Foreign Flavours – South Sudan: Baseema

Aka South Sudanese lemon-coconut cake. Behold, a baseema square straight from the tin. So, so moist.

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Loads of sugar, but a tangy kick from the lemon syrup in the end. It’s all good!

BASEEMA RECIPE (found here)


  • 5 eggs
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 500g plain yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 110g dessicated coconut

    For the lemon syrup:

  • 350g sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 225ml cold water


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and grease and line a 23cm x 33cm cake tin (I used a 23×23 cake tin, and it turned out fine too).
  2. Beat together the eggs and icing sugar until light and frothy, then stir in the oil, yoghurt and vanilla extract.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and coconut.  Fold these dry ingredients into the egg mixture, and pour the resulting batter into the prepared cake tin.
  4. Bake the baseema for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. While the baseema is baking, put the sugar, lemon juice and water into a small saucepan, bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes to thicken the syrup.
  6. Pour the syrup over the baseema while it is still warm from the oven, and leave the syrup to soak in for a while before cutting the baseema  into squares to serve.


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