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Atayef (Fried Pancakes Stuffed with Walnuts)


This is one of my favorite desserts. My grandmother usually makes Atayef (Pancakes Stuffed with Walnuts) for Tu B’shvat; she prepares them ahead of time, and puts the stuffed pancakes in a sealed freezing bag until serving day. Then she unfreezes them, fries them and dunks them in syrup. When I was in the Israeli army and couldn’t join my family for the Tu B’Shvat meal, my grandmother, who knew my passion for these sweets, used to pack some atayef for me to enjoy when I come home for a visit. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 20-25Servings


Pancake Batter:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2¼ cups lukewarm water


  • 1 1/3 cups (200 g) chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon rose water


  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon rose water


1. In a food processor mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and water. Let rest for 30 minutes in a warm place, stirring occasionally.

2. Heat a non-stick pan. Once the pan is hot, start pouring the batter about ¼ cup at a time, and lower the heat to medium-low. The atayef should be about 3" in diameter.

3. The atayef should start to bubble around the edges and then spread to cover the entire surface. Remove the atayef gently from the pan and place them on a clean kitchen towel, the fried side down.

4. In a bowl mix all the filling ingredients. Place 1-2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the un-fried side of the atayef. Fold so that it forms a half moon and start sealing the edges by pressing them between your thumb and index.

5. Make the syrup: boil the water and sugar in a small pot. Cook for 10 minutes over a low heat until it slightly thickens. Add the lemon juice and rose water. Remove from the heat and cool.

6. Before serving: deep-fry the atayef until the edges are golden-brown and crisp. Take the atayef out of the oil and dunk them in the syrup (no more than a few seconds) and then take them out and arrange them on a serving plate.