Basbousa (Egyptian Arabic: بسبوسة, romanized: basbūsah) is a sweet, syrup-soaked semolina cake that originated in Egypt.[1][2] The semolina batter is baked in a sheet pan,[3] then sweetened with orange flower water, rose water or simple syrup, and typically cut into diamond (lozenge) shapes or squares. The dish has also spread within most areas of the former Ottoman Empire,[4] and is generally featured in Middle Eastern cuisines, Greek cuisine, Azerbaijani cuisine, Ethiopian cuisine, and many others.

Basbousa topped with walnuts
Alternative namesرواني, revani, namoura, haresh
Region or stateEgypt, Middle East
Serving temperatureCold or warm
Main ingredientsSemolina or farina, syrup


Basbousa in the Middle East, the Balkans, North Africa, East Africa topped with almonds

It is found in the cuisines of the Middle East, the Balkans and the North Africa under a variety of names.[5]

Basbousa is the most common name for this dessert in the Middle East but it may be named differently depending on the region; It is often called "hareesa" in the Levant. Note that "harissa" in North Africa is a spicy red sauce. It is a popular dessert offered in most sweets bakeries in the Middle East and especially popular in Ramadan.

Vegan Basbousa (egg replaced by apple sauce)


Pastūsha (sometimes stylized as pastūçha) is a variant of basbousa that originated in Kuwait in the 2010s.[6] Like basbousa, it is made from semolina soaked in sweet syrup. It is characterized by the addition of finely ground pistachios and orange flower water.

Basbousa bil ashta – a Levantine variation of basbousa filled with ashta cream in the middle.

Vegan Basbousa – Basbusa is also available in vegan form using apple sauce to bind the base mix together instead of dairy and eggs.

Basbousa eem Tapuzim - a Israeli variation from the coastal region, it is flavored with orange juice giving it a more sweet and aromatic flavour.

Basbousa bil Tamr - Libyan variant of basbousa where date spread is being added between two layers of the basbousa.

Basbousa eem Tmarim - Israeli variant of basbousa with dates, unlike the Libyan variant, the dates are being cooked in ghee then added to the mix in addition to cinnamon and cardamom to flavor, giving it a black color in the process. It is served alongside with tea after the fasting of Yom Kippur is over.

Qizha - Palestinian variant of Basbousa with nigella seeds paste called Qizha.

Hilbeh - Palestinian variant of Basbousa flavoured with fenugreek seeds.

See also


  1. The search for the perfect, aunthenic Egyptian-style basbousa, It originated in Egypt, but is also popular throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean under different names and variations like: Nammoura, Harissa and Revani
  2. "Basbousa (Egyptian Semolina Cake)",
  3. "Arabic Dessert". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  4. Marks, Gil (17 November 2010). Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. HMH. ISBN 978-0-544-18631-6 via Google Books.
  5. Abitbol, Vera (2019-09-25). "Syria: Basbousa". 196 flavors. Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  6. "Aunt Zaneb's Semolina Cake Recipe". Easy Recipes. 2021-10-09. Retrieved 2022-02-28.

Works cited

  • Davidson, Alan (2014). Oxford companion to food. [S.l.]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199677337.
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