Vegan Basbousa

vegan basbousa

Basbousa is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert that is loved for its soft, spongy texture and sweet, fragrant flavor. It’s typically made with semolina, flour, sugar, butter, and milk. However, if you’re a vegan, you don’t have to miss out on this delicious treat. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to make a vegan basbousa using only plant-based ingredients.

Basbousa, also known as semolina cake, is a delectable dessert that has won the hearts of people around the world. With its moist texture, aromatic flavors, and sweet syrup, basbousa is a treat that deserves recognition. Basbousa traces its roots back to Egypt, where it originated. The word “basbousa” is derived from the Arabic word “basbasa,” meaning “to soak.” It refers to the syrup poured over the cake, which gives it its signature sweetness and moisture.

This cake is primarily made from semolina, a coarsely ground wheat flour. The semolina gives the cake its unique grainy texture, which is a defining characteristic of basbousa. Other key ingredients include sugar, butter or oil, yogurt, and a variety of flavorings such as rosewater or orange blossom water.

While the classic basbousa recipe is loved by many, this dessert is also incredibly versatile. It can be customized with different additions like nuts, coconut flakes, or even chocolate. Some variations also incorporate ingredients like dates or raisins to add natural sweetness and a chewy texture. Basbousa has gained immense popularity not just in Egypt but throughout the Middle East and beyond. It has become a staple at family gatherings, festivals, and celebratory occasions. Its widespread appeal has led to various adaptations and regional variations across different cultures.

Basbousa holds cultural significance and is often associated with hospitality and generosity. In many Middle Eastern countries, it is customary to serve basbousa to guests as a symbol of warmth and welcoming.

It  is a dessert that offers much more than just its delightful taste. Its rich history, unique texture, and cultural significance make it a dessert worth celebrating. Whether you’re indulging in a traditional recipe or exploring creative variations, basbousa promises a delightful culinary experience that will leave you craving more.

This vegan basbousa recipe is a great way to enjoy this classic Middle Eastern dessert without compromising your dietary choices. It’s easy to make, requires simple ingredients, and tastes absolutely delicious. So, next time you’re in the mood for something sweet, give this recipe a try.

A piece of advice

This vegan basbousa is fairly easy to make. But, as always, I will leave a few tips and tricks for you, so you can have the best possible results.

Make sure to use fine semolina for the best texture. Coarse semolina will result in a gritty texture. You can substitute the soy milk with any other plant-based milk of your choice, such as almond milk or oat milk.

Unsweetened applesauce can be replaced with mashed ripe bananas. You can make the apple sauce by yourself as well. If you don’t have rose water/rose essence, you can use vanilla extract instead. To make the Basbousa more festive, you can sprinkle crushed pistachios or almonds on top before serving.

For a healthier version, you can reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe or substitute with a natural sweetener like maple syrup or agave nectar.

These measurements are enough for a small batch of vegan basbousa (7-8 pieces). If you need a bigger one, make sure to double the measurements.

Vegan Basbousa

Recipe by Margo DrobiCourse: Sweet, Sweet


  • For the basbousa:
  • 80 g of flour

  • 175 g of semolina

  • 100 g of sugar

  • 85 ml of water

  • 90 ml of olive oil

  • 80 ml of soy milk

  • 60 g of apple puree

  • For the syrup:
  • 80 ml of orange juice

  • 80 ml of water

  • 80 g of sugar

  • 1 tsp of rose essence


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the semolina, flour, sugar, water, olive oil, apple puree and soy milk. Mix well. Pour everything in a small to medium size square baking dish. Even the top out with a spoon and let it sit for about an hour.
  • Heat your oven to 200°C. Reduce the temperature to 170 degrees and bake the basbousa for about 30 minutes on the middle rack. While this is happening, prepare your syrup.
  • In a saucepan, whisk together the orange juice, water, sugar and rose essence. Bring them to boil over medium heat while stirring frequently. Keep stirring and heating the syrup until it thickens a little bit. It should be thicker than water but not as thick as honey.
  • Crank up the heat of your oven to 200 degrees Celsius again, put the rack a bit higher, near the top and bake for another 10 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven when the top becomes golden-brown.
  • Pour the syrup over the vegan basbousa while it is still hot. Let it sit until the syrup is absorbed (at least 30 min). I have covered mine with a plastic wrap and left it to sit overnight.
  • Pour the syrup over the vegan basbousa while it is still hot. Let it sit until the syrup is absorbed (at least 30 min). I have covered mine with a plastic wrap and left it to sit overnight.
  • Use a knife to cut the basbousa into diamond or square shapes. Top off each piece with ground pistachios and almonds.

If you liked this recipe, make sure you check out my other recipes like:

-vegan kaju pista

– vegan Mozart bombons

– dark chocolate panna cotta in pistachio sauce

Feel free to tell me what you think about this in the comments below, or send me the pictures of your own vegan basbousa. If you did something differently, I would also like to hear that, I’d love to see the things you come up with.

P.S. for more recipes like this and a bunch of other stuff, follow me on Instagram, @margo_drobi.

Also, I recently started a Patreon page, where you can subscribe and help me create more/better content. In return, you will get an exclusive piece of content (recipe) each month. My plan is to increase the amount of that content if I gain a few subscribers. If you are interested and you want to find out more, I will leave the link to my Patreon right – here.

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