Almond semolina cake

Almond semolina cake

Cairo Kitchen
Jonathan Gregson

This cake is inspired by the Egyptian basboussa, which also uses semolina and is intensely sweet. This version has a coarser texture due to the almonds and its thickness makes it more of a cake than basboussa. The addition of the orange syrup after the cake is baked enables you to make it as sweet as you like.


Quantity Ingredient
500g coarse semolina
220g ground almonds
1 egg
300ml buttermilk
125g sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the orange syrup

Quantity Ingredient
1 orange, zested
100g sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease a 23 cm round cake pan and dust with a pinch of flour.
  3. To make the cake, in a bowl mix together the semolina and ground almonds.
  4. In another large bowl, beat the egg until light and frothy, then beat in the buttermilk, semolina and almonds, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and baking powder until well combined and the mixture forms a stiff batter.
  5. Spread the batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. To make the orange syrup, heat together the orange peel, sugar and 250 ml water in a large pot until it reaches the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until reduced a little and the consistency has just started to thicken.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. While still slightly warm, pierce the cake all over with a knife or skewer to allow it to absorb the syrup, then douse the cake with the orange syrup and cut into squares to serve.
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