Beehive buns, otherwise known as Khaliyat Al Nahl or Honeycomb Buns are soft and fluffy buns filled with cream cheese and topped with honey or a sweet syrup. The dough is a light and fluffy buttery dough that’s rolled and stuffed with cream cheese. After it’s stuffed it’s arranged in a round baking dish and baked to golden perfection. The way they look once they’re arranged is what gives them their name of Khaliyat Al Nahl because of the way they resemble a beehive.
Khaliat Al Nahl is a traditional Yemeni Dessert made with a fluffy dough stuffed with cheese and topped with a sweet syrup or honey. You will be as obsessed with these as I am.
- Prep Time: 3H
- Cook Time: 15M
- Total Time: 3H15M
- Yield: 32 1x
2 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tbsp Salt
1/2 cup Milk, lukewarm
1/2 tbsp Active Dry or Instant Yeast
6 tbsp Melted Butter, cooled
2 cups Flour, sifted then measured
8 oz Cream Cheese
2 tbsp Heavy Cream
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp Black Seeds
Simple Syrup or Honey
In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt. Warm the milk and mix the yeast into it. Slowly pour the mixture into the egg mixture. Continue whisking. Pour the melted butter, and continue whisking. Add half the flour and whisk until smooth. Remove the whisk and attach the dough hook. Add the rest of the flour and begin kneading the dough.
At this point allow the dough to knead for at least 10 minutes, preferably 15. This will allow the gluten to develop and give you a smooth dough to work with. It will also create the perfect texture. Once the dough finishes kneading, place it into a greased bowl, and wrap it. Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
Once the dough is ready roll it into an 8×4 inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife cut it into 4 strips vertically and then 8 horizontally. This will leave you with 32 squares. Do the same with your rectangle of cold cream cheese.
Prepare your baking pan. I use a 9 inch tart pan or springform pan. You can use a regular 9 inch pan. Just line the bottom with parchment paper or lightly grease it.
Now place one cube of cream cheese on each square of dough. Pinch the seams around it and roll it into a nice little ball. Place it in the bottom of your prepared pan. Arrange all the dough balls in the pan. It may be a tight fit, but that’s okay. As they rise you’ll get your wonderful beehive look.
Cover with a towel and allow to rise until they double in size. Brush with heavy cream and then sprinkle with some sesame seeds and black seeds. Bake at 375 F until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the pan and enjoy warm with some simple syrup or honey. They are out of this world amazing.
I prefer to use a springform or tart pan because I can remove the sides of the pan and easily display the stunning beehive buns without ruining them as I try to flip them out of a regular pan. If you use a regular pan leave a little parchment on the sides so you can easily lift them out of the pan.
These taste best warm and rarely last till the next day at our house. But if they do, just gently rewarm them in the oven or air-fryer. They’re still just as amazing.
I also don’t cover the whole thing in simple syrup and just let everyone put however much they want. This way leftovers don’t get soggy either.