Syrian nut cake called h’risseh is a delectable cake made with semolina, topped with an assortment of nuts, and then doused with a fragrant sugar syrup. The result is a stunningly beautiful and delicious dessert.
This recipe calls for semolina, you just want to make sure to use coarse semolina flour not fine to achieve the proper texture. I have a link to the proper semolina here. Additionally it calls for superfine sugar which you should be able to find in your local grocery store but I but if you can’t find it I have it linked here. Rose water and Orange Blossom water are used in the fragrant syrup.
The semolina batter is made with butter and yogurt which results in a lovely light and airy cake. Feel free to use whatever nuts you like. This easy to make dessert calls for it to rest in a cool place for about 3 hours so be sure to plan ahead when you want to make it.
Interestingly, the name h’risseh in Lebanon is a savory dish, a porridge made with wheat and meat. In Syria however, there is no confusion everyone knows this Syrian nut cake. It was made famous in a small town not to far from the Capital city Damascus called Nabak on the road to Aleppo.
It should be served with a coffee as would be traditional in Syria. A lovely dessert recipe for just about any occasion.
Syria has had many trials and tribulations and a most recent horrific civil war. If you would like to learn more about this Middle Eastern country be sure to check out “Our Journey to Syria”. There you will also find some more delicious and authentic Syrian recipes like Muhamarra, a spicy red pepper dip served with Syrian pita bread. and a wonderful main dish, baked lamb kibbeh.
Craving even more? Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world, so you don’t miss a thing, it’s free, You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook , Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.
Please note that this page contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission however, it will in no way affect the price you pay. I thank you for your support!
Syrian Nut Cake (H'risseh)
For the Batter
- 1 1/4 cups Semolina flour not fine
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar superfine
- 1 1/2 cups Yogurt Whole Milk
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp tahini for greasing the pan
For the topping
- 1/3 cup almonds blanched
- 1/3 cup Pistachio nuts
- 1/3 cup walnut pieces
- 1/3 cup cashews unsalted
Fragrant Sugar Syrup
- 1 cup sugar superfine
- 1 tsp lemon juice fresh
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp rose water
- 1 Tbsp orange blossom water
- In a large mixing bowl, put in the semolina, butter and sugar and with a spatula blend together.
- Add in the yogurt, and baking soda and mix well.
- Grease a 10" round cake pan with tahini.
- Spread the batter in the cake pan and smooth with a spoon.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Remove the batter from the refrigerator and scatter the nuts all over the top.
- Bake until the cake is golden 40 minutes
- While the cake is cooking make the fragrant syrup
- In a saucepan add the sugar, lemon juice and water and place over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Let it boil for 3 minutes then add in the rose and orange blossom water. Mix and remove from heat.
- When the cake is done pour over the syrup and let the cake stand for 30 minutes. It may look like it is too much syrup, but it will be absorbed by the cake.
- Slice and serve with coffee