Desserts

Sweeten Your Ramadan with these 10 Traditional Ramadan Desserts 

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Updated on May 14, 2024

Ramadan is a very special time of the year for Muslims worldwide. It is a period of fasting, reflection and family and friends celebrations. One way that people celebrate during Ramadan is by enjoying traditional desserts. These desserts have become an important part of the culture surrounding Ramadan, as they are often shared among family and friends to mark the end of the fast. 

Desserts such as Qatayef, Baklava, Knafeh, Basbousa, and Kullaj are all popular choices for sweet treats after Iftar. Each culture has its own unique take on these traditional desserts, making them even more special during this time of year. Eating these desserts is a great way to bring people together and celebrate the holy month of Ramadan in style. Although the choices vary, the following eleven traditional desserts are the most commonly served Ramadan desserts around the world.

1. Qatayef 

Desserts 

Qatayef is an irresistible dessert, especially during Ramadan. This traditional treat can be found in many shapes and sizes, with a delicious filling of either creamy custard or nuts. Enjoy the sweet flavour by frying it up in oil before serving it warm and sprinkling it with sugar or drizzling it generously with syrup! No matter what form they take, Qatayef provides the perfect ending to your well-deserved meal after fasting all day long this holy month.

Qatayef, a Middle Eastern delicacy with centuries-old roots in Egypt, is widely seen as a highlight of the Ramadan season. This scrumptious pancake has evolved over time to include distinct flavours such as rose and cinnamon that tantalise tastebuds across the Arab world. However, it can be difficult for many outside its origins to find! Its sweetness makes this flavourful dessert one you won’t want to miss. Qatayef is one of the oldest desserts around, but its delicious flavours make it feel as fresh today as ever. 

2. Knafeh

Desserts 

Knafeh is an iconic Middle Eastern dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. Popular throughout the region and traditionally served during Ramadan, Knafeh consists of a shredded filo dough crust filled with either cream or cheese filling topped with a rose water-flavoured simple syrup. The delicate strands of kataifi pastry, along with butter, give this beloved dish its distinctive crunchy texture; when baked together, it forms the perfect base for the sweet filling! Abundant in culture as much as flavour, indulge your senses and savour every bite of this historical treat!

Knafeh is a delightful dish that’s sure to please all your senses! With its crackling filo dough contrasted against the smooth creaminess of the cheese and topped off with sweet syrup, it’s no wonder Knafeh has been so popular for centuries. A true crowd-pleaser, this versatile treat can be enjoyed as part of an extravagant feast or simply savoured alone. So why not make some yourself today? You won’t regret it!

3. Baklava 

Desserts 

Baklava is a sumptuous Middle Eastern culinary delight that’s popularly served during Ramadan. Featuring thin layers of crispy filo dough filled with crunchy nuts such as walnuts or pistachios and smothered in hot honey syrup for sweetness, it’s no wonder why this treat has been enjoyed throughout the region for centuries!

Baklava has been a beloved dessert around the world for centuries, first crafted in Turkey. Its luscious layers of filo pastry and ground nuts create an enticing mix of crunchy and gooey textures when baked to golden perfection. The traditional recipe is then finished off with sticky syrup or honey, which helps deliver its signature crispy sweetness that people have adored for generations!

Delight your friends and family this Ramadan with the mouth-watering flavour of one of history’s oldest desserts, Baklava! This classic treat is sure to make a memorable impact on any menu, thanks to its flaky layers filled with chopped nuts, spices and sweet syrup. No matter how you choose to eat it – warm or cold – bring some extra sweetness into the Ramadan festivities by adding Baklava as part of your menu! 

4. Mafroukeh

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Mafroukeh is a delightful Middle Eastern dessert with an ethereal texture. During Ramadan, this delicious and light sweet treat is often served at celebratory feasts and Iftar gatherings. Its signature semolina dough layers give way to creamy clotted cream (Ashta), which are then complemented by nutty notes from pistachios or walnuts and finished off with delectable, sweetened cream cheese, pure culinary pleasure!

Mafroukeh is an iconic treat with a centuries-old history. Initially created in Lebanon, it has become popular all across North Africa and the Middle East. The combination of simple ingredients including semolina, butter, sugar, and water – as well as clotted cream and cheese give this dessert its soft texture while syrup infusion adds to its signature sweetness. With just some basic components, you can make your own Mafroukeh at home!

Make your Ramadan celebration truly special by serving this scrumptious dessert! This Middle Eastern speciality dish is sure to wow all of your guests with its delicate, nutty texture and sweet flavour. Enjoy a memorable treat that’s been pleasing palettes for centuries, and give Mafroukeh a try today!

5. Umm Ali (Bread Pudding)

Desserts 

Umm Ali is sure to hit the perfect spot after a long day of fasting. This scrumptious bread pudding features an alluring variety of ingredients like raisins, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios that work in perfect harmony with its distinctive flavour profile. But did you know this heavenly dessert also goes by other names, such as “Om Ali” or “Ma’amoul”, across different regions? 

Umm Ali, a traditional Middle Eastern dessert combining creamy richness with crunchy nuttiness, is an essential part of Ramadan celebrations. Though its origins may be disputed – believed to have come from Egypt or the Levant region – one thing remains clear: it’s surely become a favourite for many around the world! With soft bread and chewy nuts enveloped in luscious creaminess, this treat will create magical moments anytime you share it.

Make your dessert dreams come true with this Middle Eastern speciality that’s prepared by combining layers of puff pastry with raisins, nuts, and cream. After baking in the oven for an irresistibly golden-brown finish, it gets topped off with sweet syrup or honey to make its crunchy texture even more mouth-watering! Serve cold or warm; either way, this delicious delicacy is sure to tantalise the taste buds at any event.

6. Stuffed Dates

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A delectable treat, stuffed dates are a must-have during Ramadan. Pitted and filled with irresistible ingredients like chopped nuts, honey, or cream cheese, then topped off with coconut flakes or cinnamon, these sweet treats will delight family and friends alike! Enjoy them as an appetiser before the main meal or indulge in one after dessert to satisfy that special craving for something uniquely nutty & yummy.

Stuffed dates are a rich and flavourful treat with mysterious origins. Whether their birthplace was in the ancient Middle East or China is still unknown, but one thing that’s certain is that they have become an integral part of Ramadan celebrations around the world!

Delight your taste buds with aromatic and flavourful stuffed dates! This sweet treat can come in a variety of forms, depending on which region you’re from. Commonly used ingredients include nuts like walnuts or almonds, cream cheese for richness, and honey for sweetness, all spiced perfectly with cinnamon or cardamom. But that’s not all; you can also get creative by trying out different fruit slices, such as mangoes, apricots and apples, to create one-of-a-kind fillings!

These delightful treats make an excellent addition to any menu; try serving them at your next Iftar gathering for a unique yet delicious dessert that everyone will love!

7. Riz Bi Haleeb (Rice Pudding) 

Desserts 

Celebrate Ramadan with a traditional Middle Eastern delight – Riz Bi Haleeb! This creamy rice pudding is traditionally made using long-grain rice, milk, sugar, and delectable spices, including saffron for an iconic aroma, rose water to tantalise the palate and cardamom to add complexity. Enjoy this luxurious dessert as you share warmth & conversation with your guests during Iftar gatherings.

Although its origins are not certain, Riz Bi Haleeb is believed to have emerged from one of three possible countries: Lebanon, Iraq or Syria – adding an extra bit of mystery and intrigue to this indulgent treat!

Crafting the perfect Riz Bi Haleeb calls for careful consideration of ingredients, get your sugar balance just right, and this sweet treat will surely hit the right spot; too little or too much can leave it falling flat. Thoughtful spice additions, such as saffron, cinnamon, or cardamom, create further flavour dimensions to take the dish up a notch!

This creamy sweetness makes for an excellent ending to any meal; try serving up some Riz Bi Haleeb this Ramadan season and delight your guests’ taste buds!

8. Balah El Sham (Fluted Fritters)

Desserts 

Balah El Sham is a popular Middle Eastern delicacy, typically served during Ramadan. This scrumptious fritter offers an enjoyable combination of crunchy and sweet flavours, achieved by deep-frying dough made with butter, yoghurt, sugar, and baking powder before being rolled in additional sugar to deliver extra texture. 

This delectable dessert has an interesting history; some believe it was first concocted in Egypt, while others point towards Lebanon or Syria as its birthplace. However, one thing is certain: this delicacy plays a crucial role in marking the holy month for many all around the Middle East!

Making delicious fritters requires a delicate balance of heat and time. Too little, and the dough won’t be cooked through; too much, and you’ll end up with burnt or charred results! To guarantee they turn out perfectly sweet every time, try rolling them in sugar post-frying – it ensures an even coating for maximum flavour & texture.

These yummy treats make for a perfectly sweet ending to any meal; try serving up some Balah El Sham this Ramadan season and delight your guests’ taste buds!

9. Aish el Saraya

Ramadan wouldn’t be complete without the irresistible Aish el Saraya! This Middle Eastern delight is made of golden-brown layers of toasted breadcrumbs combined with a creamy topping and finished off with syrup. Believed to have originated from Ottoman cuisine, this centuries-old treat has now become an integral part of both Levantine culture as well as in countries such as Egypt; everyone loves it!

Aish el Saraya is a symphony of flavours and textures. Sweetened bread, fragrant syrup, creamy custard, and crunchy nuts come together to create an unforgettable experience with its unique taste, sure to leave you craving more.

Aish el Saraya is the perfect dessert to sweeten any special occasion, from family dinners to Eid celebrations! This delicious creation combines creamy Eshta, rose petal jam and a sprinkling of pistachio nuts with crunchy bread rusks, so simple yet so scrumptious. To make it, just layer all these ingredients in a dish, then bake or chill until ready for serving; you won’t believe how easy this delightful treat can be!

10. Basbousa (Semolina Cake)

Desserts 

Basbousa, a classic Middle Eastern dessert made from coarse semolina flour and coconut, is a firm favourite during Ramadan. With its distinctive texture and flavour thanks to butter, yoghurt or sour cream combined with baking soda for leavening, this deliciously moist cake is often drizzled in sweet syrup after being baked. The perfect treat for the Iftar meal, but also ideal as an anytime indulgence throughout the year!

Basbousa, a traditional Egyptian dessert made with semolina or farina and soaked in sweet syrup, is sure to make any taste buds tingle! Whether you choose the classic recipe, including orange juice and zest for extra flavour or try something new, like pistachios or almonds sprinkled on top, this delightful treat will last up to two weeks when stored in the fridge. What’s not to love? Invite your family and friends over for an enjoyable snack that takes no time at all to prepare!

Basbousa is an irresistibly sweet treat that doesn’t sacrifice your health for its taste. The semolina flour in this dessert provides long-lasting energy due to complex carbohydrates and fibre, which help support healthy digestion. It’s also packed with brain-boosting coconut fats – essential for well-being – as well as protein from yoghurt or sour cream, making it a very balanced snack choice!

If you’re searching for the perfect dessert to sweeten up your Iftar feast this Ramadan season, Basbousa is just what you need! Fusing tradition with modernity, this semolina cake delivers an unforgettable taste and is a great source of healthy ingredients. Give it a try at your next gathering -you won’t regret it! 

11. Kullaj 

During the holy month of Ramadan, Kullaj is a must-have dessert. This exquisite Middle Eastern treat combines flaky phyllo dough with cream or nuts for an indulgent combination that’s sure to please all kinds of taste buds! It is usually served warm and can even be flavoured with sweetened cheeses, giving it a unique flavour profile unlike any other dessert.

Although Kullaj is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert, it has been beloved by many cultures around the world. This iconic dish comes in various forms, from the classic version to vegan-friendly alternatives, and it’s served either as individual servings for small groups or in larger trays for bigger gatherings. With its rise in popularity throughout the region and beyond, Kullaj continues to be an evergreen favourite across all countries during both Ramadan feasts and regular days alike!

Ramadan is an extra special time of year, and with it comes an array of delightful desserts to enjoy. From the classic Baklava and Qatayef to modern takes on traditional recipes like Knafeh and Kullaj, there’s something for everyone! But how do you decide which sweet treats will make your family or friends’ celebrations extra delicious? Fear not: from our list of 11 mouth-watering dessert options, you’re sure to find just the right dessert for your Iftar menu! So go ahead and indulge in some delectable delights that are guaranteed to bring sweetness all around.

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