Qatayef also called atayef, is a delicious Arabic dessert made of a small pancake filled with whipped ricotta cream. Qatayef is served with a sweet fragrant rosewater orange blossom syrup.
It is commonly served for dessert during the month of Ramadan, but we make this delicious Middle Eastern dessert all year long!
My qatayef dough recipe is super easy to make with just a few simple ingredients like flour, baking powder, and water. No semolina flour, and no yeast.
WHAT IS QATAYEF?
Qatayef, or Atayef depending on where you are from, is a delicious Arabic dessert recipe. Qatayef is a small pancake that is cooked on one side, and then either stuffed with nuts, and fried, or half folded and stuffed with cheese.
WHERE ARE QATAYEF FROM?
Qatayef is a dessert common in the Levant region of the Middle East- Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
HOW CAN I MAKE A HEALTHY QATAYEF RECIPE?
Most Arabic desserts are super indulgent and heavy on the cream and sugar. So delicious!! And is totally fine if you want just a little treat. But, if you are trying to eat healthier, or are avoiding refined sugar & grains, you can definitely make a healthy katayef recipe.
Healthy qatayef substitutions:
- All purpose flour- use white wheat flour, or a 1:1 gluten free baking flour.
- Sugar- use honey or maple syrup. Or, cut the sugar in half.
- Clotted cream- use whole milk greek yogurt or full fat coconut milk.
No need to change ricotta cheese, baking powder, water, rose water, orange blossom water, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and pistachios. These are all healthy ingredients already.
If you are dairy free/ vegan, the qatayef batter & syrup is already dairy free and vegan friendly. To make a dairy free/vegan qatayef filling, simply use a dairy free ricotta substitute.
TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST QATAYEF WITH CREAM RECIPE
Let your qatayef batter rest for 15 minutes before cooking. This gives time for the baking powder to activate for those signature bubbles on your Arabic pancakes.
Fry pancakes without oil. Don't use oil to make your pancakes. If you use oil, you could end up with crispy pancakes. The qatayef pancakes should be very soft, not crispy.
Use a high quality whole milk ricotta cheese. Not all ricotta are equal! Some ricotta has more water in it, and will make your filling very runny.
Simmer rose water syrup for 10 minutes. This will give you that perfect qatayef dipping consistency!
WATCH HOW I MADE EASY QATAYEF
What is qatayef made of?
It is made of a pancake filled with either cheese or with nuts and then fried. Then, it is served with dipping syrup. Or, if you are making the fried kind, syrup is poured on top.
How many calories are in a qatayef?
1 pancake filled with cream and dipped in syrup is 99 calories.
What are the different kinds of qatayef?
There are two main kinds of qatayef, one is filled with creamy cheese and left open on one side. The other kind is stuffed with nuts & spice and then sealed and fried.
What kind of pan should I use to cook the pancakes?
I have made mine in a stainless steel frying pan. The pancakes will start to form a brown layer as the cooking process goes on. So wipe your pan after 4-5 pancakes to make sure the bottom of the pancakes don't get too dark.
A non stick pan works much better for these. I also like to use my non toxic non stick pan that is coated with a ceramic coating.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CREAM FILLED QATAYEF
I always start by making the rose syrup first. That way, the syrup has time to cool before you whisk it into the ricotta cheese.
To make the qatayef syrup: in a saucepan add 1 cup sugar, ½ cup water, juice of ½ lemon, 1 teaspoon orange blossom water, and ½ teaspoon rose water. Bring the syrup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer it for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
HOW TO MAKE QATAYEF DOUGH (BATTER)
I made a super simple qatayef batter without yeast and without semolina flour. I found that the pancakes were super soft and fluffy and most of all, delicious!
For the batter, whisk together: 1 ½ cups all purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 ½ cup water, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Let the batter rest for ~15 minutes until you see small bubbles formed in it.
HOW TO COOK QATAYEF
Once you see the bubbles, heat your frying pan over the lowest heat.
Drop pancake batter onto the hot pan 1 tablespoon at a time. Gently spread wet batter out immediately so that the pancake is thin and perfectly round.
Let the pancake cook on only 1 side until the surface is no longer sticky or shiny.
Let your pancakes cool completely on a dry towel before filling them.
While the pancakes cool, prepare the ricotta filling and the pistachios.
For the ricotta filling: Whisk together 2 cups of whole milk ricotta cheese, ⅛ cup clotted cream, and 1 tablespoon of the cooled rose water syrup.
In a blender or food processor, pulse the ¼ cup pistachios until they are finely ground up. Pour the pistachios onto a plate for dipping.
HOW TO FILL QATAYEF WITH RICOTTA CREAM
1- Take 1 pancake, press one side firmly between your fingers so that one side sticks together.
2- Add about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture.
3- Dip the end in the pistachios.
And that's it! Easy qatayef, I hope you love these as much as we do!
More Authentic Arabic dessert recipes you might like:
- Basbousa with Cream
- Arabic Walnut Baklava
- Stuffed Dates
- Rose Milk Cake
- Pistachio cardamom cupcakes with rosewater frosting
- Arabic Butter Cookies (Graybeh)
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Qatayef (Middle Eastern Cream Filled Pancakes)
- Frying pan
- cloth towels
For the dipping syrup
- 1 cup raw cane sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- ½ teaspoon rose water
For the qatayef batter
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour gluten free sub 1:1 gluten free flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder, aluminum free
- 2 tablespoon raw cane sugar
- 1 ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the ricotta cheese filling
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese pick the highest quality available
- ⅛ cup clotted cream
- 1 tablespoon cooled syrup from above
- ¼ cup pistachios, finely ground
How to make rose syrup
- In a small saucepan, add 1 cup sugar, ½ cup water, juice of ½ lemon, 1 teaspoon orange blossom water, and ½ teaspoon rose water. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring the syrup to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.Turn off the heat and set syrup aside to cool.
For the pancakes
- In a bowl, add 1 ½ cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 ½ cups water, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.Whisk well to combine.
- Set batter aside for 15 minutes until it is bubbly on the surface.
- Once bubbly, heat a frying pan over low heat.Drop batter by 1 tablespoon scoops.
- Cook pancakes only on 1 side until the surface is no longer sticky & shiny.
- Cool pancakes on a dry towel.
How to make the whipped ricotta filling:
- In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups whole milk ricotta, 2 tablespoons clotted cream, and 1 tablespoon of the cooled rose syrup.Whip until light and fluffy.
How to fill qatayef with cream:
- Take 1 pancake and press half of it between your fingers until the end is stuck together.
- Fill the other end with ~1 tablespoon of ricotta cream.
- Dip the ricotta end in crushed pistachios.
- Arrange on a serving platter around a small bowl of rose syrup.
- These are best eaten fresh the day of. They will last up to 1 day in the fridge covered tightly.
These are the best katayef ever! And I’m sooo glad there was no messing around with yeast! Thanks for another amazing recipe my family loved them
I had soo much fun making such a unique dessert recipe from the other side of the world!! Thanks for bringing such an easy to follow Arabic dessert recipe to us 🙂
I've never made any Arabic recipes but love learning about & trying food from different cultures & being a dessert addict whose trying to eat healthier I'm definitely going to try your recipe as soon as I gather the ingredients & will report back after!😊Also cant wait to make your healthy version of the Dunkin Brown Sugar Cookie Cold Brew w/Foam (sorry if butchered the name lol) coffee as I only got to try it once before they discontinued it!!! Which was probably for the best however given its fat & carb content you so kindly shared! Thanks!!!
I can't wait to hear what you think about your first Arabic dessert! If you love this one, you'll have to try basbousa next 🙂 Haha-- I think the dunkin' name was too long for the menu! It was so delicious I wish they kept it but definitely homemade is better !!