Semolina Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Water

Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters

Semolina Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Water (Basbousa)
This elegant cake is soaked in a fragrant lemon syrup, perfumed by flower waters. The garnish is candied rose petals sprinkled with toasted coconut. Get the recipe for Semolina-Coconut Cake with Orange and Rose Waters »Matt Taylor-Gross

This cake, arguably the most well-known in North Africa and the Middle East, has countless variations. Chef Kamel Saci of Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria likes his mother's version here: The semolina cake baked with dried coconut and sweetened condensed milk and then soaked in a fragrant lemony syrup with orange blossom and rose waters added after baking. The candied rose petal garnish is optional (you can simply sprinkle the toasted coconut over the cake), but if you make it, be sure to ask your florist for organic roses, which aren't sprayed with chemicals or pesticides.