lemon lavender basbousa

lemon lavender basbousa

Probably one of THE BEST cakes in the universe! Lemon lavender basbousa, an Arabic cake, is insanely aromatic and divinely delicious! And, EZ!

What is Basbousa

Basbousa is a Middle Eastern sweet cake. It’s sometimes called an ‘Egyptian Cake’. Sounds pretty exotic, huh? 

Arabic Cake

Basbousa is a popular Arabic cake and there are many variations of the recipe and spellings of the name, so don’t be confused. I learned about this amazing dessert from an Algerian dear friend whom I met on Facebook. 

Basbousa Dessert

My friend, Naima, grew up in Algeria, married an Italian guy and they moved to England. We met on Facebook through our mutual love of food, and, of course, my love of international flavors. 

Basbousa Recipe

So, Naima sent me her recipe, and I asked her if she minded if I tweaked it a little. To which she said, “Of course!” You know that’s what this basbousa recipe and actually most any recipe is, a starting point for you to adjust and make something you own according to your palate. 

Harissa Dessert

Sometimes basbousa is referred to by other names like harissa cake or namoura. It just depends on the are of the Middle East. 

Egyptian Cakes

Basbousa is originally an Egyptian cake. And, it’s permeated the entire Arabic world and become quite popular as a sweet coffee cake and something special to serve during Ramadan. 

Basbousa Recipe Ingredients

Basbousa recipe ingredients are pretty standard. Now a lot of the recipes call for ‘semolina’ flour. Don’t let that confuse or intimidate you, it’s basically just a type flour made from durum flour. I think Bob’s Red Mill has the best description of semolina. 

I usef regular all-purpose flour, and my cakes have been fabulous. I have also used white rice flour, to make it gluten free, and that works well, too! 

What is Semolina Flour

As Bob, or whomever, writes:

“Semolina is one of those words that sounds a lot fancier than it actually is, like “taupe” or “hors d’oeuvres.” Trust us, start throwing around the word semolina, and everyone in your circles will think you are a professional baker. But first, what exactly is semolina flour? It turns out that semolina is actually a pretty common ingredient, but if you have not heard of it before, do not fret! We have compiled all the information you need to know about semolina: what it is, when to use it, and even how to substitute it if you need! Keep reading to learn all about semolina and our favorite tips and tricks for incorporating it into your daily baking.”

How to Make Basbousa

It’s so easy to learn how to make basbousa. Honestly, it’s one of the easiest cakes on the planet. And, I’ve had other make the cake. Just check out this version of it from Hotly Spiced

If you want to dazzle your family and friends with your pastry skills, then just make this recipe. We’ll keep it a secret as to how dang simple and easy it is!

For a few more easy cake ideas, take a look at these! 

Almond Lavender Butter Cookies

Lemon Mint Cake Pie

Lavender and Almond Basbousa

xoxo ~ally

lemon lavender basbousa

lemon lavender basbousa

lemon lavender basbousa

Yield: Makes: One deep cake pan (about 9 ½ inch diameter)

Probably one of THE BEST cakes in the universe! Lemon lavender basbousa, an Arabic cake, is insanely aromatic and divinely delicious! And, EZ!


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • 1 ½ cups flour, all purpose
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt plain
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • ½ cup butter, unsalted, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbl. + 2 tsp. edible lavender
  • ½ cup almonds, sliced
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 ½ tsp. rose water
  • ½ tsp. edible lavender


1. Put parchment paper in the bottom of a deep tart baking pan. Coat the sides with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt baking powder and baking soda.

2. Add the sugar and blend. Whisk together the yogurt and milk. Pour into the dry mixture.

3. Add the lemon juice/zest, melted butter, and eggs. Blend with a wooden spoon then use a hand mixer on medium speed to mix about two to three minutes to incorporate everything.

4. Fold in one tablespoon of lavender. Pour into the cake pan. Put the sliced almonds on top and the remaining edible lavender. Put the cake pan on a cookie sheet.

5. Bake in a preheated 350 for 48 to 55 minutes. Test the center with a thin 6-8” wooden skewer. If it comes out basically clean, remove to a cooling rack.

6. While the cake is baking, prepare the cake drizzle. Put the honey, rose water and lavender in a small sauce pan over medium low heat and let it come to a simmering bubble around the edges. Turn off the heat cover. You may need to warm again before drizzling on the cake after it’s baked.

7. After the cake has cooled about 5-7 minutes. Take a wooden spoon or large wooden skewer and make holes in the top of the cake. Warm the honey drizzle and pour all over and around the cake.

8. After cooling, carefully remove the warm cake from the tart pan. Serve warm.

Your sharing is GOLDEN! Thank you!

Your sharing and comments help me stay in business! Share a photo if you make the recipe #allyskitchen Thank you! xo Ally

lemon lavender basbousa

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  1. Hi Ally, This cake is Beautiful & sounds Delicious! If I was to make it gluten free, would it be necessary to add tapioca starch and/or xanthum along with the rice flour?

    1. Hi, Marcia! Thank you, and, yes, this is a fabulous cake! I think if I were making it GF, I’d do a 1:to:1 GF flour like Bob’s Red Mill. As for adding tapioca starch and/or xanthum along w/the rice flour, I’d think one teaspoon of the xanthum could work. Please let me know what you try, and how it fares! Truly this is a showstopper cake! Hope you can find fresh lavender for garnish! xoxx ally

  2. My Family Loved it. I am definitely sharing Guys, Thanks For sharing this Great Recipe. this recipe and this website with my friend. Hope they also love it. Thank you again for sharing such a great recipe.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! And, thanks for the the follow up! 🙂

  3. OMG……….this sounds amazing. Just purchased organic lavender, only sub will be sour cream for the yogurt. Fingers crossed. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    1. You’re genius! I think the sour cream will work fine actually 1:1! Please let me know, luv! Take a pix and share. Tag me! Hugs and thank you for all your support!🥰🥰🥰

  4. Marcia Lang says:

    Going to try this one! I have over 100 lavender plants now. Will be so fun to use a little bit of them this way. If this tastes only half as good as it looks it will be a winner. Love your recipes. Marcia

    1. Oh, Marcia! Lucky you! I have 3 lavender plants that I use for so many things from decor to tea to this recipe! So so appreciate your support and 💘love! Merry Christmas 🎅

  5. Hi Ally,
    That dessert looks gorgeous! If I’m not going to use the cake for a few hours, should I hold off on adding the drizzle until just before serving or does it not matter? How should I store leftovers if there are any? Lol. Also if you are ever looking to publish a cookbook, please direct message me through my Instagram @ #olivesandoregano

    1. Hi, Carolina! How awesome to hear from you! Thanks for coming over to visit. I will have a video of making this recipe soon. It’s pretty darn easy. I usually do the drizzle about an hour before serving. I’ll also use a thin wooden skewer to make pin holes in the top. That allows that warm rose honey to ooze in. As for leftovers, it will keep one maybe two days under a cake dome. I don’t refrigerate, but you could. I’ve never had any leftover to freeze, but that might be an option that you could try. I’ve published one cookbook, Carolina. As you know, they’re a ton of work. I’d love to talk w/you about the possibility of another. It is so wonderful to meet you! Sending lots of hugs, love and holiday happiness your way! xoxo ~ally

  6. Ally, I saw this in my inbox and just had to come and see it and say hi! I love basbousa, but yours, with lavender AND rose just sounds so amazing!
    I hope you and family are keeping well! 😘

    1. Lin!! What an honor to have you here! I keep up with your amazing work too. No idea how you do so much with kiddos and family! Hope ya’ll are surviving our crazy times. Cooking is a godsend 💞💞💞 Hugs, ally

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