Malabi Braid

Malabi Braid

Photo: Natalie Levin

If you ever traveled to the Middle East, you probably got the chance to eat Malabi. Malabi is a traditional Oriental dessert, made of a creamy milk (or cream) custard scented with rose water syrup, pistachios, peanuts and coconut. It’s a delicious dessert that’s very common around here, and I also like to make it at home.

The flavors combination is one of my favorites – I just love how the rose water combine with the creamy texture of the custard. So, I decided to take it to whole new level and made this following malabi braid.

This malabi braid is a golden and airy yeast cake filled with rich cream cheese filling, raspberries and pistachios. I also added rose water to the filling, which gives it an amazing aroma while baking and really resembles malabi. The rich and buttery dough combines beautifully with the thick cheese filling, and together with all the toppings you get a really special braid.

Malabi Braid

Photo: Natalie Levin

5 from 5 votes

Malabi Braid

Servings 2 cakes 30 cm long
Author Natalie


For the dough:

  • 500 grams all-purpose flour
  • 10 grams active dry yeast
  • 100 grams soft butter
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 180 ml. milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cheese filling:

  • 500 grams ricotta or Farmer’s cheese
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 30 grams cornstarch or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • 100 grams frozen raspberries not thawed
  • 80 grams roasted pistachios coarsely chopped

For brushing:

  • 1 beaten egg
  • Light brown sugar

For decoration:

  • Sugar powder



  1. Place flour, yeast, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla and salt in a mixer bowl with a kneading attachment and knead for 10-12 minutes until you get a slightly sticky dough.
  2. Cover the bowl and allow rising for 1-2 hours in a warm place until the dough almost doubles its volume.

Cheese filling:

  1. In a bowl place cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, cornstarch and rose water and mix well until combined.

Assemble the cakes:

  1. Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
  2. On a floured surface, roll each part of the dough into a rectangle of about 1/2 cm thick.
  3. Spread half of the filling in the center third of the rectangle and sprinkle with frozen raspberries and chopped pistachios.
  4. Cut the two thirds on the sides into strips and braid in a cross-section over the filling.
  5. Place the cake in a bread loaf cake pan lined with slightly greased baking paper.
  6. Create another cake with second part of the dough with the rest of the filling, raspberries and pistachios.
  7. Cover the cakes and allow rising for about an hour or until almost doubled in volume.


  1. Preheat oven to 170 Celsius degrees.
  2. Brush the cakes with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
  3. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
  4. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Recipe Notes

  • It is recommended to serve the cakes warm or at room temperature.
  • The cakes are at their best on the day of baking. Instead of raspberries you can use any other berries you like.
  • If frozen fruits are used, it is important not to thaw them.
  • Instead of pistachios, you can use almonds or any other kind of nuts you like.
Malabi Braid

Photo: Natalie Levin

Malabi Braid

Photo: Natalie Levin

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