Pancakes with clotted cream and cherry sauce (Atayef bel Ashta w Karaz)

Atayef are the equivalent  of American pancakes; they contain no eggs; they are only cooked on one side; stuffed with either nuts or cream or cheese; served with a flavored  syrup.

Atayef  are considered a dessert, not a breakfast food; in Beirut, there are shops where people order these; you can get the clotted cream or ashta there and the syrup as well. They are the traditional pastries that are served during Ramadan.


  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon of dry milk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon  of baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar


  1. Proof the yeast by combining it with 1/4 cup of warm water, a teaspoon of sugar; place in a warm place and let it foam.
  2. In a small bowl, sift the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda; mix with a wire whisk.
  3. Pour one cup of  warm water into a bowl; add the powdered milk and stir to combine well.
  4. Mix with the wire whisk; add the flour mixture and stir; the consistency should be a little thicker than a crêpe batter. If the batter is too thick, add a little water.
  5. Heat a crêpe or pancake nonstick skillet till very hot; grease it with a half teaspoon of oil or spray it;  place the equivalent of 1/4 cup of batter in the skillet to  form a circle. Let it cook for a few minutes on one side; when it has formed little bubbles and it looks dry, take it out onto a plate. Do not flip it.
  6. As soon as all the atayefs are cooked, fill them with some ashta (cream), a bit of cherry coulis, pinching  on one end to form a spoon shape and place in a serving platter; serve right away or within one hour.

To make the ashta or cream: click here or substitute ricotta, sweetened with  sugar to taste.

To make the cherry sauce:

  1. I used a can of sour cherry jam, some fresh cherries deseeded and a tablespoon of starch (corn or wheat); bring to a simmer and stir until the mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes; cool and serve.
  2. Substitute: red currant jam with some fresh or frozen cherries.

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  1. Posted June 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Ah oui je les ai vus quelque part, mais je ne me souviens plus ou, ca ressemble un peu a un crumpet, non? j’adore les petits trous :o) hmm ta crème toute onctueuse avec les cerises me donne envie…en fait tout ce que tu fais me donne envie, un de mes défauts un est que je suis trop gourmande alors quand je viens te rendre visite, je repars toujours avec un petit creux.

  2. Posted June 18, 2010 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    These look divine, and would seem to be open to endless possibilities for stuffings or toppings. Love the creamy cheese and cherry combination…would you ever make them with savory toppings? – S

  3. Posted June 18, 2010 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I love those little pancakes especially during Ramadan! These look incredible I must def try!

  4. Posted June 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful opening photo. I love these little pancakes. I’ve got to give them a try.

  5. Posted June 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Je te remercie pour tas visite sa ma permise de connaitre ton merveilleux blog
    merci pour le partage bisous

  6. Posted June 18, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting pancakes :) interesting that they are cooked on one side only. Thanks for another great idea!

  7. Posted June 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    These look fantastic. You temptress you for showing me that pic of clotted cream. Oh well at least you offered a lower fat alternative I suppose I could try it with the low fat ricotta.I tend to make ahead pancakes and freeze for busy mornings. Do these freeze well?

  8. Posted June 20, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Delicious! Never seen pancakes like this before!

  9. Posted June 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I love that these are eggless – they someho seem lighter. (Of course then you add that scrumptious clotted cream and there’s heaven). he freshness of the berries is a thing of beauty.

  10. Posted June 24, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Cherries – I mean cherries- I have cherries and berries right next to me and am munching.

  11. Posted June 25, 2010 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    yummm, that looks like a lovely desert.

  12. Posted June 25, 2010 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    J’avais déjà faim en arrivant sur ton blog, et là ça ne s’arrange pas! Le présentation est tellement jolie, j’aimerais beaucoup te piquer une petite part. La confiture de cerises a l’air extra!

  13. Posted February 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    miam j’adore ca on en fait aussi
    la confiture (ma préférée les cerises griottes!) a l’air super bonne ca fait envie

  14. Posted March 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I love it!!! With pistachio’s are soooo good!

  15. Heba
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    I just discovered your website and tried the Ashta recipe, it turned out excellent!! Thank you.

    I have 2 quick questions though,
    - want to make Atayif with Ashta (open ones) and noticed that you have 1 cup fine semolina, but its not included in the directions of how to make the pancakes. Im new to making Arabic sweets!
    I tired the pancake recipe yesterday and I added the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and powdered dry milk (nido); I also added the semolina then the yeast. and it turned out very thick!! I added water but I guess I didnt add enough?!
    -I noticed that you have different “pancake” ingredient in different recipes you have, does it very from the Atayif that are closed and if you fry them or not?!
    I hope I was clear!! =)

  16. Joumana
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    @Heba: I have had that problem adding flour from recipes I have tried in the past; since the amount of flour can vary based on how you measure it etc. if it is too thick, it is fine to add water to make it looser.
    The reason I have posted different recipes is simply to give options; I have tried all of them, and since they use different ingredients, (some have no egg or semolina), it can come in handy depending on what you have in your pantry that day. The ataief recipe that I fried is only with flour and so it taste bland when not fried. On the other hand, the recipe with egg is fine just baked.

  17. Heba
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot Joumana!! I appreciate the fast reply :) IM going to give it a try again. Can’t wait to try your other recipes also. It’s nice to finally find a website that has traditional lebanes food that actually tastes great and has simple instructions (I love the step by step pictures also!!!)

  18. Len
    Posted July 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I feel theres too much of dry ingredients and little water, are the measurements right?

  19. Joumana
    Posted July 5, 2014 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    @Len I checked the measurements if 1 1/4 cup is not sufficient, feel free to add more or add an egg (I have made these with an egg and they come out great)/ the consistency of the batter should be similar to pancakes/ not too runny.

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