You might not have heard of Lebanese desserts, especially if you don’t have any relatives or friends living there.
If you are planning to visit Lebanon, you might be curious about what their cuisines look like.
Or you might have landed on this page because your sweet tooth likes to try new dishes from different countries.
Let’s take a delicious walk through a few scrumptious Lebanese dessert recipes and see what there is on offer that you can make at home!
Try some of the traditional recipes from Lebanon, and you will be awed by the beauty of all the sweet flavor combinations.
If you like phyllo dough, try Shabiyat, Knafeh, and Baklava because they all are wrapped lovingly in this tender pastry.
Looking for something traditional?
We have Maamoul, Meghli, and Lebanese Night dessert.
Let’s start the list of ultimate sweetness.
Maamoul is a very famous cookie not only in Lebanon but also in Jordan, Syria, Israel, and Palestine.
The history of this unique cookie dates back to the pharaonic era and is depicted in the temple carvings and stone paintings.
These are made with all-purpose flour and other classic cookie dough ingredients like yeast, butter, vanilla extract, and sugar.
Some versions of this cookie are also prepared using semolina, but this recipe uses all-purpose flour.
This cookie is filled with either fruit like figs or dates or nuts like pistachios or walnuts.
This version of Maamoul contains dates and ground almonds as the filling.
2. Rice Pudding
This Lebanese Rice Pudding is known as Riz bi Haleeb in Arabic, and this is how it’s commonly referred to in Lebanon.
The orange blossom water and rose water mildly flavors this sweet and creamy rice pudding and gives it a floral aroma.
In Lebanon, the rice pudding is not just served as a dessert but is also used as a fulfilling breakfast on its own.
It will take nearly 25 minutes to create this irresistible combination of rice and milk.
It makes a perfect treat for serving the guests as well.
In the Middle East, many variations of rice and milk pudding are highly famous there.
This is a popular middle eastern and Lebanese dessert that is prepared from a layer of phyllo dough and sweet cheese, and on top is a layer of a unique knafeh filling mixture that contains milk, flour, and sugar.
This layering is then topped with a simple syrup made of sugar, lemon juice, and rose water.
This savory and sweet dessert makes a great comfort food for everyone.
Preparing this sweet dish will take an hour, but the results will be worth all the effort.
This makes a perfect dessert for parties and dinner nights.
This aromatic and truly unique sweet dish is called layali lubnan in Arabic, the national language of Lebanon.
Layali Lubnan means Lebanese nights.
This dessert originated from Lebanon and slowly moved to all the Arab countries because of its fantastic flavors and sweet flowery aroma.
This dessert is simple to prepare and light on the stomach.
A semolina pudding is covered with a thick layer of cream.
It is then topped with ground pistachios or other nuts.
This cold and sweet dessert is ideal for the summers.
All those familiar with Lebanese food would know that ashta, also known as kashta, is one of the significant ingredients in almost all Lebanese desserts.
The original name of this ingredient is kashta which means clotted cream prepared using rose water and orange blossom water in Arabic, and ashta is just a popular slang for kasta commonly used in Lebanon.
It is known as the king of fillers in Lebanese desserts.
It is used as a filler in many desserts and to top fruit cocktails and other sweet dishes.
The original recipe for ashta uses only raw milk, making it a bit expensive.
One cup of milk will usually yield one spoon of ashta; however, there is also a modern hacked version for making ashta which uses boiled milk, bread, and cornflour.
With the help of the new recipe, we can get one cup of ashta from one cup of milk.
Mafroukeh is a traditional Lebanese dessert containing a layer of perfectly cooked semolina topped with ashta, sugar syrup, and roasted nuts such as pistachios, almonds, and walnuts.
Some versions of this decadent Lebanese dessert use ricotta, flavored with orange blossom water and sweetened with sugar instead of ashta.
You can also use condensed milk cream in this recipe (especially if you find it tedious to make your own ashta).
It will taste equally delicious.
Mafroukeh is usually prepared for special occasions in Lebanon, such as weddings and other celebrations.
If you ever visit Lebanon, you will find Jazarieh, candied pumpkin, in oriental sweet shops.
The pumpkin is grated coarsely to make this delicacy.
It is usually stacked in a pyramid style and garnished with nuts like almonds and pistachios.
The word Jazarieh is derived from “jazar” which means carrots in Arabic.
The recipe does not use carrots, but this dish is called Jazarieh because of its same bright orange color.
Mastic gum and orange blossom water brighten up the flavor of this sweet treat.
You will find this popular street food in Lebanon.
Sweet pastries are very common in the Middle East, and you will find many different versions and names for them in every country.
Shaabiyat is one of those versions which is a trendy dessert in the whole middle east, including Lebanon, a flaky phyllo pastry with a thick and creamy filling, a sweet pastry that can never go wrong.
This sweet dish is made by layering phyllo dough and brushing it with butter or another shortening such as ghee.
These pastries are then filled with ashta and baked in the oven until they are golden brown.
These candied pastries will surely satisfy your sweet tooth and will become your go-to comfort food if you try them once.
Baklava is one of the most popular sweet pastries from the ottoman cuisines and is nowadays very famous in many middle eastern countries.
The Lebanese version of Baklava contains layers of phyllo pastry with a delicious nutty filling.
The filling is made by pulsing pistachios, sugar, and rose water in a food processor until the nuts are finely ground.
The trick is to occasionally pulse the food processor to get the ideal texture of your filling.
Make sure you do not let the food processor run and only pulse it; otherwise, you will end up with nut butter.
If you want a different dessert with your main course this weekend, then this one will amaze you.
Nammoura is a Lebanese semolina cake that more or less resembles cornbread in terms of texture and flavor.
The significant difference is that it is sweeter than cornbread and is generously loaded with honey.
Semolina is used in many desserts in Lebanon and is considered a major ingredient, just like ashta filling.
This delicacy made from semolina and other essential ingredients is called Revani cake in Lebanon.
In some places in the middle east, it is also called Basbousa.
It will take almost an hour to prepare this sandy and honeyed cake for your dinner table.
This is something that even the pickiest eaters will love.
This Lebanese cake is called the Curcuma cake because the primary ingredient is curcumin powder.
Curcumin powder is obtained by grinding the roots of the Curcuma plant and is one of the primary ingredients in curry powder made in the Middle east.
Curcumin is like turmeric but a little less intense in taste and color.
Bake this eggless cake next time for your guests, and get ready to hear some generous appreciation for your universal cooking skills.
This cake is a confirmed crowd pleaser.
Just a few simple ingredients from your pantry and five minutes, and this yummy dessert will be ready on your table for your family and friends to devour.
Some people in Lebanon also called this dish a store cupboard dessert.
Milk, cornstarch, sugar, and rose water combine to form a wobbly mixture with a custard-like consistency.
It is then sprinkled with nuts such as pistachios and almonds.
You can also use other nuts as per your flavor to add a variation to this Lebanese dessert.
Meghli is a special dessert in Lebanon that is traditionally prepared to celebrate the birth of a baby.
Meghli means “boiled” in Arabic; it refers to the long time this dish is boiled in this recipe, almost up to an hour.
It is a simple and easy rice pudding flavored with caraway, cinnamon, and anise.
This thick and creamy pudding is then garnished with nuts and crushed coconuts.
The bottom line
We are sure you will try one of these Lebanese desserts and enjoy the best that it has to offer.
Looking for more Lebanese food options, we’ve compiled a list of 27 BEST Lebanese Foods that you should definitely check out.
- Rice Pudding
- Lebanese Nights desserts
- Lebanese Ashta
- Skim through our Lebanese Desserts list.
- Select the recipe you’re looking for.
- Prep the ingredients as instructed.
- Spill your thoughts on our Facebook page!