Egypt has always been the melting pot of so many cultures, the heart of the Middle East and the hub for trades between Africa, Europe and Asia.
When it comes to desserts, Egyptian chefs are masters. I've never eaten Middle Eastern desserts, cakes, gâteaux, mille feuille and even ice cream like the one I eat in Egypt.
Although many desserts here are common among Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, still Egyptians have their own touch.
If you are planning to visit Egypt be sure to check pastry shops for these Egyptian delicacies. If not then let me satisfy your sweet tooth craving and take you through this delicious trip, for sure you will find one that you will like.
Egyptian semolina cake drizzled with sugar syrup and garnished by nuts. This is a very popular dessert in Egypt and many Middle Eastern countries as well.
Ali’s mother also known as Umm Ali, is another dessert made with puff pastry that is cut into small pieces and topped with nut mixture, coconut flakes, and sweet milk.
Baklava, one of the most popular Mediterranean and Arabic desserts in the entire world. With common ingredients like phyllo pastry, nuts and sweet syrup it is not at all hard to make homemade baklava.
Also Rawani is a popular egyptian dessert with an interesting taste and made with simple ingredients such as semolina flour, melted butter, flour, and eggs then drizzled with honey syrup. This cake is very popular in different countries and not only in the Egyptian cuisine.
Tired of all these pumpkin pies? Here is one of the most popular Egyptian dishes that uses pumpkin. Pumpkin with sweet bechamel sauce is one of the most delicious ways to use pumpkins or sweet potatoes.
Rice pudding is almost always vanilla flavored rather than rose water. You can find it widely sold in dairy shops in Egypt.
Sesame seeds bars
Sesame seeds bars are very easy to make and so popular during religious occasions in Egypt. This is a recipe that is said to be there in Egypt since the 13th century.
Mahalabia (Milk Pudding)
A quick milk pudding that is ready in just 10 minutes. One of the delicious desserts that uses corn starch.
Balah El Sham
Fried churro like Egyptian fritters, balah el sham is another iconic dessert the is widely sold by street vendors and pastry shops.
Loukoumades or as we call them in Egypt Zalabya are another fried fritters that are so popular. Can be served with chocolate, dunked in syrup or dusted with powdered sugar.
Tahini Halva (Halawa)
An easy and versatile tahini halva recipe, this probably came to Egypt from the ottoman empire. Halawa is served in many different ways using different nut mixtures.
Sweet bread rolls that are usually served at breakfast time. A delicious fluffy dough shaped in a spiral rounds and sprinkled with sugar.
Nut stuffed pancakes that are fried then dunked in simple syrup. Qatayef is also a dessert that is associated with the holy month of Ramadan.
Try Them All
Best Easy Egyptian Desserts
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup hot milk
- 500 g semolina 1 cup=150g
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup ghee/butter
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup semolina
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup hazelnut or any nut you like
- 4 Tablespoons honey
- Sugar syrup:
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- Crushed hazelnut for garnishing
Make the filling:
- In a skillet over low heat roast semolina, coconut flakes, and nuts until lightly golden.
- Remove from heat then add raisins and mix everything well with honey. Set aside.
Assemble the cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350F
- Brush a10in round aluminum pan with butter then spread half the mixture over the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Add the filling and level.
- Wet your hands with some water and cover the top with the remaining harissa batter.
- Garnish with hazelnuts if you want to.
- Bake in the oven until top is golden.
Make the syrup:
- In a sauce pan add sugar, water and honey.
- Stir for 10 seconds then turn heat on and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat and set aside.
- When the harissa is done pour the syrup over and let it rest and cool down before cutting and serving.
- Be extremely cautious when caramelizing the sugar.
- I advice you to use light colored pan, a spatula with long handle and stay close by and attentive to your pan.
- Keep a large pan of iced water nearby just in case anything got out of control and the caramel splattered.
- It is very helpful to use a large pan to minimize splattering as well.
- Do not overtax the harissa batter as this will cause the end product to be hard and not soft.
- Unlike basbousa, harissa needs to be hot while the syrup is warm and not boiling hot.