Sunday, 21 April 2013

Haresa | Basbousa | Healthier no-egg middle eastern coconut and semolina cake | Kukskitchen

Haresa / Basbousa (coconut semolina cake) is a middle eastern delicacy. It is a cake that is healthier quite flavoursome and very light on the tumm.  No eggs are used and a fraction of the usual amount of butter is used to prepare it. It is perfect if you are looking for a delicious dinner party dessert which your guests would luv but which would not travel up their hips straight. :)


Haressa / Basbousa / Coconut Semolina Cake

Makes : 10 inch cake




Scented Sugar Syrup (Tahini)
Sugar - 200g
Water - 120ml
Fresh lemon juice - 1/2 tbsp
Rose water - 1/2 tbsp

Semolina Coconut Cake
Fine semolina flour - 300g
Baking powder - 2tsp
Sugar - 100g
Unsalted butter - 115g, room temperature
Milk - 360ml
Desiccated coconut - 75g
Almonds - 3 tbsp


To make the Syrup
  • Add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, giving the pan an occasional swirl and skimming off any foam on the surface.
  • Turn heat down to simmer and boil up to 5 minutes (if you want thick syrup), swirling the pan occasionally. (The syrup will thicken upon cooling too.)
  • Turn off heat and stir in the rose water and keep aside to cool.
To make the cake
  • Preheat oven to 190 degree celsius. 
  • Brush a 10 inch baking pan with tahini
  • Blanch almonds by pouring hot boiling water over them before peeling their skin off.
  • Whisk (1) in a large bowl. Stir in the butter and then the milk until combined, and then fold in the coconut.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, tap the pan on the work top to get an even top surface; let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Score the batter into diamond shapes with a sharp knife, dipping the knife in hot water and drying it off before continuing to score the batter 
  • Place 1 almond at the center of each diamond.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until the sides and top are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  • Take the cake out of the oven and cut along the lines you scored before. 
  • Now pour the cooled syrup onto the hot cake. Let the cake sit at room temperature for bout 2 hours to let it absorb all that syrup before serving.

Adapted from:  An Edible Mosaic

Also check out - Thalassery Beef Biriyani - Click on the picture for recipe.

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Thank you xx

Sherin Deepu


  1. Lovely arabic cake..wud definitely luv 2 try dis..
    do peek into my space n chk out d visual treat of the exhibition of bloggers n non-bloggers..
    Do leave ur feedback n hoping ur support too..

  2. Pretty attractive and great looking to have a slice.

  3. drooling out here... :)

  4. oh yes comment box is working now :)have been thinking of baking something with semolina for a while,this looks yumm :)

  5. Lovelyyy.. New to meee.. Thanku for linking this recipe to my event - Wedding Anniversary Cakes & Sweets


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 I'm Sherin, aka kukku. 

An excited mum, a  responsible doctor , a friend's friend , a thankful daughter, a thankful sister and a passionate singer,  an enthusiastic cook, food writer and food photographer . That's me in a nut shell.

A doctor in my day job and a food writer and food photographer by night. I came in to cooking because of the people around me, be it the women in family who are amazing cooks or the men who luv to eat. My son is my best critic. :) Started cooking while I was at school, my first attempt being a sweetie, no surprise there for people who know me. I got interested in cooking more after marriage, as most girls do. My experiments with food blossomed after coming to the UK, where the grocery stores opened up a variety of foodie opportunities for my hungry tum.

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