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Namoura (or basbousa) is a syrup-soaked semolina cake.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Batter Resting Time20 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Egyptian, Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: basbousa, cake, dessert, egyptian, lebanese, nammoura, namoura, orange blossom, semolina, semolina cake
Servings: 10 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • 9" x 15" baking pan (about one inch deep)
  • Spice grinder or food processor


Orange Blossom Syrup

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water

For the Namoura:

  • 500 grams medium grind semolina (roughly 3 cups)
  • 150 grams ghee, melted (⅔ cup + 2 Tbsp) plus more, to grease baking pan
  • 50 grams unsweetened desiccated coconut, finely ground (⅓ cup) grind this in your spice grinder
  • 150g whole milk (⅔ cup)
  • 100g honey (⅓ cup) Lyle's golden syrup or light corn syrup work great here as well!
  • 200g granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • 24-30 raw whole almonds, or other nuts for garnish (optional)


For the Orange Blossom Syrup:

  • Place your sugar, water, and lemon in a small saucepan on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add orange blossom water, and cool to room temperature in a heat-proof pouring vessel (like a Pyrex measuring cup).

For the Namoura:

  • Place your semolina and coconut in a large bowl and mix. Add your melted ghee and mix thoroughly - making sure all the semolina and coconut is thoroughly covered by the ghee. Set aside.
  • Grease your baking sheet with extra ghee.
  • In the (now empty, no need to wash) same saucepan you prepared your syrup in add your milk, sugar, and honey. Over medium-low heat, bring the temperature of the mixture up until the sugar and honey is completely combined (you should not see or feel the sugar granules). Remove from heat and pour over your semolina mixture.
  • Using a spatula, gently combine the liquid with the semolina - being careful not to over-mix (we don't want the namoura to be tough). Pour the mixture into your greased baking tin and gently shake from side to side so that the batter reaches the edges.
  • Place the pan in the refrigerator to cool down and for the mixture to solidify slightly.
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (210°C). Grind your desiccated coconut in a spice grinder or food processor until finely ground.
  • If you haven't already, add your raw almonds to a cup of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the water (carefully!) and pull the skins off (this also works for pistachios if you prefer them). Discard the skins and you now have beautiful blanched nuts to top your namoura with.
  • Once the namoura is chilled, score halfway through in diamond shapes (with a sharp knife) and place your almonds gently into each piece.
  • Bake at 400°F (210°C) for 20-24 minutes. Don't worry if it is light in colour, as it will darken once we pour the syrup on.
  • Place the hot tray of namoura on to a wire cooling rack. Pour your (now room-temp, never hot!) orange blossom syrup over the namoura up to the top of the baking pan. It will bubble and will like it is too much - but the namoura will soak it all up. You may have a little syrup leftover - it will keep in your fridge for four weeks and is great for mixing into drinks or iced tea.
  • Allow the namoura to cool and soak up the syrup for a full 30 minutes, then using a knife slice in the scored channels to cut out the diamonds. Enjoy!