This Egyptian recipe for sweet semolina cake is incredibly easy to make. It's topped with a delicious rosewater and lemon syrup.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (1773 votes)


  • 2½ cups coarse semolina
  • 90 g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 75 g (½ cup) self-raising flour
  • 200 g thick yoghurt
  • 200 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 25–30 g blanched almonds 
  • milk, if needed


  • 330 g (1½ cups) sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp rosewater

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 190°C. Mix the semolina, coconut, sugar, flour, yoghurt, melted butter and vanilla in a bowl. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little milk, but it should still be fairly stiff. Spread the mixture with your hands into a buttered 30 cm x 25 cm x 5 cm baking tray. Cut it into diamond shapes, pressing hard. Place an almond in the centre of each diamond. Bake for 35–40 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir in the lemon juice and rosewater and remove from the heat. Leave to cool.

Pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still hot. Cool to serve.



• Amira rests the cake for 30 minutes prior to cutting diamond shapes.


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Alice Storey and Georgina Larby. Creative concept by Belinda So.

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