and a delicious rose water scented sugar syrup. It's so delicious and so easy to make!


For Cake:

  • 1 stick [1/2 cup, 113 g] butter - melted
  • 3/4 cup [210 g] granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup [75 g] flour
  • 1 1/4 cup [275 g] semolina flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 1/2 cup [150 g] unsweetened desiccated coconut - make sure you use desiccated, shredded tends to absorb moisture, and make it pudding-y!
  • 3/4 cup [220 g] milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • blanched whole almonds, for decoration

For Syrup:

  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoon[110 g] granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup [125 g] water
  • 1/2 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 F [180 C], grease a 9x11 pan or use a 9 inch tart pan.

Mix together all the ingredients for the cake, except the blanched almonds.

Pour it into the pan, score into diamond shapes, and add almonds to each piece[This is the traditional way to do it, and the almonds look really good when baked]

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top browns.

While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. Boil together the sugar, water and rose water, if using, until no sugar granules remain. Take off the heat, and add the lemon juice.

Pour onto a slightly cooled cake. The syrup will pool on top, don't worry. It will all get absorbed, and give the most amazing texture. Give the 'cake' a few hours to soak up all the syrup, and then cut along the scored lines.