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Maamoul Mad bi ashta (Clotted Cream Semolina Cake)

Baked semolina cake filled with clotted cream topped with pistachios and an orange blossom syrup

Course Dessert
Cuisine Lebanese
Keyword Baking, Sweet, Treat
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • 1/2 cup crushed pistachios + 1/4 cup for sprinkling at end

For the semolina dough

  • 2 cups coarse semolina
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cups of butter melted
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt tiny sprinkle
  • 4 tbsp plain yoghurt

For the clotted cream ashta

  • 11/2 cups of heavy cream approx 350 ml
  • 11/2 cups of milk approx 350ml
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp orange blossom water

For the orange blossom syrup

  • 11/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/8 of tsp Tiny sprinkle of salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water


To make the semolina dough

  1. Combine the semolina, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a mixing bowl and stir together
  2. Add the melted butter, yoghurt and mix together until you have a sticky dough

To make the clotted cream ashta

  1. In a pot, combine the milk, heavy cream, cornflour and sugar and whisk well before putting it on a medium high heat
  2. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the orange blossom water and stir for another five seconds or so then turn off the heat. Set aside

To make the orange blossom syrup

  1. Combine the water, sugar, salt, lemon juice and orange blossom water into a separate pot and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil on a medium high heat, then add the orange blossom and reduce to a simmer for about five minutes.

To assemble the maamoul mad

  1. Heat the oven to 180 °C (350 F)
  2. Take half the semolina dough and line the bottom and sides of a medium baking pan by pressing down with your hands.
  3. Add a layer of crushed pistachios then pour the ashta cream on and gently smooth out with a spatula. Add another layer of crushed pistachios on top of the cream.
  4. On either parchment baking paper or cling film, roll out the rest of the dough according to the shape of your pan. Carefully flip it over the cream layer and peel off gently.
  5. Smooth out the top layer if necessary and patch any areas you might have missed.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes until golden. When done take out the pan and let it cool completely. Then turn it over onto a large platter and slice into squares.
  7. Add a little crushed pistachio on each square and drizzle with a little orange blossom syrup
  8. Serve either warm or cold. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

Cornstarch is known as cornflour in the UK and is used to thicken sauces