Basbousa (Coconut Sweet Cake)

This traditional Middle Eastern sweet cake infused with coconut is an easy and delectable dessert to make for any gathering! 


My husband doesn’t like desserts because Middle Eastern sweets are traditionally very sweet and usually drenched in sweet syrup called “aatar”. However, he loves Basbousa because I make it deliciously light.


Learn how to make my Basbousa by watching me make a delicious pan of it on my YouTube Channel and be sure to SUBSCRIBE for more recipes!


Basbousa (Coconut Sweet Cake)
This traditional Middle Eastern sweet cake infused with coconut is an easy and delectable dessert to make for any gathering!
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Prep Time
55 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Prep Time
55 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Dry ingredients
  1. 2 cups coarse ground farine
  2. 1 cup fine ground semolina
  3. 1 cup shredded coconut
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder
Wet Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of warm milk
  2. 1 cup of yogurt
  3. 1/2 cup melted butter*
  4. 1/2 cup corn oil*
  1. 3 cups of sugar
  2. 2 cups of water
  3. 2tbs lemon juice
  1. Cover a standard ¼ size sheet pan (9.5” x 13”) with a thin layer of tahini.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix very well. Pour mixture onto the pan and make sure it spreads evenly to cover the entire pan. Bang the pan a few times against a flat surface to ensure there are no air bubbles in the mixture. Allow to set for 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F or 190C. After 45 min, the mixture should have thickened. Cut mixture in pan into squares and decorate with almonds. Place pan into oven for about 1 hour or until the Basbousa is a nice golden brown color.
  5. In a medium sized sauce pan on high heat, combine your sugar and water. Continue stirring until the syrup boils. Once it boils, turn down the heat to low and add 2tbs of lemon juice. Keep stirring until the sugar completely dissolves. The syrup should be transparent.
  6. After the Basbousa is done baking, remove pan from oven. Pour the hot syrup over the Basbousa, making sure to evenly coat the dessert. Let it cool and enjoy!
  1. *If you don’t have any butter, or prefer not to use butter, you can use 1 cup of oil.
Tatreez: Stitching Cuisines

12 comments for “Basbousa (Coconut Sweet Cake)

  1. somia
    November 13, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Salaam! I was wondering if I can replace the shredded coconut with another ingredient? Any suggestions or recommendations?

    Thank you,


    • nireiqat
      November 13, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Salaam Somia, you don’t need to add coconut. You can make it without it. But, to make sure the liquid and dry ingredients are balanced for this recipe, you will need to add another cup of semolina in place of the cup of coconut. I would love to know how it turns out!

  2. Priya Ahmed
    June 28, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Aslaamu Alaikam Farine? if i dont have any..will it make difference with the dessert.

    • nireiqat
      June 29, 2016 at 1:40 am

      Wa alaikum asalaam. Course ground farine is the main ingredient, so it cannot be substituted. Farine is sold at all middle eastern grocery stores. I hope you are able to make and enjoy this delicious recipe. 🙂

  3. Priya Ahmed
    June 28, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Aslaamu Alaikam. can phyllo for knafeh be replaced for vermicelli.

    • nireiqat
      June 29, 2016 at 2:13 am

      Wa alaikum asalaam Priya. Vermicelli is a pasta noodle, so when you bake it with butter, it becomes soft. Shredded phyllo dough is a very thin unleavened dough that is light and flaky when you take it out of the oven. It is necessary to use shredded phyllo dough for the knafeh recipe, so that it bakes properly. Phyllo dough is sold at most grocery stores in the freezer aisle. Here’s a link for the shredded phyllo dough:
      Wa’eyakum. 🙂

  4. Shielthia
    December 14, 2016 at 3:21 am

    I added one teaspoon of pistachio chopped , 1 short cinnamon stick and two drops of vanilla essence to add its taste. I need to say that it’s one of the tastiest dishes which I have tried till now. I tried Eggplant Stuffed with Meat & Pine Nuts for the first time, and my son loved it, we liked your musakhan recipe too. I shared this website with my colleague Kately, who just enjoy trying out desserts recipe. She suggested to me a website with varieties arabic dessert recipes. I am sharing the link with those who loves to make arabic desserts :

    • nireiqat
      January 2, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      I hope so happy to hear that you have tried a variety of my recipes and enjoyed them! Thank you so much for your continued support! I will check out this website as well. I love seeing the way other’s make their sweets as well. 🙂

  5. Yazmin Nour
    February 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Hi Noha, I’ve tryed before several basbousa recipies even from arabic cuisine books, really your basbousa recipe is the best of all! Thank you very much for sharing, salaam from Mexico.

    • nireiqat
      February 27, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      Salaam Yazmin, thank you for your support and kind words! I am so happy to read that you enjoyed my Basbousa recipe! 🙂 Sahtein!

  6. Najat Naser
    May 1, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Hi my dear

    I like your videos on YouTube , please keep them coming.
    I have a question regarding harissah , the wet ingredients seem too much for 3 cups of semolina, I mean 3 cups of milk and yogurt are too​ much in my opinion. I have been trying different recipes and I liked how yours turned out in the video . I want to give it a try once you assure me that its correct.
    Wishing​you all the best.

    • nireiqat
      May 2, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Najat! Thank you for all the support! I’m happy you’re enjoying my recipes. 😊
      Needless to say, every recipe I share is from my own years of cooking and baking experience. I only share measurements that I know work best for the recipe. Enjoy! 🙂

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