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

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


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Basbousa in the Middle East, the Balkans, North Africa, East Africa topped with almonds
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.[4]

Basbousa is the dessert's Egyptian name and it is called the same in North Africa. It is often called "hareesa" in the Levant, and also the Egyptian city of Alexandria, though in other parts of Egypt hareesa is a different type of dessert. Also note that "haressa" in North Africa is a spicy red sauce. Basbousa is a popular dessert among all Egyptians; it is a main Egyptian dish in Eid and Ramadan, and for Christians when they are fasting, such for the Great Lent and Nativity, as it can be made vegan.

Vegan Basbousa (Egg replaced by apple sauce)
Vegan Basbousa (Egg replaced by apple sauce)


Pastūsha (sometimes stylized as pastūçha) is a variant of basbousa that originated in Kuwait in the 2010s.[5] 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 - Now in modern times, Basbusa is also available in vegan form using apple sauce to bind the base mix together instead of dairy and eggs.

See also


  1. ^ "Basbousa (Egyptian Semolina Cake)",
  2. ^ "Arabic Dessert". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2015-01-14.
  3. ^ Marks, Gil (17 November 2010). Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. HMH. ISBN 978-0-544-18631-6 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Abitbol, Vera (2019-09-25). "Syria: Basbousa". 196 flavors. Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  5. ^ "Aunt Zaneb's Semolina Cake Recipe". Easy Recipes. 2021-10-09. Retrieved 2022-02-28.

Works cited