Halawit El Jibn

Halawit El Jibn

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5 from 13 reviews

Halawit El Jibn is an arabic dessert made with a semolina and cheese roll wrapped around a rich ishta cream. These rich and delicate sweet cheese rolls are literally to die for. The perfect dessert.


Units Scale

1 1/2 cups Water

1 cup Sugar

1 tsp Orange Blossom Water

1 cup Fine Semolina

1 lb Sweet Cheese


2 Cups Heavy Cream

1 Cup Half and Half

5 tbsp Cornstarch

2.5 tbsp Flour

1 6 oz can Ishta Cream

Simple Syrup (SEE NOTES)

3 Cups Sugar

2 Cups Water

1 tbsp Lemon Juice

Pistachios for Garnish


Make your simple syrup a few hours ahead of time. It needs to be completely room temperature. Pour the water into the pot first then the sugar. This will keep the sugar from getting on the sides of the pan and causing it to crystalize later. Bring it to a gentle boil and then you can stir if needed. Add the lemon juice and simmer for ten minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Prepare the Ishta. In a saucepan, combine the cream, half and half, flour, and cornstarch. Whisk until smooth. You can even use a blender. You don’t want any clumps. Heat the mixture on medium heat while whisking continuously. It will thicken and bubble. Pour into a dish and cover with the saran wrap touching it. Cool in the fridge completely.

Using a food processor, finely chop the cheese. Set aside.

Pour your sugar, water, and orange blossom water into a nonstick anodized deep skillet. Once it starts to bubble around the edges and the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and add the semolina. Mix it very well so it’s nice and smooth. Once it’s smooth, turn the heat onto medium low and add the cheese. Using a rubber spatula spread and fold the mixture until all the cheese is melted and there are no more specks of white. The halawit Jibn will come together and pull away from the pan cleanly. It’ll resemble a very smooth soft dough.

Pour your dough onto a silicone mat and allow to cool slightly, otherwise it’ll be sticky to work with.

Prepare your ishta. In the same food processor you did the cheese, add the cooled ishta you made earlier. Add a can of ready ishta and process on high for about two minutes. It’ll give you a beautiful smooth cream. Place your piping bag into a cup and fill it with the cream. Set aside.

Evenly divide your dough into three sections. I shape each one with my hands into a rectangle and then roll with a rolling pin until its 8 inches by 12 inches. Use the bench scraper to keep the sides and edges sharp so you don’t have to trim anything.

Once its the desired size, Pipe your ishta 1/2 inch from the side. You want to pipe the ishta onto the longer side. Gently roll it and then repeat on the other side. Repeat for all three pieces. You should get six rolls in total. If you roll them correctly you should only have to slice down the middle of each piece and shouldn’t have to trim any edges.

Once you roll them all, wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Press the seams to seal and roll the log so it’s nice and round. This will let you seal the seams and keep them nice until you want to slice.

Refrigerate all the rolls for at least 2 hours. This will allow them to firm up so they slice cleanly.

Slice each roll into 10 pieces. Brush the tops with a little syrup and garnish with ground pistachio. This will allow it to stick. Serve with more syrup. Enjoy!