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This cake is one of the most popular in the Middle East. It is also widely known across many Balkan and North African countries. You can find it everywhere, from restaurants to bakeries. There's always someone offering you a piece. Semolina is the key ingredient, no matter what country you have it from. However, depending on the country, it could contain shredded coconut, almond or pistachio powder. It's baked till golden then removed from the oven and immediately and generously soaked with sugar syrup. Sugar syrup is very essential in Middle Eastern desserts. Many, if not most, Arabic sweets are drenched in this amazing syrup. This Middle Eastern Semolina Cake is a delicious cake that is very easy to prepare.


  • 4 1/2 cups coarse semolina

  • 3/4 cup melted butter

  • 3/4 cup melted clarified butter

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt, room temperature

  • Handful halved raw almonds


  • 4 cups sugar

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. In a large bowl, place semolina.

  2. Gradually, add butter and clarified butter to semolina while stirring. Continue by mixing gently with hand to coat all the semolina.

  3. Add the baking soda and mix again.

  4. Add the sugar and mix well. Cover the bowl with clingy film and set side for 30 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, make syrup by adding all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil.

  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9"x13" baking pan with tahini paste.

  7. After the 30 minutes are up, add the room temp yogurt into the bowl and kneed. Place into the baking pan.

  8. Arrange almonds as desired on the batter. Place baking pan into the oven for 35 minutes or till golden brown.

  9. Remove from oven and pour syrup over the cake while still hot. Let sit for a minimum of an hour. Cut as desired and serve.

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