Make Ahead


February 27, 2018
0 Ratings
Photo by Amrita Iyer
  • Serves 20
Author Notes

We need desserts to brighten up dull days as well as in those times when our mind is troubled or disturbed!My doctor advised me to have a nibble at a piece of chocolate if I was feeling low or depressed.Chocolate is fine on some occasions but we need something different to pep up our moods.This cake serves that very purpose!I always delight at the taste of Rose and this recipe is one of the best uses of rose essence and petals I had in my pantry!

This cake is called Basbousa and is one of the best known desserts in the Middle East after Kunafa and Baklava.I saw this recipe on the program My Greek Kitchen featuring Tonia Buxton and fell in love with this then and there.Recently I made candied Rose Petals (eggless and with eggs) and after using them in some delicious recipes I had the last 4 tbsp left which I wanted to include in something very special.
I came across a recipe in the site Inquiring Chef and simply loved their Semolina Yogurt Cake.
I added Rose essence,chopped Pistachios and my very special candied Rose Petals in the cake with absolutely spectacular results.This recipe is delicious served with a cup of Indian chai,masala chai or fruit teas!You can whip cream or Greek Yogurt with a tbsp of powdered sugar and spoon over a slice if you like.

I used a rectangular Wilton Cake pan.You can use any pan you like but remember it should not be too raised like a bundt/loaf pan as the syrup would not seep in effectively! —Amrita Iyer

What You'll Need
  • For the cake :
  • 1 cup Semolina/farina (the roasted variety is preferable or roast the semolina on low heat till golden brown)
  • 3 tablespoons All purpose flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Rose Essence
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Chopped,salted Pistachios
  • For the syrup :
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  1. For the cake :
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C.Prepare the baking tray – Brush the insides with oil and line it with butter/parchment paper.
  3. Mix eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat with a hand blender till soft and creamy.Add the yogurt,salt and oil and blend well to combine all the ingredients.Add both vanilla and rose essence and mix well.
  4. Now mix in the semolina,all purpose flour,baking powder and soda.Keeping 2 tbsp of each for sprinkling on top add the Pistachio and crushed Rose petals and fold with a spatula till all the ingredients are amalgamated.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and thump the tray on the kitchen countertop to remove any air bubbles.Sprinkle the leftover nuts and petals on top.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes till golden brown on top.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately pour on the prepared and cooled syrup evenly over the cake.The semolina will soak up the syrup quickly and you will be left with a delicious soaked cake.However do not remove the cake now as it will be very delicate with the soaking it got.
  8. Cover the cake with foil or clingfilm.I put the whole tray in a slider bag and put it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.You can also put it in a food grade plastic storage bag.By this time it would firm up and it would be easy to cut and store.
  9. Cut the cake into neat slices.Let it come to room temperature and serve as liked.
  1. For the syrup :
  2. Heat the water and sugar together till sugar dissolves and the liquid starts boiling.Take off heat and add the lemon juice.Cool to room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Amrita Iyer
    Amrita Iyer
  • Nancy H.
    Nancy H.

3 Reviews

Nancy H. March 6, 2018
Thank you!
Nancy H. March 1, 2018
On my screen, I see yogurt and several other items mentioned in the body of the recipe, but not in the ingredient list at the beginning - is it just me, perhaps?
Amrita I. March 1, 2018
Hi..I see the complete ingredient list!However you can get the recipe on my blog at this link: