Gluten-Free Basbousa or Namoura

Gluten-free basbousa with honey and rosewater

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This is a traditional basbousa or namoura made with a gluten-free twist! It is rich and sweet with the flavors of lemon, rosewater, and honey.


Units Scale


  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 to 16 whole almonds


  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar (optional -see section above)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp of rose water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Mix the cornmeal and yogurt in a large glass bowl. It is best if the cornmeal is left to soak and ferment for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours. The liquid should be completely soaked into the cornmeal before the rest of the ingredients are added.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  3. Mix the coconut, eggs, butter, lemon, baking soda, and salt into the cornmeal and yogurt mixture.
  4. Grease an 10 cup baking dish, and scrape in the cake batter, smoothing out the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  5. Decorate the top of the cake with whole almonds.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The cake is ready when it is cooked through and the edges are golden.
  7. Make the syrup while the cake is cooking. Mix the honey, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
  8. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the butter, rosewater, and lemon juice.
  9. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. It should thicken slightly as it cools.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and slice the top into serving-sized pieces. (I tried cutting on an angle for the photo above… what a failure! Simple squares are fine.)
  11. Pour the syrup over the cake right after slicing. You want the cake to still be hot so it can absorb the flavor syrup.

Keywords: semolina, namoura, soaked, Middle Eastern, Gluten free, cornmeal, almond, refined sugar free