Namoura- Lebanese Semolina Cake
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Namoura is a popular classic Middle Eastern dessert made with semolina flour and yogurt, and topped with a sweet sugar water syrup flavored with rose water. Namoura cake is easy to make and comes together in just one bowl – no mixer required.
Namoura cake is also known as Basbousa or Harissa depending on which part of the Middle East you are. In Lebanon it’s called Namoura or Namoora.
What You’ll Need to Make Lebanese Semolina Cake:
(Scroll all the way down to recipe card, for exact measurements and a printable option.)
Semolina Flour: Semolina is flour made from durum wheat. It’s most commonly used in making pasta, it gives this cake a light and crumbly texture.
Yogurt: Full or low fat plain yogurt works great.
Sugar: You will need some for the cake mixture and some for making the sugar syrup.
Baking Powder and baking soda.
Rose water: or orange blossom water.
Lemon slice: or Lemon Juice
How to Make Simple Sugar Syrup for Middle Eastern Sweets:
Most of the sweetness in Namoura cake comes from this simple sugar water syrup. In a small sauce pan, combine water and sugar and bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. Add a slice of lemon or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and rosewater if you’d like, for extra flavor. Allow simple syrup to cool down completely before pouring over the hot baked sheet cake. You can adjust the amount of simple syrup you use on this Semolina Cake. If you’d like less sweetness , reduce the measurements in the simple syrup by a third or by half.
How to Make Namoura- Basbousa Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F, and line a nonstick half sheet pan (12 inch x 17 inch) with parchment paper. Grease the parchment sheet with baking spray and set aside.
- In a large size bowl, whisk together the semolina, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
- Stir in the butter and yogurt and rose water/ orange blossom, until combined. You might need to use your hands.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, wet your hands with water and and spread it out evenly.
- Score the batter into 1-inch square or diamond shapes with a butter knife and place 1 raw almond in the center of each diamond.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the sides and top are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and pour sugar syrup evenly all over it, immediately.
- Cut the cake along the lines you scored.
- Let the cake come to room temperature to absorb the syrup before serving. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I make namoura recipe without yogurt?
Yes, you can substitute 1 cup of yogurt for 3/4 cup of buttermilk.
Can I make vegan namoura?
Yes! Since Namoura is an eggless cake, it is easy to swap yogurt and butter for any plant based yogurt and butter.
How long does Lebanese semolina cake keep?
Up to five days stored in a air tight container at room temperature.
Is Namoura gluten free?
No. Since semolina is made from durum wheat, it is not gluten free.