Basbousa – An Egyptian Kiss- VEGANׁ


Basbousa is a semolina based cake, similar in texture to sweet cornbread. It is traced back to an Egyptian dish Ma’mounia, although it is enjoyed in many countries such as Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Israel and Egypt of course….

I first made this cake for a class project about Africa, but soon it became a regular cake in our house. It is wonderful, vegan and very easy to make. I have not found a kid or adult, yet, who did not love this cake from the first bite!

It can be made dairy, or vegan (I make it vegan and it’s delicious!)

What you need:

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cups unsalted butter or dairy free vegetable oil spread – I recommend Fleischmann’s unsalted.

3/4 cup rice milk/coconut milk, or buttermilk for a dairy version

3/4 cups orange or lemon juice – I prefer orange juice

2 1/4 cups semolina

2 tsp. vanilla paste or essence

1 table-spoon baking powder (or less, or none)

Optional– 1/2 cup coconut- I think it adds a lot

Sugar Syrup:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 lemon or orange – for the juice and zest.

How to make it:

Mix semolina, vanilla, baking powder in a bowl.

In a separate bowl combine coconut milk, orange juice and sugar. Mix well. Add the semolina mix and lastly add the cooled melted butter.

Sugar Syrup:

Place it all in a saucepan and cook over low heat until you get a syrupy consistency. Let cool.


The Basbousa should be baked in a big pan and not too think. The slices are usually square and not very big. Many place half an almond on each slice, before baking.

After Baking cut the pieces out into squares, I like to put them in paper cups to serve to kids, although my kids love it straight from the pan with a spoon….

Use a 11X7 inch pan or similar. Spray it or butter it before putting the Basbousa and bake for 30-45 minutes at 350F, 180C.

Pour the sugar syrup over the cake while still warm.

semolina cake

Another take on this, is a wonderful Israeli cake, that is known as Aroma’s Semolina cake. I love this cake.

It is not vegan, but truly delicious. I found a great recipe in an Israeli food blog (Around the Table, Noa’s moms Blog). It is the cake served in Aroma Cafe next to the great coffee…..

The cake:

1 cup flour

1 cup semolina

1 cup coconut

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla paste

4 eggs

3/4 cups oil

1 cup orange juice + zest


1 cup water

3/4 cups sugar

lemon juice from 1 lemon

Whip the egg whites and sugar until you get a thick white cream.

Mix all dry ingredients together. Add the egg yolks, oil and orange juice with the zest. Then, fold in the egg whites.

I like to bake it in a bread form, oiled, for about 30 minutes at 330F, 160C.

Pour the syrup over the cake while still warm and sprinkle coconut on top.


Enjoy and let me hear from you.