Semolina Cake: Basbousa Bil Tamr



  • 334g (2 cups) semolina
  • 136g (1 cup) whole grain (or white) flour
  • 60g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 64g (1/2 cup) muscovado (or white) sugar
  • 245g (1 cup) low-fat (or regular) yogurt
  • 240ml (1 cup) skim (or whole) milk
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 500g date-paste


  • blanched almonds (optional)


Mix all the liquid ingredients together, and then add them to the dry ingredients.

Brush a rectangle 20×30 dish and spread half of the basbousa mix.

Arrange date paste on top carefully, then cover with the remaining basbousa mix.

With a sharp knife, mark 30 equal squares into the top layer of semolina, decorate each with halved almonds.

Bake in a preheated oven, 200°C, until golden in color. Pass a knife over the squares again, deepening the lines.

Leave to rest before cutting and serving.

*Note: The original recipe finishes off with pouring syrup over the squares while still warm. I omitted this step completely, but I think it would work great with maple or agave syrup, or maybe even warm honey, for those who are looking for a healthier alternative.



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