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Aish El Saraya

aish el saraya in a plate with pistachios on top and a piece on a fork

You may be thinking, what is Aish El Saraya? Well, it is a very popular and delicious no-bake Middle Eastern dessert. Aish El Saraya translates in Arabic to “The Palace Bread,” and it’s fitting since this is a bread pudding. What I love about this dessert is how easy it is to put together, and the fact that it can be made a day ahead is a time saver. It is also a crowd-pleaser! You can’t go wrong with this dessert, especially during Ramadan when easy no-fuss desserts are key.

aish el saraya
aish el saraya

How to make Aish El Saraya

  1. There are 3 main components to this dessert. The first layer, the base, is made out of toasted or stale white sliced bread. I don’t recommend using any other bread like wheat for example. The bread is best stale or toasted then soaked rather than using fresh bread.
  2. Simple syrup is also a necessary part of this dessert as it gives a majority of sweetness to this dessert plus the bread gets soaked in this as well. This simple syrup is what you commonly find in Arab desserts like knafeh, hareesa, atayef, baklawa, layali lebnan and so many more. It is just a combination of water and sugar with a tad of orange blossom. It simmers till it slightly thickens and that’s all there is to it!
  3. The milk pudding/clotted cream topping, also known as ashta is what really ties this all together and offers that creaminess you crave in a dessert like this. It has hints of orange blossom like the ashta which is popular with Middle Eastern desserts. I have used variations of it in layali lebnan and my ashta fruit parfaits. Garnish with beautiful pistachios for both color, flavor, and texture.

I will say that I didn’t grow up eating this dessert. After trying it, I wish I had! My Syrian childhood friend, Samira told me about it and shared her aish el-saraya recipe with me, and I was sold. I mean, who doesn’t love bread, cream, syrup, and nuts? This is a rendition of her aish el saraya that she makes for her family.

aish el saraya
aish el saraya

For more no-bake desserts, check out:

Let me know what you think below! Feel free to comment with any questions as well. I would be more than happy to assist. If you snap a shot, share it with me on Instagram!

aish el saraya in a plate with pistachios on top and a piece on a fork
Print Recipe
5 from 18 votes

Aish El Saraya

A Middle Eastern bread pudding that is sweet, creamy, and requires no baking!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Chill time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Arab
Keyword: aish el saraya, bread pudding, Middle Eastern dessert, no bake dessert, ramadan prep, ramadan recipes
Servings: 18 pieces
Author: Heifa

Ingredients

Simple Syrup

  • 1.5 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Orange Blossom Water

Ashta (Cream Layer)

  • 2.5 cups Half n' Half Full Fat
  • 2.5 cups Heavy Cream
  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Orange Blossom Water

Other Ingredients

  • 10 Pieces of White Sliced Toast Bread, trimmed of crust & toasted
  • 1/2 cup Pistachio, crushed

Instructions

  • Start by making the simple syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a pot and stir together. Let this come to a boil for about 10 minutes then simmer for another 5-10 minutes. The syrup should slightly thicken. Add the orange blossom and stir then set aside.
  • Add the toasted white bread to create a layer at the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan. I toasted the white-trimmed sliced bread in the oven at 425 F for about 10 minutes until browned and crispy.
  • Top the toast with a majority of the syrup. The point is to soak the bread in this so be sure to get each piece. I used 3/4 of the syrup and stored the rest to serve on the side for anyone who likes an even sweeter bite.
  • At this point, work on the ashta which is the cream topping. Combine the heavy cream, half n' half, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir together until there are no lumps. This is best with a whisk. Do not do this over any heat. Once mixed, then place the pot over a stovetop and let this mixture simmer for about 15 minutes while consistenctly mixing it until it thickens.
  • You should consistantly stir to avoid scorching the bottom. Once thickened, set aside to cool for 5 min and add the orange blossom and vanilla. Stir again.
  • Spread the ashta on top of the soaked bread into an even thick layer.
  • Cover the pan and place it in the fridge to cool for at least 4 hours before topping with crushed pistachios on top in an even layer. * This dessert is best made the day before and kept in the fridge overnight. I like to add the nuts before serving to preserve freshness.
  • Slice and enjoy! It will be perfectly sweet and creamy. It is such a fabulous make-ahead Middle Eastern dessert.

Notes

This dessert can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.
The simple syrup can also be stored for 2 months in an airtight container or jar in the fridge.

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43 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Dear, is there any other way to make aishta? Any simple recipe without heavy cream and half n half?
    Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    Recipe was perfection! Came out sweet and delicious and looks exactly like the picture! My family ate the whole tray in one sitting. Thank you for an amazing recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely amazing, 20/10! If you’re thinking about making it, just do it! You won’t regret it

  4. Hi, is there an alternative to using corn starch? Also, what would you recommend as a topping instead of the pistachio? Your recipes all look very good!

  5. 5 stars
    This was sooo delicious and easy to make. Everyone loved it! I usually am not a fan of Arab desserts but this was so Yum!! Thank you fufu’s kitchen! I will be making this for my iftars in Ramadan !

  6. 5 stars
    So easy to make and tastes amazing!! I’ve made this recipe multiple times now, it’s a new dessert staple at home

  7. 5 stars
    Tried making this once and have made it three times so far. So quick and easy. I substituted the pistachios with walnuts. The best!!

  8. 5 stars
    I had never heard of Aish El Saraya dessert before. Once I saw Heifa’s post, it looked so delicious, I knew I had to try it. I made it yesterday and it turned out a’H amazing! It’s so good you will not be disappointed. Thank you Heifa for sharing! Looking forward to making it again for my friends i’A.

  9. 5 stars
    I used this recipe and it was amazing! Especially in Ramadan and after a long day of fasting the sweetness really hit the spot!

  10. 5 stars
    Easy and very delicious recipe! So much simpler than other Aish El Saraya recipe out there. First time I ever tried making this before and it went so smoothly. Got lots of compliments at my iftar. Will definitely be bookmarking this one 🙂

  11. One of the best desserts I’ve had! I love it so much I’ve made it 3x this Ramadan for my family. They all love it and always say it’s the best dessert on the table. Thanks Fufu!

  12. 5 stars
    This recipe is SO easy to follow!!! I made it for my family and everyone loved it . This has easily become my favorite dessert. Tastes incredible!!!! Highly recommended trying out this recipe.

  13. 5 stars
    I came to know about this sweet dish from your website. Tried making it and loved it absolutely. The taste of cream with a tint of orange flavor was new to me and it was delicious. Thank you for this recipe dear.

  14. I’ve made this twice for my family and both times everybody loved it! Glad I found a foolproof recipe to follow for this delicious dessert.

  15. 5 stars
    Hello, thank you for this delicious recipes. I got the flavoring right which is delicious. I’m having a hard time getting the cream milk to thicken. It always comes out more liquid not custard. I used the exact recipe and steps. Any tips?

    1. Hi Nancy,
      My pleasure! I recommend keeping stirring past the 15 minutes and having the heat on medium heat. Eventually, it will thicken, and as it cools, it should thicken even more.

    1. Try amping up the heat next time or you can always add more starch before heating it up if you are having the issue of it being too liquidy. It should be liquid but have a thicker pourable liquid consistency.

  16. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time and my entire family loved it, so I made it another time for an iftaar I was hosting and they all licked their plates clean!!

  17. 5 stars
    I made this recipe 3 times now and omg it’s addicting and such a wonderful light dessert. This is one of my favorite recipes that’s will be making over and over again.

  18. اسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته.
    I have to make this recipe! I simply loved my restaurant take out so much that I didn’t want to share with my kids! Could I use gluten-free white bread and honey to make the syrup? I guess the flavor will be different, but I’m avoiding gluten and refined sugar.

    1. Salam Syeda,
      You can use GF white bread toast in this case but I wouldn’t recommend the honey route as the flavor and texture wont taste the same. Best of luck!

  19. Trying this recipe. My cream wasn’t thickening. Used 2.5 cups of half and half and whipping cream and the corn starch. What could it be from?

    1. Hi,
      If it isn’t thickening which takes a bit of time btw of constant stirring; check your heat level. I would do medium heat with constant stirring-this can take 15-20 min at times and then should thicken even more as it cools and sets.

  20. 5 stars
    hi heifa I loved this recipe I got an A on my project from this but I sadly lost my girlfriend In the GF bread anyways this it was delicious even with my girlfriend in it 5 stars.

  21. 5 stars
    If the toast is dry and the ashta is too thick how can I fix the problem? I made it yesterday but today it’s not creamy and the toast is dry

    1. Hi Helena,
      If the toast is dry then that it means it wasn’t soaked enough in syrup. It is possible it was under soaked as it can be deceiving how much the bread actually absorbs the syrup but it is good to know for next time. As for the cream topping, more than likely the heat was too high and it was cooked for too long which in turn when chilled became very thick. Although, it may have not came out perfect; I hope it is still tasty! You can always drizzle syrup on top for more sweetness and to counter the bread being on the drier side.

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