Tuesday May 21st, 2024
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The Ultimate Guide to Cairo’s Quirkiest Ramadan Desserts

Take our hand as we explore some of the craziest confectionaries in Cairo available all through Ramadan.

Layla Raik

The Ultimate Guide to Cairo’s Quirkiest Ramadan Desserts

Somewhere in between the once-novel mango kunafa and the young Metsha’leba, we found ourselves at a loss for words. The yearly shock never loses its edge, especially when every other local patisserie is busy crafting up the next big internet-breaking dessert. At this point, it’s become embarrassing to just bring a regular kunafa to a Ramadan gathering.

That said, the dessert scene in Egypt has become perhaps a tad too confusing for the average non-TikTok-obsessed consumer. So, we put our screen time to good use and compiled this guide to quirky - and delicious - Ramadan desserts to look out for this year…

Berry Karkade Boba | Momochi

Last year, Momochi wowed everyone with Sobia boba. This year, they’re pairing the traditional Ramadan drink with its well-known sister, karkade, with the added sting of berries. The spot also continues to serve its basbousa and Sobia mochi.

Odret Fati’s | Fati’s

After many a Ramadan spent huddled around our grandmothers’ coffee tables for dessert after Iftar, we’ve become well-acquainted with creamy Odret Ader. Just as we were starting to get comfortable, Fati’s swooped in and put little twists on the dessert to make it into Odret Fati’s: a mega doughnut stuffed with crème caramel, glazed with double chocolate glaze and topped off with soaked chocolate cake and a drizzle of Belgian chocolate. 

Lotus & Nutella Balah El Sham | Salé Sucré

As if balah el sham wasn’t perfect enough as it is, Salé Sucré decided to amp it up a notch with Lotus- and Nutella-stuffed Balah El Sham, topped with hazelnuts. It’s like the spirit of mahshi in sweet form.

Upside-Down Basmoula | TBS

TBS’ notorious Basmoula has seemingly entered the Upside Down. However, rather than becoming eerily dishevelled, the dessert has simply increased in cream, Basmoula, as well as your choice of strawberry, mango or mixed Yamish.

Pistachio Tiramisu with Chai Karak | Kakaw

We’d be lying if we said that - despite our unending devotion for kunafa and our undying commitment for atayef - we didn’t miss a classic tiramisu every once in a while. Tiramisu-dedicated spot Kakaw brings Ramadan flavours to its dishes with Karak-tea-infused pistachio tiramisu, Arabic coffee and dates tiramisu, and coffee caramel tiramisu.

Molten San Sebastian Kunafa | Tortina

The San Sebastian cheesecake has taken over the better part of our social media feeds and dessert plates for the past year. Tortina is incorporating it into a kunafa-infused platter that is sure to wow your gathering guests.

Date Mille-feuille | Chouchou

Together with their vanilla and pecan basbousa, Chouchou’s Date Mille-feuille offers a Parisian twist on your Ramadan dessert table.

Date Mousse Qeshtaya | La Poire

Instead of breaking your fast on the traditional date, consider breaking it on La Poire’s delectable creamy Date Mousse Qeshtaya.

Kunafa Sambousak | El Abd Patisserie

Whether it’s sambousa or sambousak, El Abd is making it out of kunafa this year. That’s right, the dessert pioneers are ditching the usual puff pastry for straight-up kunafa, and filling it with cream, chocolate, or Lotus spread.

Kunafa Pyramids | El Malky

Could this be the eighth wonder of the world? El Malky has constructed a monument to confectionaries with their Kunafa Pyramid, which is exactly what it sounds like. Dare you scale this monolith of sweetness? With flavours like chocolate, mango, pistacho, toffee and dates, El Malky recommends a party of 12 to embark on this candied expedition - but when have we ever listened to the rules?

Balah El Sham Ice Cream | Dukes

Most of the time you bite into Balah El Sham, you know exactly what kind of treat you're about to chew into. But Dukes has a surprise in store the next time you pop one of these into your mouth - sweet, sweet ice cream, stuffed inside each morsel of Balah El Sham.

Baklava Tres Leches | Weirdough

There's layers to culinary cosmopolitanism, and Weirdough’s Baklava Tres Leches is not afraid to make all of them as saccharine as our passport allows. Tres leches? More like tres bon.

Banoffee Kunafa Tart | Nola

Banoffee tarts with kunafa are a delightful dance of sweet indulgence, where the creamy banana-toffee symphony meets the crispy embrace of golden kunafa strands. A match made in dessert heaven.

Sobia Cloud Bowl | Aboullaban

Here you have layers of fluffy cake enveloped in a dreamy creme concoction, with a generous drizzle of milk and condensed milk. The king of this dessert, however, is the Sobia infusion, sprinkled with a hint of cinnamon and crowned with delectable pistachio praline.

Loqmet El-Basha | Dolato

Coconut sponge cake meets a creamy surprise, all held together by a secret blend of tradition-infused magic. And the pièce de résistance? Finely chopped pistachios for that extra nutty thrill.

Ramadan Pastry | Ladurée

This treat is more than meets the eye. The Pistachio Breton shortbread brings the crunch, while mascarpone cream provides a hint of rose and orange blossom. Almond rice pudding provides the cosy vibes, and mingles with the fruity kick of clementine confit. And if that’s not crowded enough for you? A white chocolate crown with pistachio leaves because why not? Everyone’s invited.

Le Sakalans | EBY Bakehouse

Take our hand as we walk you through just what it’s like to get a bite of Le Sakalans by EBY Bakehouse on our iftar table. Picture a soft brioche base, like a welcoming embrace, inviting you into a world where each layer tells a story of flavour and finesse. The first bite reveals the subtle sweetness of the fluffy brioche, laying the foundation for the symphony of sensations to follow. A strawberry punch brings a burst of fruity bliss, harmonizing with the rich, cream-filled pastry and the silky smoothness of ganache montée.

As your taste buds revel in the experience, the strawberry coulis cuts through with its vibrant tang, accompanied by the delightful crunch of Halawa crumble. The dessert reaches its crescendo with the freshness of hand picked strawberries, the dainty allure of mini macarons, and the drizzle of honey, crowned by fragrant tonka bean shavings.

‘Break It’ Kunafa Brownie Cake & Cannoli Goulash | Sultana

Hit ice cream parlour and bakery Sultana is bringing serious game to this year's Ramadan desserts, with decadent delicacies such as their new ‘Break It’ Kunafa Brownie cake and a Cannoli Goulash. Smash through the belgian chocolate layer at the top of the cake, or pick a cannoli from the stacked goulash and prepare to have your sweet tooth satisfied to the Nth degree.

Pistachio Baklava Tres Leches | Canelé

Canelé largely targeted the classic baklava, spinning up three new slightly French variations: the berry-covered cheesecake baklava, a caramelised banana baklava, and an elegant-looking pecan and salted caramel baklava. Besides that, their pistachio baklava tres leches is a multi-tiered fantastical creation, covered in pistachio-encrusted floss halva.

Ramadan Pastry | Ladurée

Iconic French patisserie Ladurée is throwing its beret into the Ramadan ring, making itself a place on our Iftar buffets and Suhoor spreads with a new pistachio pastry.

This festive centerpiece, designed for eight people, features a crumbly pistachio Breton shortbread base, redolent of the nut's earthy sweetness. Atop this sits a Oriental mascarpone cream, subtly scented with rose and orange blossom for an evocative floral touch. Almond rice pudding adds a comforting layer, while candied clementine jewels provide bursts of citrusy sunshine. The dessert is then crowned with a veil of white chocolate and a sprinkling of delicate pistachio slivers, a truly decadent finale for your Ramadan festivities.

For those who prefer a smaller treat, Ladurée also offers this delectable combination in individual pastries. Sharing is caring, after all.

Basbousa Eclairs | Bouchée

You’re walking along the Seine with a delicious pastry in your hand, when you suddenly see the Eiffel tower- hold on, wait. You’re actually at home in Egypt during Iftar, and you’ve just finished selecting the most succulent piece of basbousa. You can be excused if you feel like you’ve travelled to France in some flavour-based temporal anomaly; Bouchée’s new Basbousa Eclairs has transformed the heady decadence of this classic Egyptian dessert with the sweet style of traditional French pastry.

These tender, crumbly sweets have all the basbousa flavour we love packed into the long, slender shape of a classic eclair. This heavenly semolina cake is drenched in syrup (just like every good basbousa should be), and then topped with a ribbon of creme that would make any Parisian patisserie proud.

Mochi Ice Cream Cakes | M’oishi

Famed mochi spot M’oishi has put out all-new ice cream cakes in the shape of gigantic mochi, and in an array of exclusive Ramadan flavours. Circled in a layer of rice dough, the cakes come in four flavours: cinna-date, pistachio eshta sahlab, mango berries and Belgian crunch. The dessert, layered with ice cream and cake, can treat up to eight persons!

Citron Oriental | Fôu by Farah

Fôu by Farah’s architecture of taste philosophy is taking on an Arabian Nights aesthetic this Ramadan, with cardamom-infused coffee bites, hefty date cakes, tonka-infused banoffee kunafa and even hazelnut-praline-adorned popcorn kunafa. You could also indulge in an orange blossom kunafa flan, nut-heavy pistachio dream, or the floral strawberry jasmine Charlotte.

In the savoury area, Fôu’s molasses halva focaccia makes for the perfect suhoor, one that satisfies a hunger that is more than physical. The collection’s piece de resistance, however, is a dessert titled Citron Oriental, made from a fluffy olive oil lemon sponge base, covered in a thick lemon cream, Habbat Al Baraka croustillant, and a light Star Anis Chantilly. It sounds, looks and tastes like a piece of art.

Pecan Cream Baklava | Nutcracker

A seemingly unassuming cake-shaped dessert, the Nutcracker’s baklava is a packed stack of filo pastry sheets held together by hefty dollops of pecan cream. Just when you think it doesn’t get much creamier (or much more pecan) than that, the dessert is topped off with a layer of cream, an assortment of pecans and a drizzle of sweet syrup.

Cairo Zaman | Madeleine by MH

Madeleine’s piece de resistance is Cairo Zaman, a date cake covered in the domes and minarets that embodies the essence of Cairo. The dessert is made up of a tart shell filled with cake, topped with date purée, caramel sauce and a vanilla whipped ganache, with date inserts that make up the dessert’s domes.

Yameesh Pavlova | L'amandine

When a dish merges an Australian Pavlova with Egyptian yameesh for a Ramadan treat, you know it's unique. French-style bakery L'amandine is serving up Yameesh Pavlova for the holy month, making our Iftars just a bit sweeter with its multicultural flavours.

With their Yameesh Pavlova, you get a fluffy, cloud-like meringue base, delicately sweet and perfectly crispy on the outside, topped with a creamy crown fit for dessert royalty. Resting gently atop this heavenly creation are plump, juicy dried apricots, prunes, figs, and dates, adding a burst of natural sweetness and a delightful chewy texture.

Shay b Laban Kunafa | Coppermelt

What screams Ramadan more than the iconic duo of kunafa and shay b laban? Coppermelt took this classic combo to new heights with their latest dessert innovation. By striking the perfect balance between tea and kunafa, they've crafted a treat where the sweet crunch of kunafa harmonizes magically with the creamy essence of tea.


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