Jordan is a great tourist destination. Here, you can educate yourself about ancient Middle Eastern heritage and indulge in delicious traditional foods and Jordanian sweets.
There are more than 100,000 religious and archeological sites, as well as many other prominent Jordan landmarks to visit and enjoy your time.
Most importantly, Jordan is known for its tempting food and delectable Jordanian sweets. The sweets from this Arab state are really to die for.
What Is Special About Jordanian Sweets?
Jordanian sweets might be a surprise if you think this country is only known for its meats and non-vegetarian cuisine.
Most travelers are familiar with the world-renowned baklava, but desserts in Jordan are not limited to just that. You will find plenty of influences from the Middle East and Asia regions.
Warbat, kunafeh, and hareeseh are also delicious and hearty traditional sweet dishes. They also have awwameh, barazek, umm Ali, and the famous halva to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Most Famous Jordanian Sweet
Baklava (Filo Jordanian Sweet)
If you have tried various cuisines throughout the globe, then you will know about the first item on our list. The world-famous baklava is a significant part of Jordanian sweets.
This Jordanian dessert has layers of dough made of filo pastry. It is filled with fresh and crunchy chopped nuts and roasted pistachios and topped with sweet syrup or honey.
Baklava comes in various shapes and styles. In Jordan, you can find it diamond-shaped or like a mini bird’s nest, made of vermicelli. You can enjoy the hearty Jordanian baklava from local restaurants, bakeries, and street vendors.
Jordanian Sweets – Pastries
Knafeh (Cheese Pastry)
Knafeh is a Middle Eastern pastry with many admirers. It is also eaten and loved in many other Arab countries outside Jordan. It is traditionally made with finely shredded filo dough known as kadaif or kataifi, akawi cheese, and clarified butter.
After baking, these Jordanian sweets are drizzled with aromatic rose water and topped with crushed pistachios and walnuts. The thick and sweet rose water syrup is credited for its sweetness and fragrant character. Nowadays, a few drops of orange dye are also added in kadaif for a bright color.
This sweet Jordanian dessert has a crispy exterior with a soft interior that melts in your mouth. You can enjoy this versatile pastry warm or cold with tea or coffee.
Warbat (Jordanian Sweet Pastry)
Warbat is an Arabic pastry soaked in sugar syrup, primarily made in triangular shapes. It is very similar to baklava. Warbat is originally from Jordan, but its variations are present everywhere in the Middle East.
Warbat is very common and a favorite among Jordanians throughout the year. During holidays, and especially during Ramadan, it becomes an essential item among other traditional Jordanian foods.
Warbat is filled with custard or cream, making it even more sweet. They can also be topped with almonds, sweet cheese, walnuts, or pistachios. The pastries are then drizzled with sweet syrup made from water, sugar and a small amount of lemon juice.
The cream filling and the toppings make it very sweet, so most people serve this Jordanian sweet with strong Arabic coffee.
Burma (Rolled Baklava)
Burma is a unique Jordanian sweet with many fans throughout the world. It is basically rolled baklava with chopped nuts and a sweeter flavor. Its rich and hearty taste makes it a favorite confectionery of the locals.
This Jordanian dessert is made from a shredded wheat roll stuffed with chopped nuts. The pastry is tightly rolled and then deep fried. Finally, it is drizzled with sugar and honey syrup.
This twisted Jordanian candy is tasty enough to steal any heart. The outer texture is flaky and crispy and has even more chopped nuts to add a satisfying crunch.
Traditional Cakes In Jordanian Desserts
Basbousa (Samolina Cake)
Basbousa is another dessert in Jordan with origins in Egypt. It is a semolina cake baked in a pan, making it both easy and quick to make.
The inner filling of this Jordanian sweet features coconut, orange, tahini, almond, and honey. The semolina batter is baked and sweetened with orange flower water. Finally, it is cut into a diamond shape and sprinkled with peanuts before serving.
Every bite of this sweet Jordan food gives a dominant buttery and nutty flavor. Overall, it is dense, moist and aromatic.
Hareeseh (Syrup-Soaked Semolina Cake)
Hareeseh is the Jordanian dessert that never disappoints. This Middle East confectionery is known as namoura or revani in different regions.
You will find a new name and recipe for this traditional Jordanian food anywhere you go. But the final steps of soaking the sweet in syrup and topping with almonds are always the same.
The typical Jordan version of hareeseh is made with semolina and durum flour. Overall, this dessert has a rich texture and delicious flavor.
Helbeh (Fenugreek Semolina Cake)
Some Jordanian sweets are not only delicious but also healthy. Helbeh cake is a nutritious cake with strong flavors. According to the Jordanian culture, this cake is often presented to new mothers as a gift.
The main ingredients of this cake are boiled helba seeds, fenugreek, semolina, and flour. All the ingredients are mixed, placed in a tray, and baked. After baking, the raised dough is drizzled with a sweet syrup.
Locals enjoy this healthy Jordanian sweet in the winter. It is a fulfilling and warming treat. You can get this mouth-watering treat from local bakeries.
Qatayef (Arabian Pancake)
If you ever visit Jordan, don’t forget to try qatayef. This must-try Jordanian dessert has numerous variations, but the most satisfying are the ones in Jordan.
Qatayef is a pancake mix filled with chopped nuts. It is mostly formed in an iconic crescent shape. The sweet is deep fried until golden brown and then served with sweet syrup.
This dessert in Jordan always remains on the top menu during the fasting month. It has a super crunchy exterior with nutty and sweet flavors.
Puddings In Jordanian Desserts
Umm Ali (Bread Pudding)
Umm Ali is a Jordanian sweet known by many different names, all translating to “The Mother of Ali.” This ancient pudding is a traditional Egyptian dessert invented centuries ago. According to folklore, it is named after a Sultan’s wife, who ordered her chefs to prepare a new dessert for a celebration.
Umm Ali has become a staple for special occasions throughout the Middle East. In Jordan, Umm Ali always remains a crowd-pleaser.
It feels like eating a bread pudding or mashed puff pastry with nuts and raisins. The puff pastry has a crispy texture combined with a sweet creamy flavor.
Burbara (Wheat Berry Pudding)
Burbara is a Middle Eastern vegetarian wheat berry pudding. Levant Christians usually prepare this dessert to celebrate Saint Barbara’s Day. Similarly, Jordanians also make it on the 4th of December to celebrate this day.
This Jordanian sweet has a creamy yet earthy flavor. It is seasoned with cinnamon and anise seeds and topped with nuts, dried fruits, coconut, and pomegranate seeds. Candy-coated fennel is also added to give it a colorful look.
This Jordanian dessert has a soupy, porridge-like consistency. You can enjoy it both warm and cold.
Jordanian Sweets And Cookies
Barazek (Sesame Seed And Pistachio Cookies)
Barazek are sweet Jordanian cookies made from ghee and flour. They have a buttery golden color and flavor with a crispy texture.
One side of these cookies is coated with sugar, honey, and chopped pistachios. The other side is covered with sesame seeds.
The amazing combination of sesame seeds with pistachios and honey makes them incredibly yummy. The crackling of sesame seeds followed by a layer of fresh pistachios makes the barazek one of the best cookies in Jordan.
Maamoul (Date Cookies)
Maamoul is a Middle Eastern stuffed buttery cookie popular across the Arab world. These cookies are also iconic Jordanian sweets and snacks. They are most often prepared during special occasions such as Easter, Purim, Eid, and Christmas.
This Jordanian sweet is made with semolina flour and loaded with Jordanian dates. The stuffing might also include walnuts and pistachios. They deliver a vanilla-like flavor with a robust center-filling.
Maamouls are made with hands or wooden molds to create different shapes and designs on the top. They usually come in a crescent, round or flat shape. Arabic coffee and chocolate are the best things to serve with these Jordanian cookies.
Fried Jordanian Sweets
Awameh (Fried Dough Balls)
No doubt, awameh is one of the reasons for the popularity of Jordan sweets. Hundreds of people crave these adorable sweet balls throughout the world. If you ever get a chance to try them, you will know why everyone gets crazy for them.
Awameh is a simple and plain doughnut ball with sweet syrup. The delight is made with all-purpose flour, cornstarch, cardamom powder, dry yeast, and cooking oil. Sometimes, additional ingredients are used for flavoring.
The fluffy confectionery is drizzled with honey and is usually served with coffee or tea. You can get it any time of the year, but it is especially popular during Ramadan.
Zalabiyeh (Deep-Fried Fritters)
Zalabiyeh is a very ancient Jordanian dessert, with many other similar varieties in different countries. It is a popular sweet for festivals such as diwali in India or during Ramadan. That is why it’s as famous as jalebi in Pakistan among the locals
Zalabiyeh is made from a mixture of water, salt, yeast, and wheat flour. They are deep-fried fritters, quite similar to awameh. However, zalabiyeh is sweeter because it is dipped in honey or sprinkled with icing sugar.
Halva (Traditional Jordanian Candy)
Halva is a Jordanian sweet that has many recipes, and you are sure to find a new taste every time you eat it.
The Jordanian halva is a mixture of tahini, sugar, and soapwort. It has a cube shape with a crumbly texture. It is flavored with notes of pistachios, pine nuts, almonds, sesame seeds, vanilla, and chocolate.
In Jordan, halva is very popular among the natives and one of the most beloved street foods. The dessert is served chilled with a topping of nuts.
Discovering Delicious Jordanian Sweets
Jordanian sweets mostly contain flaky dough, pistachios, rose water, cheese, honey, semolina and dates. Jordanian baklava and knafeh are the best and most popular sweet dishes in this Arab region. You can find many local shops solely serving baklava and knafeh in Amman and Jerash.
There’s a traditional Jordanian dessert for every local and tourist alike. Where the creamy puddings give you a hearty dessert experience, Jordanian date cookies, and pastries pair perfectly with your evening tea while you visit different landmarks and learn interesting Jordanian facts.