A gloriously creamy and moist semolina cake, stuffed with luscious cream drizzled with syrup then topped with nuts. A pastry shop style cake with a stunning look that will get everyone’s attention.
An Egyptian style semolina cake (basbousa) gets reinvented to be a show-stopping piece of art. Cream filled basbousa is moist, spongy, sweet and melts in your mouth. This got my kids go crazy as they devoured it in half a day!!.
For a traditional basbousa recipe, try this all-time fan favorite basbousa.
Semolina coconut cake (Basbousa)
What is Basbousa dessert?
Basbousa is an Egyptian semolina cake widely spread and loved throughout the Middle East. It is made with semolina, yogurt, butter or ghee and sometimes coconut. Soaked in fragrant simple syrup. I usually only add vanilla to the syrup but you can also flavor it with cinnamon, orange blossom water or rose water.
Basbousa should not be thick, although it is a cake but it is usually in the range of 8mm-1 cm as you can see it in this basbousa recipe. But this recipe is sure different, as it is a stuffed cake so it has layers. Hence it is somehow thicker than the usual basbousa.
I’ve adapted a recipe from a well know TV cook Manal Al Alam, she is one of the greatest cooks in the Arab world.
What do you use semolina flour for?
Semolina’s number one use is in the making of pasta and couscous. In the Middle East semolina and farina are used mostly in baked goods. From breads, pancakes, to smolina pudding and cakes. It is a well know, highly appreciated ingredients throughout the region.
What is the difference between Semolina and Farina?
This is a burning question that I get asked all the time. In the Middle East they are all called semolina but we have coarse semolina and fine semolina. Sometimes coarse semolina here in the US is called Farina. I will have amazon links at the end of the post so you can take a closer look before buying any.
In most cases when semolina is not used in great amounts in a specific recipe, the most common substitute is whole wheat flour. Although it would not give the same texture or taste but this greatly depends on the recipe. In basbousa though, I have some bad news. Sorry but you must use semolina, and in this recipe you can use either the coarse or the fine. In fact, the original recipe calls for the fine one, for me I’ve used the coarse one as I like it much better in basbousa.
How to make Cream stuffed semolina cake?
This recipe is very forgiving not like the traditional one, although both are easy but seriously this one tend to be very forgiving and the result is always exceptional.
- In a deep bowl, add semolina ( coarse or fine whatever you like),coconut flakes, sugar and baking powder then mix well.
- Mix in oil, yogurt, vanilla extract and eggs.
- Pour half the batter in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- While the bottom half is baking we’ll make the cream filling.
- In a pot, mix cornstarch with one cup of milk until dissolved.
- Stir in the rest of the milk, sugar and vanilla extract then heat the mixture until thickened.
- Remove from heat and add the table cream if desired.
- Pour the filling over the baked half of the cake.
- Add water to the remaining half of the batter then pour over the filling.
- Tilt the pan to distribute well. Then pop in the oven to finish baking.
- Drizzle with cold syrup and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Now as a self-proclaimed semolinologist, I highly urge you to try this recipe. If you are a basbousaholic like us, you’re gonna fall head over heals for this one.
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This is the springform pan I like, it is leak proof with a nice lip at the bottom.
For the Semolina and Farina Here are the two types from Ziyad company ( coarse, fine) which you can easily found in the Middle East store near you. For other brands like Mid East they go by the name farina for the coarse and semoline for the fine.
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- 1 cup semolina or farina the difference is described in the post above.
- 1/2 cup sugar.
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes.
- 2 teaspoons baking powder.
- 3 large eggs.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- 1 cup plain yogurt.
- 3/4 cup oil.
- 1 Tablespoon water.
- 2 cups milk.
- 4 Tablespoons cornstarch.
- 1 Tablespoon sugar.
- 2 Tablespoons canned cream.
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.*
- 1 cups sugar.
- 3/4 cup water.
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
- 1 Tablespoons honey.
- A pinch of vanilla powder.
In a sauce pan stir syrup ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a deep bowl, combine cake ingredients and mix well.
Pour half mixture in a prepared 9 inch pan.
Bake for 15 minutes.
In a pot dissolve cornstarch in one cup of milk stir in sugar, vanilla extract and the rest of the milk.
Place pot on stovetop on medium heat , keep stirring with a whisk until the mixture bubbles and thickens.
Take pan out of oven, pour the filling and level the surface.
Pour 1 Tablespoon of water over the rest of the farina mixture mix well .
Pour the drain mixture over the filling and level.
Bake for an extra 40-50 minutes.
Get it out of the oven and immediately pour the cooled syrup.
Cover and let stand for 15 minutes to let it soak the syrup and cool down.
Garnish with nuts of your choice or serve plain.