The Middle East is known for its impressive cuisine. In particular, Lebanese cuisine is hugely popular. In fact, it continues to grow in popularity with more and more Lebanese restaurants opening all over the world.
One thing Lebanese cuisine does very well is dessert. Lebanese desserts use bold flavors and ingredients to create the most amazing desserts that will blow your mind.
However, if you don’t have a local Lebanese restaurant and don’t know anyone from the country, there’s a good chance you’ll never experience true Lebanese desserts.
Today, we want to make sure that doesn’t happen. We want to give you the chance to enjoy authentic Lebanese desserts from the comfort of your own home. Therefore, we’ve listed 13 amazing recipes in this post.
In this post, we’ll take you through each one. Our list is full of sweet goodness so we warn you now, you might get hungry as we make our way through the list.
Let’s start with maamoul. Maamoul is a tasty dessert that’s quite simple to make. Compared to other desserts, it offers a delightful sweetness without sending your sugar levels through the roof.
This recipe shows you how to make a quick batch of 20 maamoul cookies. You’ll only need seven ingredients to make these delicious cookies and an hour and a half.
Staying fresh for several weeks, these cookies are soft, simple, fruity, sugary, and savory. The date filling packs a punch too. To be honest, you’ll struggle to believe these cookies are low in sugar.
Baklava is one of the most popular and traditional desserts in Lebanon. With that in mind, you should give it a try. Baklava is an intricate delicacy that features layered phyllo dough soaked in a flavorful syrup made from rosewater.
The dough is then topped with freshly crushed nuts. Baklava is a clever dessert because it is cut into different sizes and shapes that ensure the flavor of all the ingredients shines through in each bite.
This dessert is usually eaten at celebratory events in Lebanon so you might want to do the same. This recipe is very sweet and high in fat, so it should only be eaten as a treat.
Next up, we have the Lebanese version of rice pudding. Known locally as Riz bi Haleeb, this dessert is fragrant, sweet, and quite mild. It is made using rose and orange blossom water.
These two ingredients give the dessert an elegant feel and a beautiful floral aroma. Interestingly, this dessert is most commonly served as a breakfast dish in Lebanon. However, most communities around the world consider it to be a dessert.
It will only take you 25 minutes to create this dessert. The two main ingredients are milk and rice. If you want a simple, yet delicious dessert to serve to guests, this recipe is ideal.
If you’re familiar with Lebanese food, you’ll already know what ashta is. If not, let us explain. Ashta, also known by the name kashta is an important Lebanese dessert ingredient.
It is simply a clotted cream that can be served on its own with fruit or used as a filler for other desserts. This particular recipe shows you how to make astha using 6 ingredients.
These ingredients are milk, cream, rose water, orange blossom water, lemon juice, and a pinch of sugar. When ready, you can use this creamy, fragrant, and sweet dessert dish to make a fruit salad, cocktail, or other sweet desserts.
If you’ve already tried baklava and want something similar to try, take a closer look at this shaabiyat recipe from Cook In With Mima. This is another tasty dessert made using flaky phyllo dough.
Shaabiyat is also crispy, sweet, and most importantly delicious. The biggest difference between the two desserts is the filling. Instead of butter and nuts, shaabiyat contains a gooey, slightly sweet cheesy filling.
This creamy filling offers something completely different and combines beautifully with the crispiness of the dough.
The next Lebanese recipe on our list is Znoud El Sett. Made in just over 30 minutes, this is another dessert that sticks to the theme of rosewater and phyllo dough. If you haven’t already noticed, Lebanese desserts rely heavily on these ingredients.
Znoud el sett consists of ashta creamed wrapped in phyllo dough. The phyllo dough is then fried and soaked in rosewater syrup. The end result is an extremely sweet dessert with a crispy exterior and a smooth creamy filling.
Mafroukeh is a popular traditional Lebanese dessert that consists of layers of cooked semolina covered with ashta, roasted nuts, and sugar syrup.
Some variations of this dessert also use ricotta that has been sweetened with sugar and flavored with orange blossom water. In our opinion, this is a very decadent dessert that finishes off a party perfectly.
It’s sweet, unique, full of flavor, and very floral. The pistachios, walnuts, and almonds help give the dessert a satisfying crunch too.
The next dessert on our list is Jazarieh. Jazarieh is a candied pumpkin dessert that can be found in most Lebanese sweet shops. The pumpkin in this dessert is grated and mixed with various nuts such as pistachios and almonds.
Once mixed, the pumpkin mixture is stacked into a shape that resembles a pyramid. The dessert has a relatively savory flavor.
The addition of orange blossom water and mastic gum helps enhance the sweetness of the desert. Overall, this is a unique, sweet, and savory dessert that can be made easily.
9. Layali Luban
If we’re being totally honest, Layali Luban doesn’t look that appealing. However, it is just the unfortunate color that gives us this impression. Layali Luban is actually a Lebanese delicacy that offers great flavor.
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity. Made in just 15 minutes, the recipe calls for basic ingredients that can be combined to make a smooth, crunchy, tasty dessert that guests will love.
You’ll begin with a semolina pudding layer before topping it with ashta. The ashta is then topped with crushed pistachios, and yes, you guessed it, orange blossom water.
Despite being a mouthful to say, mshabbak is definitely one of our favorite Lebanese desserts. Sharing a similar appearance and flavor to churros, mshabbak is made using soft dough.
The soft dough is piped into hot oil in a spiral shape. Once golden brown and crispy, they are removed from the fryer and soaked in rosewater syrup.
This creates a sweet, donut-like dessert with a crispy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior. This is a quick and easy dessert commonly sold at food markets during celebrations.
If you’re looking for a unique Lebanese dessert to serve to family and friends, give this next recipe a try. Kanafeh is a Middle Eastern pastry made with angel hair, samneh, akawi cheese, and ghee.
It is a baked dessert that looks a little bit like a sponge cake. Once baked, the kanafeh is coated with rose water syrup and crushed pistachios.
This makes the dessert crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. One of our favorite things about this dessert is its divine scent.
12. Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is another traditional Lebanese dessert. However, in Arabic, it is known as aish el Saraya. This bread pudding recipe is unlike any bread pudding recipe you’ve tried before.
The base is made from a dry, hard, and sweet bread called rusks. These rusks are then soaked in a rose water syrup that contains lemon juice and orange zest.
You’ll then add another layer before adding a layer of thick creamy custard. The end product is a sweet, creamy, heavy dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
13. Semolina Cake
The final Lebanese dessert on our list is semolina cake. Also known by the name nammoura, this cake is similar to cornbread, but a million times better. The texture is almost exactly the same, but this cake is so much sweeter.
As if the addition of rosewater syrup and sugar wasn’t enough, this recipe also calls for honey. What we love most about this cake recipe is how the coconut, rosewater, vanilla, and almonds complement each other so well.
Are There any Lebanese-inspired Coffee Desserts Included in the 16 Divine Coffee Desserts You Need to Try?
If you’re a fan of Lebanese cuisine and coffee, you’re in for a treat with the 16 divine coffee desserts you must try. These delectable treats showcase the unique flavors and aromas of Lebanon, blended flawlessly with the richness of coffee. From traditional Lebanese coffee-flavored tiramisu to innovative creations like cardamom-infused coffee mousse, these desserts offer a delightful fusion of cultures in every bite. Indulge your taste buds and explore the world of Lebanese-inspired coffee desserts today.
Lebanese desserts are super sweet, crunchy, and addictive. They are the sort of desserts friends and family come back for seconds and thirds. Interestingly, most Lebanese dessert recipes contain the same ingredients.
Most recipes include some sort of dough, sugar, nuts, and of course syrup. In this post, we’ve shown you 13 authentic Lebanese desserts you can make at home.
Now you have this list at your fingertips, we hope we’ve given you the inspiration you need to try out some traditional Lebanese desserts. If we have, good luck picking the one to try first because all the recipes we’ve looked at are delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions
Despite being famous for a wide range of sweet desserts, Lebanon has one dessert that stands out from the rest. The most popular dessert in Lebanon is mafroukeh. This sweet dessert is sweet, soft, and super satisfying.
In Lebanon, baklava is commonly referred to as be’lewa. Having said that, a lot of Lebanese people still use the word baklava.
Moving away from desserts, Lebanon’s cuisine is most well-known for shawarma. This is an internationally known food that is commonly served at Lebanese street food markets.