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Coconut Yogurt Semolina Cake (Basbousa Joz el Hind)


A versatile cake that is wholesome, delicious and easy to make

The coconut semolina (basbousa with shredded coconut) cake is one of those classic cakes that are easy to put together and highly satisfying with a cup of tea or coffee, and it’s also a go-to dessert for many women in the Arab world, who want to have something to offer for any impromptu guests who stop by. Almost every one of my friends has a semolina based dessert recipe in their arsenal that they can whip up at a moments notice. The beauty of this cake is that it has many redeeming qualities, its: wholesome, unfussy, can be vamped up with some seasonal fruit compote, one bowl recipe, easy, good to eat either cold/room temperature, transports well, and because it’s drenched in syrup (ater), it stays moist and juicy for days. If you’ve never made a cake or dessert with semolina, this recipe would be a good one to start with. Oh, and kids love it!


Coconut Yogurt Semolina Cake (Basbousa Joz Al Hind)


Prep: Easy

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Serves 6-8 people


Ingredients for the Cake Batter:

2 cups semolina (not fine)

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 cup oil

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 eggs beaten

Chopped pistachio (1-2 Tablespoons) for decoration (optional)

Shredded coconut (1-2 Tablespoons) for decoration (optional)


How To:

Heat the oven to 350 F. Make the syrup (see below) and set aside to cool while the cake bakes. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together with a spoon until well incorporated. Butter and flour a 10 inch cake and spread the batter in an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the top begins to turn a golden brown color and the sides begin to pull slightly from the edge of the pan. While the cake is still warm pour the slightly cooled down syrup (ater) on the cake (easier while the cake is still in the pan) and leave it to fully sponge up the syrup before serving or cutting. Decorate the top of the basbousa with the pistachio and coconut


Ingredients for the Syrup (Ater)

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon flower water (optional)


How To:

In a small pot, and on medium high heat, add the sugar and water. Let it come to a rolling boil for around 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally. When it begins to thicken, close the heat and add the lemon and flower water. Leave to cool for at least 30 minutes before pouring on the baked basbousa cake.

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