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Top 5 Jordanian Sweets: The Best Desserts Of Jordan

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2 months ago

Jordanian sweets have garnered a reputation for themselves for their exciting flavors and textures. Yes, you can find baklava in Jordan, but there are quite a few uniquely Jordanian desserts that you must try during your travels to Jordan.

We’ve rounded up the best Jordanian sweets that you should absolutely try. And remember, if some of these Jordanian desserts look similar to you, it’s likely because you’ve seen them at a Lebanese or a Syrian restaurant. After all, the food from this part of the world has a lot of overlap.

Pistachio cake in a glass cover in a cafe in Amman
Amman’s Cafes are filled with great sweets

And make sure to check out Jordan’s incredible savory options as well. You won’t be left wanting.

6. Qatayef

Qatayef is commonly found around the Middle East, but the Jordanians tend to put cinnamon on top which creates an entirely different flavor. Qatayef are essentially Middle Eastern pancakes that are filled with nuts (usually pistachios or walnuts). You can also get it with clotted cream.

Freshly fried qatayef with walnuts and cream
Freshly fried qatayef with walnuts and ashta inside

You can even ask for your qatayef not to be deep fried if you prefer a softer texture rather than crunch.

5. Knafeh – but make it ice-cream!

Knafeh has become synonymous with Middle Eastern dessert around the world. You’ll find it in virtually all Mediterranean countries including Türkiye, Greece, Lebanon and Syria.

Knafeh is a dessert layered with sweet cheese or clotted cream, topped with angel hair pastry known as kataifi and then sugar syrup known as attar is poured on top. There’s also usually a hint of rosewater or orange blossom.

Knafeh with sugar syrup and pistachio crumbs on top
Knafeh, the way it’s traditionally made

But in Jordan, you can find an ice-cream version of knafeh which is absolutely wonderful. It’s an interesting texture that feels like the Middle East in a bite. You can also find so many pistachio-flavored ice creams in supermarkets throughout Jordan that are definitely worth trying.

Tub of knafeh flavored ice cream on a metal bench - delicious jordanian sweets
Look at for this in a supermarket in Jordan

Knafeh is also ubiquitous throughout the country, whether on the street or in restaurants. Knafeh is a must-try dessert in Jordan and the Middle East generally, but in Jordan you can find some new and interesting flavors that are hard to come by elsewhere.

Look out for the lotus biscoff, caramel and pistachio flavors. We love when places get creative about traditional foods, and there is no dessert better to get creative with than knafeh.

knafe from papa kanafe - one of the most famous jordanian sweets
All the innovative flavors of knafeh that you can find at Amman’s Papa Kanafa

4. Mahalabiyeh

This is a gorgeous milk pudding made with rice and flavored with rosewater. You can find it topped with pistachios, ground cardamon and even a sweet cherry. Unlike a lot of other Middle Eastern sweets, mahalabiyeh doesn’t feel as heavy. It can even be a better choice than ice cream for a warmer day.

mahalabiyeh dessert Jordanian sweets
Mahalabiyeh with crushed pistachios and almonds

The Jordanians make mahalabiyeh with cornflour and top it with pistachios or chopped almonds which gives that extra crunch.

3. Halawet El Jibn

This literally translates to sweet of cheese. Halawet el jibn is made from rolls of sweet cheese that acts as dough and then is stuffed with clotted cream known as ashta and topped with pistachios.

Halawet El Jibn in Jordan - an important jordanian sweets
Halawet el jibn is always presented beautifully

You can also find this on streets in Amman, but the best place to try it is at Fakhreldin Restaurant – one of our favorite restaurants in Amman. The food there generally is absolutely fantastic, but they’ve mastered the art of halawet el jibn.

2. Feteer Meshaltet

Jordanians will sometimes jokingly refer to this as Jordanian pizza because it can be made as both savoury and sweet. We prefer the sweet version, naturally.

Feteer consists of many thin layers of dough with butter throughout and sometimes a filling. If it’s not filled, it will usually be topped with nutella, mahalabiyeh (one of the other amazing Jordanian sweets) or dates. It’s also sometimes soaked in honey which is very gluttonous. 

Nutella feteer traditional sweet of Jordan
Your Nutella hazelnut banana dreams

The best place to try feteer is at Fatatri in downtown Amman. They have truly perfected the recipe, and the atmosphere of the restaurant is amazing because it’s right in the thick of Rainbow Street.

Rainbow Street can be very busy, so it’s not the best place to take children to – especially at night.

1. Kullaj

Kullaj is a flaky pastry filled with heavy cream, sweet cheese or ground walnuts. After the phyllo pastry is deep fried, pistachio is sprinkled all over it.

You’re always given a sugar syrup that is mixed with either orange blossom water or rosewater to dip it in. If you’ve ever had gelaktaboureko in Greece, this is a similar, Levantine version. I would recommend that you try kullaj with the heavy cream (ashta). It’s so satisfying.

trays of kullaj a traditional sweet of Jordan
Sweet, sweet kullaj

You’ll be able to find kullaj in food markets throughout Jordan. It looks like a parcel filled with that incredible cheese custard.

When you’re travelling in Jordan, don’t be afraid to try the street food. Like anywhere selling food on the street, keep your wits about you. But generally speaking, if you see locals eating at a street food stall, you’ll be fine to join in and enjoy the same food with them.

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