Aish el saraya

30 min.
Aish el Saraya is an ideal dessert to serve at the end of an iftar meal. In it, tender, creamy layers of enriched, sweetened bread and cream come together to create a rich, mouth-wateringly tasty dish. Baked to golden perfection and sprinkled with ground pistachios, this bread pudding-like treat looks enticing and tastes amazing. Fortunately, it is very simple to make! Use our easy Aish el Saraya recipe this Ramadan to make a traditional and delicious dessert in a baked version.


4 portions


Cream Mixture:



  • Caramel:

  • Cream Mixture:

  • Assemble the dish:


If you do not have any toast in the pantry, other types of bread like white bread, sandwich bread, brioche bread, or even rusks may also be used for aish el saraya. Since the bread is enriched with melted butter and flavoured with sweet milk, there is no need to use freshly baked or just bought bread. Rather, you can use toast or bread that seems to have somewhat passed its prime. As such, this aish el saraya recipe can be a delicious and practical way for you to use stale bread rather than simply tossing it.

Questions about aish el saraya

Making a tasty and traditional Ramadan dessert is incredibly easy with our recipe for aish el saraya. To learn more about this delicious dessert, read our answers to the most frequently asked questions below.
What is aish el saraya?

Aish el saraya, or 'palace bread', is so named because it turns a humble ingredient like bread into a dessert worthy of royalty. The bread pudding-like dessert, which is popular across much of the Middle East, features layers of sweetened and spiced bread and simple cream or ashta cream. The white bread is enriched with melted butter and flavoured with a thick milk mixture that usually has aromatic ingredients like cardamom, rosewater, and semolina in it. Aish el saraya, which may be served either baked or unbaked, is most often garnished with decorative, green pistachios.

How to make aish el saraya?

Sweet bread, cream, sugar syrup, and pistachios – what is not to like about these traditional aish el saraya ingredients? To make aish el saraya, prepare the bread by cutting it into crustless pieces, soaking the pieces in butter, and covering them with cream. Cook thickened sweet milk with semolina, sugar, cardamom, and rosewater. Use a fork to make holes in the cream layer to allow the milk mixture to seep into the bread base beneath. Bake the dessert until golden. Soak it with syrup and wait for it to cool before slicing and serving it garnished with pistachios.

Can you make aish el saraya in advance?

Since aish el saraya is served chilled, whether it is baked or unbaked, you can easily make it ahead of time. After it has cooled, simply cover it, and place it in the fridge until you are ready to dig in. To keep it moist and ensure the soft, creamy consistency for which it is known, do not cut it into rectangles until you serve it. To preserve the freshness and crunch of the pistachios, use them to garnish the dessert right before you serve your aish el saraya.

How long will aish el saraya last?

When stored properly, homemade aish el saraya will keep for 2-3 days. Either wrap the oven dish in which you have cooked it tightly with cling film or transfer your leftover dessert to an airtight container. Freezing the dessert is not recommended as the sticky, almost caramelised breadcrumbs and broiled cream are likely to undergo textural changes in the freezer.

Other recipes you will love

Baked aish el saraya with cream

This classic dish turns humble ingredients like bread, butter, and milk into a deliciously tender dessert. In an aish el saraya dessert, white toast is moistened and flavoured first with melted butter and then with a thick milk mixture with sugar, semolina, and ground cardamom.

The result is a flavourful, tender bread base perfect for topping with rich cream allowed to broil in the oven. The finished dessert is, as is standard for many delicious Middle Eastern desserts, drenched with simple syrup to ensure it is moist and sweet. It may be served with homemade syrup on the side allowing family and guests to adjust the level of sweetness individually.

Sweet, soft, and creamy layers with crunchy pistachios on top

The best aish el saraya recipe allows you to make a dessert that will delight anyone lucky enough to get a taste of it. The flavour profile of the bread base is quite multi-faceted. It is rich, milky, and buttery but is brightened by the powerful flavours of semolina, ground cardamom, and rosewater that imbue it with nutty, citrussy, and floral qualities. The aromatic nature of this combination is a true Middle Eastern classic.

The contrasts between the spiced and sweetened bread, the unsweetened but naturally rich and velvety cream, and the crunchy and nutty pistachios are amazing. For more tasty desserts featuring pistachios and cream, check out our recipes for qatayef, balah al sham, and mafroukeh.

Traditional sweet dessert for Ramadan

Though it may also be served as an even quicker no-bake dessert, baking your aish el saraya deepens its flavours and gives it a different look as the cream turns a lovely golden colour. As it bakes, the aromatic ingredients used to flavour the bread are allowed to develop and grow. The sugar in the base melts and gives the dessert an almost caramelised and toffee-like taste that makes the sweetness of it quite complex and interesting.

Add your own touch

An easy way to make this recipe your own is to experiment with crunchy toppings. For a bright addition that will freshen the rich and somewhat heavy dish, try using pomegranate seeds. These ruby-red, jewel-like seeds will look beautiful with the green pistachios and burst with flavourful juice as you bite into them. Their sweet-sour flavour will offset the buttery, creamy goodness of a baked aish el saraya.

Another way to mix things up with your aish el saraya recipe is to add other or additional spices to the sweetened milk used to flavour the toast. Tasty options, that will also taste great with the traditional cardamom, include sweet-spicy cinnamon and aromatic allspice. The milk may, of course, also be flavoured with other aromatics like floral orange blossom water or sweet, warming vanilla instead of rosewater.

Tasty. Yummy. Good!

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