Middle Eastern Semolina Cake

This decadent cake is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season!

Recipe Details

Prep Time: 30min

Cook Time: 55min

Yields: ~36 pieces


  • 1 cup (250 mL) plain Balkan-style yogurt
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  • 3 cups (750 mL) fine semolina
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) blanched almonds
Orange Blossom Water Syrup:
  • 4 cups (1 L) granulated sugar
  • 3 cups (750 mL) water
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) orange blossom water or 1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange zest


Step One - Orange BLossom Water Syrup:

In a saucepan, bring sugar and water to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes or until syrup is reduced by about half. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and orange blossom water or grated orange zest; set aside.

Step Two:

Grease a 13 x 9 inch (3 L) baking pan and line bottom with parchment paper; set aside. Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).

Step Three:

In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, baking powder, and soda; set aside for 10 minutes or until doubled in volume.

Step Four:

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine semolina, sugar, and butter. Use your hands to rub the butter into the semolina mixture. Add yogurt mixture and continue to mix thoroughly with your hands.

Step Five:

Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. If mixture feels sticky, spray hands with cooking spray.

Step Six:

Using a chef's knife, make lengthwise cuts down batter and then make diagonal cuts crosswise to create a diamond shape. Top each diamond with an almond.

Step Seven:

Bake in prepared oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and slowly pour Orange Blossom Water Syrup all over the cake. Let cool completely.


Pour syrup slowly to allow the cake to absorb the mixture.

Cake can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Nutritional info per serving (1 piece):
200 calories, 3 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g fibre, 50 mg sodium, 74 mg calcium


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Middle Eastern Semolina Cake

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