12 Popular Middle Eastern Desserts

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Looking to add something new and tasty to your dessert rotation? If the flavors of crunchy pistachios, sweet honey, and chewy dates sound enticing, try some Middle Eastern desserts! 

From flaky pastries to rich and creamy rice pudding, we’ve collected 12 of the most popular Middle Eastern desserts for you to make in your own kitchen!   


This yummy dessert is similar to fudge! The recipe has 3 ingredients and takes just 20 minutes to make! You’ll also find a handful of different versions in the recipe, so you can sample other flavors. 

Arabic Sweet Kunafa (Knafeh)

Considered to be the most celebrated Middle Eastern dessert, sweet kunafa is a cheese stuffed pastry that’s drizzled in syrup! There are quite a few steps to take but the instructions in the recipe are easy to follow. 

Easy Middle Eastern Rice Pudding

It doesn’t get more comforting than rice pudding. This Middle Eastern version is flavored with vanilla, cloves, and cinnamon, and topped with crushed pistachios!  


Perfect on a cold day, this creamy pudding is served warm! Top it with chopped nuts or raisins for a nice blend of textures. 


These simple butter cookies take just 10 minutes of prep time and 12 minutes to bake. Garnish them with pistachios and enjoy with a cup of hot tea! 


This delicate Greek dessert has wonderful textures and flavors. Serve it the next time you’re hosting a celebration meal! 


These date-filled cookies are sweet and chewy! The recipe makes about 20 cookies – perfect for a casual get-together. 

Umm Ali

Make this dish for next week’s Sunday brunch! It’s similar to bread pudding and only takes 25 minutes to make! 

Baklava Cookies

These bite-sized cookies are also keto-friendly! They’re made with almond and coconut flours, and are filled with chopped walnuts and pistachios! Each cookie has just 109 calories and 2 grams of net carbs.   

Persian Chickpea Cookies

You’ll love the subtle sweet flavor of these delicate cookies. They’re delightfully crisp and have a hint of pistachio and warm cardamom. 


If you love really sweet desserts, give this one a try! Crisp phyllo is topped with creamy custard and drizzled with butter. Serve this indulgent dessert with hot coffee or tea! 


Your family will love the flavor of these deep-fried balls of dough soaked in a sweet syrup. Serve them for a special occasion celebration!

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Easy Halva 

Easy Middle Eastern Dessert Halva Recipe

By: Izzy
This Middle Easter Halva dessert is similar to fudge! The recipe has 3 ingredients and takes just 20 minutes to make! You’ll also find a handful of different versions in the recipe, so you can sample other flavors.
Servings: 6


  • 1 1/2 cups tahini paste
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional


  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, and insert a candy thermometer. When the syrup hits 250 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the heat.
  • In a large mixing basin, whisk together tahini, salt, and vanilla essence.
  • Carefully stir the syrup and nuts into the tahini mixture until well blended.
  • Fill the loaf pan halfway with the mixture. Allow it to cool completely before removing it from the oven. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition information provided is an estimate only and will vary based on ingredient brands and cooking methods used.

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About Izzy

I'm Izzy, a food lover and photographer. Here you’ll find a collection of simple recipes that are perfect for busy people. My blog aims to help you make and enjoy delicious and healthy food at home.

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