Qatari Sweet Bread with Cream: Esh Asaraya

Esh Asaraya is a popular dessert in Qatar that consists of a layer of bread soaked in sugar syrup, some whipped heavy cream, and pistachios. It’s an easy dessert to make unless you’re a bit scared of the sugar syrup. In addition to “sweet bread with cream”, I saw that Esh Asaraya has also been called a cheesecake-like dish. It is not a cheesecake per se, but with the two different layers, I do see why it can remind of one.

3 bowls of Qatari Esh Asaraya dessert

How did it go?

As I mentioned, it is a super simple dessert. Whipping the heavy cream doesn’t need any skill and layering the dessert itself is also a breeze. I can see that the sugar syrup can be intimidating to some people. Don’t worry – let it simmer and just be careful not to spill it on yourself (it’s hot!).

One thing I personally wasn’t a fan of – the dessert is rather calorie-rich and sweet. I’m not too much of a sweet tooth myself, so I could hardly finish one serving. The Boyfriend, however, loved it and ate two!

If you tried to make Esh Asaraya yourself, let me know how you liked it!

P.S. If you’re interested, check out my post about Qatar, as well as other recipes I tried:

Note: in the “Around the World” challenges, I try to find the most authentic recipes available. I will not make adjustments myself, other than converting the measurements and possibly giving some additional tips in the steps. This way, you’ll get the same traditional experience when trying yourself! 🙂

3 bowls of Esh Asaraya dessert

Qatari Sweet Bread with Cream: Esh Asaraya

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 6 slices bread
  • 200 g sugar
  • 120 ml water
  • 1 tbsp rose water or a few drops of rose essence
  • 450 ml heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 50 g pistachios crushed


    1. Trim the crust from the sides of the bread and then cut into bite-size pieces. Place them on a baking tray.
    2. Heat the oven to 180° C and roast the bread until it's light brown colour. This should just take a few minutes.
    3. Whip the heavy cream with sugar, until you get soft peaks. Set it aside.
    4. In a saucepan, add the sugar and water.
    5. Boil until the sugar dissolves and syrup becomes sticky. Add rose water or essence to the syrup.
    6. Add the toasted bread in the boiling sugar syrup and mix well.
    7. Cook them until the sugar starts to caramelize and the bread becomes a little golden in colour.
    8. Now, transfer the bread mixed in syrup to the bowl and press down to form a layer. You can do this in one bowl or make smaller individual servings.
    9. Spread the whipped cream evenly on the bread layer.
    10. Garnish with crushed pistachios.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 845Total Fat: 48gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 319mgCarbohydrates: 91gFiber: 3gSugar: 68gProtein: 10g

Did you try this recipe?

Share your experience down in the comments or let me know on Instagram!

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