Friday, 12 May 2017

Basbusah / Basboussa

Basbusah is an Egyptian recipe. I first tasted it at an international students' festival at California State University, Chico campus in 1976-1980. It was delicious. The one that I tasted was not so sweet, but just nice. It had half an almond on top of each diamond piece. I have never found its recipe, but found it today.

Basboussa is the Moroccan version of the same dessert.



3 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
1/2 lemon
2 cups of semolina flour or cream of wheat
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 and 1/2 sticks of butter (one stick is 250 g)
1 16-ounce can of sour cream (1 and 3/4 to 2 cups)


There are 2 parts to making basbusah. First, make the syrup. Then make the cake.

A. Syrup
  1. Mix 2 cups of sugar with 1 cup of water. 
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add juice of 1/2 a lemon.
  4. Let simmer for 10 minutes. 
  5. Let syrup cool in refrigerator. 

B. Cake
  1. Mix 2 cups of semolina flour or cream of wheat, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter (melted and cooled), with 1 16 ounce container of sour cream. 
  3. Add butter and sour cream mixture to the dry ingredients.
  4. Stir by hand with a wooden spoon. 
  5. Spread mixture in buttered 9" x 13" shallow baking tray.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. 

C. Adding almonds
  1. After baking for 20 minutes, score the top of the cake, to give it a checker-board design. 
  2. Place a whole almond in the centre of each diamond piece
  3. Use organic roasted almonds. 
  4. Finish baking the cake for the remaining 20 minutes. 

D. Adding syrup
  1. Pour cool syrup on cake while the cake is still warm. 
  2. Serve cake in its tray while still warm.
  3. Or cut out each diamond piece and place in cupcake paper cups.
  4. Serve basbusah plain or with whipping cream.


A. Syrup

2 glasses of sugar

4 glasses of water

Preparation of syrup:

In a saucepan, bring to the boil water and sugar.

Cook 20 minutes over medium heat.

Cool the syrup before sprinkling over the hot basusah.

Sprinkle the hot basbusah with the cold syrup.

B. Cake

Ingredients in order:

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (how many ml?)

120 ml of rapeseed oil

2 eggs

1 glass of 200 ml of almond powder

1 glass of 200 ml of fine semolina

1 pinch of salt

1 sachet of baking powder (11 g)


Preheat the oven and grease a baking tray with butter and lightly sprinkle semolina.

In a bowl and using a mixer, pour in the milk, oil, eggs, salt and mix with the mixer to have a very homogeneous mixture.

Add the two powders (almonds and semolina) and beat at low speed to obtain a homogeneous mixture.

Pour the mixture into the baking tray and bake at 200 ° C for 20 to 25 minutes. The basbusah must be well-browned at the bottom and at the top. It is important. Otherwise it is uncooked.

At the end of the baking, sprinkle cold syrup on the hot basbusah and leave to rest at least 2 hours before serving.


Ingredients :
(use a 180 ml glass)

A. Cake

3 eggs

1/2 glass of sugar (60 g)

1/2 glass of oil (80 ml)

1 sweet flavoured yoghurt of choice (125 g)

1 glass of extra fine semolina (120 g)

1/2 glass of flour (70 g)

8 g of baking powder

1 pinch of salt

B. Decor

20 cl liquid cream 30% mg

20 g of sugar

Fruits (blueberry, raspberry and kiwi)

C. Syrup

Ingredients for syrup:

2 glasses of sugar

2 glasses of water

Perfume of your choice

D. Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180 °. Butter and flour the pan.

Sift semolina, flour, salt and baking powder.

In a salad bowl, beat eggs and sugar, oil, and yogurt, until the whole mixture is homogenized.

Add the powdered ingredients (semolina, flour, yeast and salt) and add to the egg apparatus.

Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

The basboussa should be golden. Remove from the mold and lightly add syrup. Fill it with whipped cream and sugar. Decorate it with fruits.

Fluid converison chart: