15 Lebanese Home Desserts That Will Keep You Wanting For More

@tasteandtell.club | @karawyty | @yourlebanon

Similar to the Delicious Lebanese Dishes That Are Little Known To The World, these desserts and sweet snacks are little spoken of amid the most notorious Lebanese desserts like the Knefeh, the Maamoul, the Osmaliyeh, the Znoud El-Sit, and the likes.

And yet, they are very popular in Lebanon. They’re traditional household desserts which recipes have been passed on from generation to generation. Some are even deemed part of the Lebanese heritage.

For many Lebanese, these desserts have accompanied their upbringing. And, to those who had long left the country, these bring sweet memories of their childhood in the homeland.

The good news is that some Lebanese mothers, whether in Lebanon or abroad, have taken to social media to keep the legacy of these sweet delights alive, teaching their recipes to the world.

Here are some of them that we do love citing today for being part of our Lebanese family traditions.

#1 The Mabroushe

This is a snack dessert of apricot jam that is topped with shredded pastry, hence the name Mabroushe.

The mix of soft and crunchy textures and lemony aroma make the Mabroushe uniquely delicious. The culinary preparation is spread in a pan and baked, after which it’s cut into diamond or square shapes.

Note: Some around like to call them petit-four, yet they are not of the same category nor is the petit-four Lebanese. The petit-four in its few varieties is made and baked in small cookie-size, hence the name. The Lebanese adopted it from the French cuisine.

#2 The Ahstalieh

Light and super delicious, the Lebanese Ashtaliyeh is a refreshing dessert of fresh Ashta cream, sprinkled with rose water, and served with pistachio, banana, and honey. A pure delight that could hook you for more.

#3 The Shaabiyat

Another dessert of soft and crunchy texture, the Shaabiyat is made with layers of phyllo dough brushed with a mixture of shortening and butter, and wrapped over the traditional Lebanese Ashta cream in triangle shapes. They are then baked and served drizzled with the Lebanese Atter sugar syrup.

Some prefer to deep-fry the pastries then soak them quickly and briefly in the syrup.

#4 The Attayef Bil Joz

These deep-fried Atayef are filled with a confit of walnut seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, orange-blossom water, and rose water, and sweetened with sugar. The dough is made of semolina and flour.

The Atayef are soaked hot in the Atter sugar syrup for about 20 seconds, then drained and decorated with pistachio nuts.

#5 The Ghreibeh 

The Ghreibeh shortbread cookies literally melt in your mouth at consumption. They are made of flour, milk powder, ghee, powdered sugar, and flavored with vanilla.

#6 The Sfouf

Made with Tumeric, which explains its vibrant yellow color, the Sfouf is a popular household semolina cake prepared with milk, baking powder, and sugar, and without eggs and butter. Some like to substitute milk with water.

In both cases, the Sfouf comes out delicious and light, with a subtle earthly taste deriving from the Tumeric.

Tumeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, among others. It is also believed to have nerves-soothing properties.

#7 The Sfouf Debs

The Sfouf Debs is a traditional Lebanese cake made with Carob Molasses, hence the name “Debs”. It is a vegan dessert that uses no milk, no eggs, and not even sugar since the Carob molasses gives it that more-than-enough fruity and chocolaty taste that makes it unique.

The Carob molasses is mixed with flour, tahini, fine semolina, and anise. A nutritious and healthy cake that is topped with sesame seeds.

#8 The Tahini Bil Debs

The Food Heritage Foundation

This recipe is believed to be ancient in Lebanese cuisine and is still served in many homes, especially in the North of Lebanon.

Carob molasses was regularly consumed by our ancestors for its numerous health benefits. The syrup is known to be highly concentrated with calcium, in addition to vitamin E, and relaxing properties.

This recipe simply requires mixing the carob molasses syrup with Tahini, another highly beneficial ingredient widely used in Lebanese cuisine. That sweet saucy cream is savored with Lebanese bread, and also as a sweet dip with toasted bread.

Go ahead and try it if you haven’t yet, and keep the legacy alive!

#9 The Rez Bil Halib

Many Lebanese can tell you they had Rez Bil Halib almost every week growing up. Probably a way for mothers to give that extra dose of milk to their children while sweetening their palate.

This Lebanese rice pudding is a home legacy that has been ongoing for as long as our cuisine remembers.

It is simply made with rice, milk, and sugar and flavored with orange-blossom water. It is served as is any time of the day, or with added pistachio nuts.

It goes fancier, taking a richer substance, when the family is receiving guests as more toppings are added, like shredded coconuts and toasted almonds.

#10 Meghli, the Lebanese “pudding of birth”

The Moghli has a celebratory aura about it since it’s traditionally prepared at the birth of a child, and also on Christmas day in some households to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.

This pudding is simply made with rice powder boiled with anise-infused water and sugar, and flavored with cinnamon and caraway. It is then poured into bowls and left to cool and solidify into a pudding.

With time, the traditional Moghli became even more delicious with the added topping of a generous mixture of walnuts, pine kernels, pistachio nuts, and shredded coconut.

We say “with time” because, originally, the Moghli was prepared for the mothers of a newborn to consume during the breastfeeding period due to the several beneficial properties of the pudding.

It was intended as a “sweet aid” for both the lactating mothers and their newborns: stimulating the milk flow, relaxing both the mother and her newborn, and preventing colics of the newborn, among other benefits.

  • Anise is known to increase the milk flow, and relieve upset stomach, intestinal gas, and spasms, in addition to its relaxing properties.
  • Caraway is known to help with bloating, gas, heartburn, and mild stomach spasms.
  • Cinnamon is an antioxidant that helps relieve inflammation, among other benefits.

At the adding of toppings in the Moghli recipe, breastfeeding mothers were advised to avoid them as walnuts are believed to induce gas and colics.

#11 The Nammoura

A delicious cake made with semolina, coconut, and milk and aromatized with orange-blossoms water. It is topped with pieces of almonds then baked into a rich golden color. It’s then soaked with the Ater sugar syrup. 

This traditional sweet used to be made very sugary until recent times. The Lebanese culture has become more health-conscious with their food intake, reducing the sugar of their traditional desserts. (That goes as well for their preparation of the Baklawa).

#12 Layeli Loubnan (Lebanon’s Nights)

A very popular Lebanese pudding, Layeli Loubnan is super delicious and very easy to prepare.

It is made with coarse semolina, milk, rose water, orange-blossom water, and topped with Ashta cream and whipping cream. A generous layer of pistachio nuts is then added. It is served with Lebanese sugar syrup.

#13 The Lebanese Cocktail Shakaf

Probably one of the most delicious and refreshing “fruit salads” you could ever have, the Lebanese Cocktail Shakaf is made of a variety of cut fruits and fresh juice.

It is then topped with Ashta cream and some nuts: pistachio nuts, or pine kernels, or almonds, or all combined. A spoon of honey is then drizzled over to boost the sugary taste.

This is a summer favorite of the Lebanese at the beach but also generally prepared at home.

#14 The Jellab

A super healthy, detoxing, and vitamin-C-booster drink, which also has anti-inflammatory benefits, the Jellab is made with grape molasses, dates, and rose water.

It used to be a very popular street drink. Until not long ago, vendors in Tripoli used to roam the streets of residential areas with their Jellab carts, especially during the warm season, yelling with the Tripolitan accent, “Jelleb! Jelleb!”

This refreshing delicious drink is served with crushed ice and topped or mixed with some pine nuts. Today, Jellab vendors could be found in some old souks of Lebanon.

This delicious Lebanese “juice” is also available in supermarkets in a syrup form to be mixed with fresh water at home.

#15 The Tamarind Juice

Similar to the Jellab, the Tamarind comes in syrup and is mixed with a large quantity of fresh water. It is a delicious sweet and tangy juice that is high in calcium.

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