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+ servings
4 glass cups of milk pudding placed on a dark brown wooden tray.
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5 from 5 votes

Mahalabia (Middle Eastern Milk Pudding)

Mahalabia is a delicious middle eastern dessert or snack with only 4 ingredients. This simple milk pudding is a delicious sweet end to any meal.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Middle East, Middle Eastern
Diet: Halal
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 240kcal
Author: Amira


  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100g or to taste
  • 6 Tablespoons cornstarch 60g
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For garnishing: dried fruits, nuts, edible flowers or ground cinnamon


    • In a saucepan add milk, sugar and cornstarch.
    • Whisk everything together on cold, until the sugar and cornstarch dissolve.
    • Heat the mixture on medium, keep on stirring while it heats up until it bubbles and thickens.
    • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract or your flavoring extract.
    • Let it cool down slightly, then pour into individual dessert glasses or onto a big serving bowl.
    • Cool down to room temperature for abbot 30 minutes on your countertop.
    • Refrigerate for an hour to set.
    • Garnish with nuts or dried fruits before serving.


    • Mix cornstarch with the milk while it is cold, do not heat up the milk. 
    • Keep stirring while mixture is heating up so it will be smooth and silky.
    • I like like eating Mahalabia warm and sometimes hot, but this is just me. The traditional way to serve it is chilled.
    • Garnish Mahalabia with cinnamon, nuts, raisins or serve plain. 
    • You can substitute heavy whipping cream for part of milk with a 1:1 ration for extra richness.
    • Some people used to add 3-4 tablespoons of table cream, others use butter to add richness to the Mahalabia.
    • I've also tried making Mahalabia with a mixture of flour and cornstarch but really I like this simple one better and this is what I was brought up with. So you may experiment with that as well.
    • You may flavor Mahalabia with anything you like. Orange blossom water, rose water, cinnamon, ground cardamom are the most used. 
    • You can pour it in a big oven dish and put it under the broiler to get a nice caramelized layer on the top.
    • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days. It might forma a thin layer on the top, but this is totally normal.
    • Please note if you refrigerate nut garnished milk pudding the nuts will get softer as they stay in the fridge.


    Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 264mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 321IU | Calcium: 224mg | Iron: 1mg