Revani – Turkish Semolina Cake Soaked in Lemony Sugar Syrup

Revani - Turkish Semolina Cake Soaked in Sugar and Lemon Syrup. Also called Basbousa
Revani – Turkish Semolina Cake Soaked in Sugar and Lemon Syrup

One absolutely great benefit of blogging about food is the great number of new cuisines and dishes I discover. I follow a number of blogs dedicated to various international cuisines, but amongst my favourites is Ozlem’s Turkish Table. I am in awe of the amazing range of Turkish food that Ozlem blogs about.

When I saw the recipe for Revani, I knew I HAD to try it out immediately. The immediately turned out to be a few weeks later, but I did make Revani this past Sunday and it was a super hit with family, friends, and colleagues.

What I loved about this cake was that it was so different from the cakes I normally bake. First, it used no butter, then it used very little flour, and finally was doused in a lemony sugar syrup that was simply divine.

Anyway, I could (as I am wont to do) go on and on, but without much ado, here is the recipe for Revani.

You can find Ozlem’s original recipe for Revani at

Time: 60 Minutes

Makes: 1 X 9″ round cake

Ingredients for the Cake

  1. Rava or Semolina – 1 Cup
  2. Maida or Refined Flour – 3 tbsp
  3. Sugar – 1 Cup
  4. Eggs – 3
  5. Dahi or Yoghurt – 1 Cup
  6. Vanilla Extract – 2 tsp
  7. Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  8. Olive Oil – 4 tbsp + 2 tbsp
  9. Lemon Zest – 1 tsp
  10. Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

Ingredients for Syrup

  1. Sugar – 1 Cup
  2. Water – 1 Cup
  3. Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

Ingredients for Garnish

  1. Pistachios – 1/8 Cup
  2. Dessicated Coconut Powder – 1/8 Cup


  1. To Make the Syrup (make this first):
    1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the sugar and water together till the sugar is melted and the syrup comes to a boil.
    2. Turn the heat down and let the syrup simmer for 10 minutes.
    3. Add the lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Turn off the heat.
    5. Let the syrup cool completely
  2. To Make the Cake:
    1. Oil the cake tin well with 2 tbsp Olive oil.
    2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
    3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together till the sugar is melted.
    4. Add the olive oil and yoghurt.
    5. Mix well.
    6. Add the semolina and flour.
    7. Mix well.
    8. Add the baking powder.
    9. Mix well.
    10. Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
    11. Mix well.
    12. Pour the batter into the oiled cake tin.
    13. Bake for about 30-40 minutes till the crust just turns golden brown.
    14. Use the tooth-pick test to check if the cake is done.
  3. To Assemble the Cake:
    1. While the cake is still hot, pour the cooled syrup onto the cake.
    2. Let the cake absorb the syrup completely.
    3. Let the cake cool completely.
    4. Cut the Revani into squares or diamonds.
    5. Crush the pistachios into a coarse powder.
    6. Garnish with dessicated coconut and pistachio powder.


  1. Ozlem used 1.5 times the syrup I used. However, I thought the Revani was sufficiently moist and sweet as did the others who ate it.
  2. As recommended, I had the Revani the next day and I must admit it tasted better.

I believe this cake is called Basabousa in Africa.


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