Moist Farina Yogurt Cake Recipe (Basbousa): An Authentic Egyptian Dessert Recipe by Ann Marie Patitucci

Moist Farina Yogurt Cake Recipe (Basbousa): An Authentic Egyptian Dessert Recipe

Basbousa, a coconut semolina/farina yogurt cake, is an authentic Egyptian dessert. The cake is soaked in syrup and garnished with nuts. Basbousa is known for being soft, tender and moist as well as absolutely delicious.

I’ve learned that basbousa is sold on just about every corner in Egypt. Each bakery boasts its own delicious homemade basbousa. And now you can make it yourself! I looked at several basbousa recipes and found this one to be both authentic and reasonably easy to make – the prep takes only 10 minutes and you can serve it in just 50 minutes.

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Cuisine: Egyptian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 to 12



  • 1 2/3 cups Farina (preferred to semolina due to texture)
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, finely shredded
  • 1/2 tablespoon tahini, for the baking sheet
  • nuts, for garnishing, optional (almonds and pistachios are popular choices)


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Here’s how to make it:

  1. In a deep bowl, combine farina, sugar, baking powder and coconut. Mix well.
  2. Melt the ghee (use the microwave or stovetop), then dissolve the honey in it. Add the ghee mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well to incorporate. Add the yogurt and mix until just combined.
  3. Brush a round 12-inch baking dish with the tahini and then spread the basbousa mixture evenly. (Be conservative with the tahini; too much will alter the taste of your basbousa.) Garnish with nuts, if desired.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven on the middle rack until edges start to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Do not leave it more than 15 minutes even if it doesn’t seem to be browning. Then move the basbousa to the upper shelf and let it continue cooking until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. When you move the basbousa to the higher shelf, start making the syrup. 
  5. To make the syrup, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine syrup ingredients and bring to a boil. Once ingredients begin to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn heat off and keep the syrup warm.
  6. When the basbousa is done, remove it and turn off the oven. Immediately pour the syrup evenly over the basbousa and immediately cover it with foil. Return it to the TURNED OFF oven for 5 to 10 minutes while oven is still hot. Remove from oven and cut in even pieces.

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Farina $4 & Up
Ghee $5 & Up
Honey $4 & Up
Tahini $4 & Up
Nuts $4 & Up
Vanilla Extract $4 & Up

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Well that looks completely delicious. Never heard of it but dying to make it now. 😍

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