Make Ahead

My Mom's Egyptian Style Basbusa

November  6, 2013
1 Ratings
  • Serves @25 people depending on cut and size of squares
Author Notes

In the middle of my current photography series "Journey to Egypt: Discovering Identity through food" I found myself coming back to the simplicity, comfort, and sweetness of this Egyptian dessert. Through the recipe testing and eventual photoshoot of this and several other Egyptian dishes- this has remained one of my most favorites. The small but powerful addition of the Rosewater gives it the ultimate Middle Eastern signature! —Mira Zaki

What You'll Need
  • Basbusa
  • 3 cups Cream of Wheat Cereal or Farina (regular not instant)
  • 2 cups Granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 piece Blanched Almond per piece of Basbusa
  • Syrup
  • 2 cups Granulated sugar
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 tablespoon Rosewater
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line 13x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Gather Basbusa dry ingredients: Cream of Wheat, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
  4. In a large bowl, stir cream of wheat, salt, baking powder and sugar well
  5. After dry ingredients are mixed well, add yogurt and mix to blend.
  6. Pour batter evenly into 13x9 parchment paper lined pan.
  7. Bake Basbusa for 30 minutes at 350F (be sure to not overbake!!)
  8. Remove from oven after 30 minutes and score into squares or diamond shapes.
  9. After scoring Basbusa, place one whole blanched almond in the center of each piece.
  10. Put Basbusa back into the oven at 350F and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  11. While Basbusa is baking, start preparing syrup.
  12. In a medium-sized pot, place sugar and water.
  13. Stir sugar and water on medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  14. After sugar dissolves, simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
  15. Remove from heat after 10-15 minutes have passed.
  16. Add Rosewater to the sugar/water syrup and stir.
  17. Set syrup aside until Basbusa is done.
  18. When Basbusa is done, carefully remove from oven.
  19. Pour syrup immediately all over Basbusa and cover with foil tightly.
  20. Allow syrup to fully absorb into Basbusa.
  21. After Syrup has fully absorbed, serve at room temperature (best served with whipped cream)

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1 Review

Sewassbe June 4, 2022
This recipe turned out well with one caveat - 1 cup of yogurt is NOT enough. I halved this recipe, and ended up using approximately 1 cup to make the thick-but-pourable batter referenced in the directions. Also, 30 minutes was a smidge too long for the almonds to actually stick to the cake. I would add them after 20 minutes of baking. I left the syrup to soak in overnight and by morning it was all absorbed! I skimped on the rose water because I'm not normally a fan of very floral flavors, but next time I would use the full amount. This would also be lovely with almond extract - the texture is similar to marzipan. It is delightful both with and without whipped cream, but very rich! Small squares are best.