Aish El Saraya
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.
How to make Aish El Saraya
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
For more no-bake desserts, check out:
- Chocolate Lazy Cake
- Nescafe Cake
- Biscoff Cheesecake
- Lotus Cake
- Chocolate Mousse
- Layali Lebnan
- Ashta Fruit Parfait
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
- 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
- 10 Pieces of White Sliced Toast Bread, trimmed of crust & toasted
- 1/2 cup Pistachio, crushed
- 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.
Dear, is there any other way to make aishta? Any simple recipe without heavy cream and half n half?
Yes, you will need dairy like heavy cream or half n half or milk to make ashta.
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!
I am so happy to hear! Thanks, Amel!
Absolutely amazing, 20/10! If you’re thinking about making it, just do it! You won’t regret it
Thank you, Zeenah!
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!
Hi, you can try thickening with all-purpose flour and if you can’t do pistachios, try walnuts.
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 !
Thanks so much, Rubina!
So easy to make and tastes amazing!! I’ve made this recipe multiple times now, it’s a new dessert staple at home
Tried making this once and have made it three times so far. So quick and easy. I substituted the pistachios with walnuts. The best!!
That makes me so happy to hear, thank you!
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.
I am thrilled you gave it a chance and enjoyed it!
I used this recipe and it was amazing! Especially in Ramadan and after a long day of fasting the sweetness really hit the spot!
I am so happy you enjoyed it!
Incredible recipe! Tried today and absolutely loved it! Can’t wait to make it again
Thanks so much!
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 🙂
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!
Thank you so much! I actually made it today for a gathering. It is definitely a crowd-pleaser.
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.
Thanks for the lovely review, Deema!
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.
My pleasure, Shereen
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.
I am so happy to hear that!
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?
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.
Thank you for the reply. I actually stirred passed 15 mins and still liquid
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.