Basbousa cake is a not-too-sweet semolina confection soaked in lime syrup, often hawked on the streets of Egypt. Cut in rounds, this version is topped with lime curd, whipped cream, and berries.

This recipe is part of our street food menu.
Servings: Serves 8
Lime curd:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (3 limes)
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter , melted
  • 2 eggs
Lime syrup:
  • 1 cup and 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) butter , melted
  • 1 Tbsp. lime zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Whipped cream , for garnish
  • Fresh berries , for garnish
Note: The lime curd and lime syrup can both be made ahead and refrigerated.

To make lime curd: Fill a medium pot with 1 1/2 inches water; bring to a simmer. In a medium, heatproof bowl, whisk together sugar, lime juice, butter, and eggs for 1 minute. Arrange bowl over simmering water and stir mixture constantly until thick, 8 to 10 minutes; let cool 20 minutes; cover and refrigerate.

To make lime syrup: Combine 2 cups water, sugar, and lime juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook gently until reduced to approximately 2 cups syrup, about 20 minutes; set aside.

To make cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9" square cake pan with cooking spray; set aside. Whisk together buttermilk, butter, lime zest, and vanilla in a large bowl. In a second large bowl, stir together semolina flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. Transfer to prepared pan and smooth the batter. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. While cake is hot, pour lime syrup evenly over surface.

Serve cake warm or at room temperature, topped with spoonfuls of lime curd, berries, and whipped cream.


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