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Katayef bi joz w ashta

Katayef: Katayef is a middle eastern dessert, it is usually prepared a lot in our Lebanese cuisine with different recipes for the dough. Katayef is the general name of the dessert as a whole, but more specifically the batter. The result of the batter being poured onto a round hot pan appears similar to pancakes but smaller, except only one side is cooked. Then it is folded and after that filled with cream or walnuts, sweetened with our aromatic syrup which is flavoured with the orange blossom flower and the rose water. Some people like it deep fried, but my family and I prefer it the way I am representing it in this recipe. It is very easy, much lighter and taste amazing at the same time.

prep.time: 25 mins

cooking time: 30 mins

Serves: 8


The dough:

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp mahlab if not available, it can be replaced with 1 tbsp of orange blossom water.

The cream filling or Ashta:

I cup milk

1/4 cooking cream

I slice of white bread

1 tbsp corn starch

1/4 cup crashed pistachios for decoration


1 and a half cup sugar

3/4 cup water

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp orange blossom water

1 tbsp rose water

The walnut filling:

I cup roughly crushed walnuts

2 heaped tbsp sugar

11/2 tsp orange blossom water

1 tsp rose water

First prepare the syrup, in a small cooking pot mix the water, sugar and the lemon together over medium heat, stir until the sugar dissolves well. Let it boil for 10 mins then add the orange blossom water and the rose water. Let it simmer for one more minute. Set aside to cool down.

How to prepare the cream: In a medium cooking pot put the milk, the cooking cream and the corn starch. Now add the bread slice after peeling the edge and breaking the soft part to pieces. Let it soak for 15 mins then cook over medium heat stirring constantly using a whisk. Once it starts boiling, the mixture will thicken and will be ready. Pour it in a bowl then put it in the fridge to cool down.

The dough: In a deep bowl mix all the ingredients together using a whisk or an electric mixer. Now the batter is ready to start making the round cakes or katayef. Heat a non greased round pan over medium heat, you can use 2 pans, it makes the work much faster. Pour a large serving spoon of the batter in each pan, around 9 cm diameter. When the bubbles form on the surface and the bottom is light brown as shown in the picture means the pancake is done. Move it with a flat spoon and set aside on a flat plate. Don't put on top of each other, they will stick and will give you a hard time to separate. Repeat with the rest of the batter until you finish them.

Mix all the ingredients for the walnut filling together with a spoon. Now fill each katayef with 2 tbsp of the cream and close from one side and keep the other side open decorate with crushed pistachios as shown in the image. The rest fill with the walnut filling, fold it and close it all. Serve the ashta ones with syrup but the walnut katayef serve it with or without as you desire.

These lightly amazing katayef are best assembled and filled right after cooking. If left too long, they will give you a hard time sticking the edges together to keep the filling inside. Don't be scared from the long recipe, preparing the dough is as easy as making regular pancake. Working with 2 heated pans like I do it myself makes the job much faster. Believe me it is not complicated and you can choose to do one filling, either cream or walnut and it is worth it so give it a try and you won't regret.


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