This collection of the best middle eastern desserts will make your taste buds thank you! Middle Eastern cuisine has so much delicious food to offer and they also have some awesome desserts!
These dessert recipes are made with flakey dough, rose water, honey, pistachios, dates, semolina, kataifi dough, and more!
For more recipe roundups, check out my coffee desserts, best cheesecake toppings, easy baking recipes, unique cookie recipes, Rice Krispie Treats Variations, best nutella recipes, best cake recipes, and pistachio desserts.
- 1. Pistachio Baklava
- 2. Moist Honey Cake
- 3. Rolled Date Cookies
- 4. Chocolate Babka
- 5. Halva
- 6. Kanafeh
- 7. Sahlab
- 8. Maamoul
- 9. Stuffed Dates
- 10. Pistachio Cookies
- 11. Mahalabia
- 12. Baklava cheesecake
- 13. Lebanese rice pudding
- 14. Qatayef (Atayef)
- 15. Kadaif Dessert
- 16. Awameh (Luqaimat)
- 17. Turkish semolina halva
- 18. Namoura- Lebanese Semolina Cake
- 19. Sfouf- Lebanese Cake
- 20. Persian Love Cake
- 21. Mini Phyllo Baklava Cups
- 22. Aish El Saraya (Middle Eastern Dessert With Ashta)
- 23. Qatayef - Middle Eastern Semolina Pancakes
- 24. Om Ali Recipe (Egyptian Bread Pudding)
- 25. Turkish Delight
- 26. Basbousa (Middle Eastern Semolina Cake)
- 27. Lgeimat: Saffron and Cardamom Fritters
- 28. Kahk- Eid cookies
- 29. Ghraybeh Middle Eastern Butter Cookies
- 30. Homemade Kataifi
- 31. Lebanese ice cream ( Booza)
- Middle Eastern Desserts Faq's
- 📖 Recipe
- 30+ Best Middle Eastern Desserts: Baklava & More
- 💬 Comments
1. Pistachio Baklava
This super delicious pistachio baklava is buttery, sweet, flakey, nutty, gooey, and surprisingly easy to make! I was really surprised by how easy it is to make this impressive dessert that is always a crowd-pleaser.
2. Moist Honey Cake
This honey cake is moist, rich in flavor, and full of spices that will make your house smell like autumn. We make this cake every Rosh Hashanah, it's our favorite time of the year.
3. Rolled Date Cookies
These rolled date cookies are made with buttery shortcrust pastry, filled with date paste, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts, and topped with powdered sugar that makes these cookies irresistible.
4. Chocolate Babka
This chocolate babka is made with a decedent brioche-like bread and filling it with rich chocolate filling made with dark chocolate, butter, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder, topped with a simple sugar syrup that brings all the flavors together.
Halva is a 5-ingredient Middle Eastern treat! It’s sweet, tender, and filled with nutty flavor thanks to the tahini and pistachios.
Kunafah is a cheese-based pastry, made with crispy kataifi dough, akawie cheese, and gooey ricotta; all soaked in a rosewater syrup for a sweet finish.
Silky smooth and comforting Middle Eastern sweet milk pudding topped with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, crushed nuts, and desiccated coconut.
Pistachio Maamoul Cookies are very famous traditional Middle Eastern cookies that have been around for generations. They are stuffed with ground pistachios and dusted with powdered sugar.
9. Stuffed Dates
Jazz up regular dates with this simple recipe for cream cheese stuffed dates. They take minutes to make and are a delicious snack, appetizer or dessert.
10. Pistachio Cookies
These pistachio cookies are made with a chocolate chip cookie base filled with chopped pistachios and dark chocolate chunks and topped with flakey salt!
Mahalabia is a milk-based dessert recipe that is creamy, delicious and mouthwatering. This milk pudding dish is soft and easy to swallow; hence toddlers can enjoy it too.
12. Baklava cheesecake
Taking classic baklava one step further, this is a must-try recipe for baklava and cheesecake lovers. Lighter than traditional baklava, in the meantime more exciting flavor profile than traditional cheesecake, the best of both!
13. Lebanese rice pudding
This delicious Lebanese Rice Pudding (Riz Bi Haleeb) is super delicious and made with only 3 main ingredients, Rice, Milk and Sugar. It's served as dessert and even as breakfast or snack.
14. Qatayef (Atayef)
Qatayef (Atayef) are a Middle Eastern dessert made from pancakes, filled with nuts or cheese, then deep fried or baked to crispy perfection and drizzled with simple syrup.
15. Kadaif Dessert
Kadaif is made with shredded phyllo pastry dough that's as thin as angel hair pasta. The pastry is filled with chopped nuts, typically pistachios, walnuts, or almonds.
16. Awameh (Luqaimat)
Luqaimat is delicious Middle Eastern-style doughnut balls, also called lokma, lugaimat, or awameh (or loukoumades in Greek). They are crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, and absolutely deliciously drizzled with homemade sugar syrup. The batter comes together so easily!
17. Turkish semolina halva
Turkish semolina halva is a delicious semolina-based cake. While many semolina halvas are flavored with syrup or vanilla, this one is filled with ice cream!
18. Namoura- Lebanese Semolina Cake
Namoura Cake, aka Basbousa or Harissa is a traditional Middler Eastern sweet dessert, made with semolina flour and topped with a simple sugar syrup.
19. Sfouf- Lebanese Cake
This vibrant yellow Lebanese turmeric cake- sfouf is easy to make. It is also egg- free, butter- free and made in one bowl! Sfouf cake has a subtle earthy flavor and tastes as good as it looks.
20. Persian Love Cake
In this beautiful Persian Love Cake, a buttery almond crust is filled with a creamy yogurt filling full of Middle Eastern flavors! This gluten-free cake has the most amazing taste and is super simple to make.
21. Mini Phyllo Baklava Cups
Mini Phyllo Baklava Cups Recipe - flakey, sweet and delicious, these mini bites are great for a party or celebration. A mini version of a popular Middle Eastern dessert.
22. Aish El Saraya (Middle Eastern Dessert With Ashta)
Learn how to make Aish El Saraya, a delicious Middle Eastern dessert that is composed of sweetened bread, topped with ashta cream.
23. Qatayef - Middle Eastern Semolina Pancakes
Qatayef, or Middle Eastern Semolina Pancakes, are a traditional Arabic pastry very popular during the fasting month of Ramadan. They are stuffed with a variety of fillings, the most common being nuts or sweet cheese.
24. Om Ali Recipe (Egyptian Bread Pudding)
Om Ali (aka Um Ali) is a delicious Egyptian dessert that’s the Middle Eastern version of bread pudding. My version is made with buttery croissants, milk and heavy cream, with a hint of cardamom. Add nuts in the pudding, or top it with some, it’s divine either way.
25. Turkish Delight
Sweet and slightly exotic, Turkish delight is a popular Middle Eastern candy that can be made and flavored in a variety of ways. Learn how to make it at home and customize it to suit your taste.
26. Basbousa (Middle Eastern Semolina Cake)
Basbousa is a delicious Middle Eastern Semolina cake soaked in simple syrup that comes together in under an hour with minimal effort. The coarse semolina in the cake offers a unique texture distinct to this popular Middle Eastern dessert. This easy dessert is very much worth trying!
27. Lgeimat: Saffron and Cardamom Fritters
These fluffy fritters, soaked in syrup flavored with saffron, cardamom, and cinnamon, are a favorite Emirati dessert during Ramadan.
28. Kahk- Eid cookies
Egyptian Kahk cookies are traditional sweets that are often served during the holiday season in Egypt. Filled with sweet nutty mixture and dusted with powdered sugar these cookies are enjoyed by people of all ages.
29. Ghraybeh Middle Eastern Butter Cookies
Ghraybeh, or sometimes you can find it written as Ghorayeba, is a Middle Eastern Cookie. These cookies melt in your mouth, with fine texture, delicate, and delicious.
30. Homemade Kataifi
Kataifi is made with roughly chopped walnuts (and sometimes other nuts), scented with ground clove and cinnamon, wrapped into buttered crispy kataifi dough and bathed in lemon scented syrup.
31. Lebanese ice cream ( Booza)
Ever had Booza before? That stretchy and chewy Lebanese ice cream. This Arabic take on ice cream is full of intense flavors that will take you on a lifetime journey.
Middle Eastern Desserts Faq's
Qatayef or katayef is a sweet dumpling filled with cream or nuts, or a folded pancake, similar to a Scottish crumpet.
More middle eastern recipes
Homemade Pita Bread- This homemade pita bread recipe is super easy to make, made with simple ingredients, and creates fluffy and pillowy pita pockets that you can fill with anything!
Homemade falafel- This homemade falafel recipe is our family's secret to making the best falafel we’ve ever had!
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30+ Best Middle Eastern Desserts: Baklava & More
- 500 g Phyllo dough thawed
- 3 cups Pistachios ground
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 230 g Butter melted
- 1 cup Honey
- 1 ⅓ cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 cup Granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice
- Preheat an oven to 160c (320f) and prepare a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with softened butter.
- Thaw phyllo dough according to the package instructions. My favorite way is thawing it in the fridge overnight.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the ground pistachios and the cinnamon. Mix until well combined. You can ground the pistachios in a food processor or in a blender until fine mixture forms.
- Trim the phyllo dough to fit in your baking pan. Add 7 sheets of phyllo dough into the pan, and brush every sheet of dough with melted butter.
- Sprinkle ⅕ of the pistachio mixture on top of the buttered phyllo and spread it evenly. Top the pistachio mixture with another 5 sheets of phyllo sheets, buttering every sheet with melted butter.
- Repeat four times until you run out of pistachios. Top the last batch of pistachios with more 5 sheets of phyllo and brush with butter.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the baklava into 4 rows lengthwise, and then cut diagonally so that each piece of baklava is in the shape of a diamond.
- Bake in a 160c (320f) preheated oven for 1 hour or until the baklava is golden brown.
- In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, honey, water, vanilla extract, and lemon juice and cook over medium-high heat mixing constantly until the sugar melts.
- Then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for another 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
- Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately drizzle the honey syrup all over the baklava.
- This will ensure your baklava stays crispy and does not get soggy. Let it cool at room temperature for at least 4 hours and let the baklava soak the syrup.
- Use the best quality pistachio that you can find! Do not use salted pistachios. They will affect the flavor and make your dessert too salty. You can use natural toasted or untoasted pistachios.
- Use thin phyllo dough for this recipe! Don't use thick phyllo sheets for this.
- Trim your dough to the size of the pan. Every company has different sizes of phyllo dough, so it's important that you do this to make your pastry even.
- Let the phyllo dough defrost in the fridge overnight. This will make sure that your phyllo dough is fully defrosted.
- When you are buttering the phyllo dough sheets, make sure that you are super careful and gently butter it to prevent it from ripping.
- Divide your pistachio mixture before you start to assemble the baklava to ensure that you will get even layers.
- It is very important that you use a sharp knife to cut the baklava to get even and clean cuts.
- Cover the phyllo dough with a damp towel as you work your way through them to prevent them from drying out. This will prevent your sheets to crack as you lift them to transfer to the pan.
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