Cakes, Desserts, Vegan Treats

Basbousa. Egyptian-style Semolina Cake. Flavoured with citrus.

Dense, moist and with a zing of citrus, this semolina cake would be a great finish to these Egyptian-style dishes:

broad bean patties coated in sesame seeds fried in olive oil served with a simple green mezze
spiced paprika stew + marinaded fried tempeh




(click images for links)




citrus basbousa with a refreshing herb tea



serves 8


  • 75gms good quality vegan spread ( such as sunflower spread)
  • 130gms. sugar (for the cake) …I used golden caster…
  • 230gms. semolina
  • 150ml. non-dairy yogurt
  • 1.5 tsps. baking powder
  • 60ml non-dairy milk ( I used oat milk)
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 1 large orange
  • 120gms. sugar (for the syrup)
  • approx 150ml water
  • 5-7cm stick cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 star anise (optional)
  • 2tsps. cinnamon powder
  • 3tbs. desiccated coconut
  • 30gms. pine nuts (optional)
  • a few drops orange extract (optional but gives it a real zing)


  • Preheat oven Gas Mk 4 / 180C
  • Melt the vegan spread gently in a saucepan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, then the non-dairy yogurt.  Mix together.  Add semolina, baking powder and non-dairy milk. Mix well.
  • Add the melted vegan spread.  Stir in until you have a smooth mix.
  • Add the zest of the lemons and the orange.
  • Pour into a lightly oiled dish 20-24cm diameter.
  • Bake for 35-45 mins.
  • Prepare the syrup.
  • Take the juice of the 2 lemons and the orange, and make up to 180ml. with water.
  • Add to a heavy small saucepan with 120gms sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise if using.
  • Bring gently to the boil, allowing sugar to dissolve.
  • Boil on a med.-high heat for 5 -8 mins.until the syrup begins to thicken.
  • Remove from the heat, add orange extract if using, and allow to cool.
  • When the cake is done: firm to the touch and golden on top, remove from the oven and, with a cocktail stick make tiny deep holes across the surface.
  • While the cake is still hot, pour the cooled syrup evenly over the cake.
  • Toast the pine nuts in a hot dry skillet for 3 mins. until golden.
  • Mix cinnamon powder and desiccated coconut together.
  • While the top of the cake is still nice and sticky, sprinkle with cinnamon/coconut mix, and then scatter toasted pine nuts.
  • (*Or another topping of your choice: ground almonds, chopped nuts, nutmeg.)
  • Allow the cake to cool completely.








2 thoughts on “Basbousa. Egyptian-style Semolina Cake. Flavoured with citrus.”

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