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Semolina Coconut Cake – a sweet syrup-y Middle Eastern cake, best served with a hot cup of tea in the afternoon


  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) water
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon rose water or orange blossom water
  • 2 cups (300 g) fine semolina flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (75 g) desiccated, unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons almonds



  1. Add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat, giving the pan an occasional swirl and skimming off any foam on the surface.
  2. Turn heat down slightly and boil 2 minutes (if you want thin syrup) and up to 5 minutes (if you want thick syrup), swirling the pan occasionally. (The syrup will thicken more upon cooling.)
  3. Turn off heat and stir in the rose water or orange blossom water; cool to room temperature, then use
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line an 11X7 baking pan with parchment paper.Set aside
  5. Whisk together the semolina, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the butter and then the milk until combined, and then fold in the coconut.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread it out evenly; let it sit for 10 minutes.
  7. Score the batter into 1-inch (2.5 cm) square or diamond shapes with a sharp knife, periodically dipping the knife in hot water and drying it off before continuing to score the batter; place 1 almond in the center of each diamond.
  8. Bake until the sides and top are golden brown, about 30 minutes. (If the sides are brown but the top isn’t, you can broil the cake for a couple minutes to brown the top.)
  9. Once out of the oven, cut the cake along the lines you scored. Slowly pour the cooled syrup onto the hot cake. Let the cake sit at room temperature 2 hours to absorb the syrup before serving.

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By KhaliL


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