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Photo of Halawet el Jibn (Arabic Sweet Cheese Rolls) by Antara Navin at BetterButter

Halawet el Jibn (Arabic Sweet Cheese Rolls)

Antara Navin
40 minutes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
10 People
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ABOUT Halawet el Jibn (Arabic Sweet Cheese Rolls) RECIPE

Halawet el jibn is a delectable Arabic dessert which means 'sweetness of cheese'. It is made of cheese pastry dough rolled and stuffed with clotted cream, topped with smashed pistachios or any dry nuts and doused in flavored sugar syrup.The cheesy pastry dough is made from cheese,fine semolina and cooked in a lightly sweetened sugar syrup and flavored with rose water. Traditionally Akkawi cheese is used for cheese pastry dough and eshta cream for filling. Since these are not easily available worldwide, it can be substituted by mozzarella cheese in pastry dough and masacarpone cheese for filling, as used in this recipe.I have also substitued rose water with saffron flavoring essence as I love saffron and it was available in my kitchen pantry. You should try this because once you taste these delightful, divine cheesy bites, you will know so this is what heaven tastes like. Inspiration is from blogs such as cleobuttera.com and dedemed.com .

Recipe Tags

  • Egg-free
  • Medium
  • Everyday
  • Middle Eastern
  • Dessert
  • Egg Free

Ingredients Serving: 10

  1. For sweet cheese roll dough :
  2. 1 cup fine Semolina
  3. 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  4. 1 Cup water
  5. 1/2 cup Sugar
  6. 2 tbsp saffron flavor essence or rose essence
  7. 1 tsp olive oil for greasing baking sheet
  8. For cheese rolls filling :
  9. 400 gms mascarpone cheese
  10. For Sugar Syrup :
  11. 2 cup sugar
  12. 1 Cup water
  13. 2 tsp milk
  14. 1/4 tsp red edible food color
  15. 1/2tsp cardamon powder
  16. 1-2 drops of kewra water (optional )
  17. For garnishing :
  18. 1/4 cup powdered pistachios or cashews
  19. 1 tsp strawberry fruit snacks or gummie candies thinly sliced or rose petal jam(optional )


  1. Prepare the sugar syrup.Heat 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water until the sugar dissolves in a medium size saucepan.Once the sugar dissolves, add 2 tsp milk. You will see impurities float on top. Remove the impurities using a skimmer. Add kewra water and cardamon powder. Add the edible red food color.Continue heating the sugar syrup till you get a single thread consistency. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat. Keep it aside.
  2. Prepare the sweet cheese roll dough. In a medium size saucepan combine one cup water and half cup sugar. Heat on medium high and stir occasionally till the sugar completely dissolves. Bring it to a boil and then add semolina. Mix and stir with a wooden ladle till the mixture thickens a little.
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add the mozzarella cheese and the saffron flavoring essence. Stir and cook till the cheese completely melts and the mixture forms a gooey consistency like dough as shown in the picture. This step needs a bit of arm exercise as it requires continuous stirring to avoid any lumps. Turn off the heat. Allow the dough to cool for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Take a cookie or baking sheet and grease it with olive oil. Add and spread 1/2 cup sugar syrup over it. Drop the dough on the greased cookie sheet and spread it using a flat spatula in the form of a rectangle. Cover it with a plastic wrap and refrigerate it for atleast 30 minutes or overnight. I prepared the dough one day before.
  5. Take out the cooled baking sheet and run a butter knife lengthwise, dividing it into three equal columns. Then run the butter knife widthwise dividing into four equal rows. There will be total 12 equal rectangular pieces.
  6. Place 3 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese at one end of each piece, roll, and place seam side down on a plate.
  7. Once the filling is done, smoothen each sweet cheese roll using hands and cut each roll into two equal halves using butter knife. This step is optional . You may keep the roll as original size or if you like smaller cube pieces, cut it into two halves.
  8. Arrange the rolls on a serving plate and garnish it with ground pistachios or cashews. Garnish it with thinly sliced fruit snacks which are similar to gummy candies but this garnish is optional. I added it to add some brightness to this delectable dessert.
  9. Serve alongside the sugar syrup. To eat, drizzle some syrup over the halawet el jibn, fork it up and enjoy this light and creamy bundle of deliciousness.

Reviews (2)  

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Veena Kalia
Veena Kalia   Jul-25-2016

very nice

Shweta Srivastava
Shweta Srivastava   Jul-25-2016

Wow! I would love to try these, they look heavenly :)

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