Emirati Arabs



Semolina cake covered in syrup

Middle East

Preparation Time: 1 hour | Serves: 16


  • 1/2 cup sweet butter (unsalted), melted
  • 2 small eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • blanched split almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups fine yellow semolina
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • syrup (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 2 ¼ cups sugar, juice of 1 lemon, 1 ½ cups water

To prepare

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together semolina, baking powder, and baking soda and stir into the butter mixture to form a smooth batter.
  3. Cream butter and sugar, then beat eggs. Stir in ½ cup water.
  4. Lightly grease an 8 x 12-inch cake pan and pour in the batter. Spread it evenly with the back of a spoon and then score parallel lines going from the bottom left corner to the top right corner and vice versa to form diamond shapes across the top of the cake. Place an almond in the center of each diamond.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake is firm and lightly browned.
  6. Prepare the syrup as described below and pour it, spoonfuls at a time, over the hot cake. Stop when the cake will not absorb any more. Set the cake aside to cool before serving.


  1. Over medium heat dissolve the sugar in water, add lemon juice, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and gently boil the syrup for 10 minutes.

Taken from WINDOWKIDS Recipes of the 10/40 Window edited by KJ Larson. Copyright(c) 2006 by Window International Inc. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515.

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