Atayef (kataif or قطايف) are thin and lacy stuffed Arabic pancakes. What sets these pancakes apart is that they are cooked only on one side, the other side is velvety because it is covered with bubbles, this allows the flavors of the filling to permeate the atayef.  There are two types of atayef, regular and mini atayef (also known as atayef asafiri). 

Makes 30 medium sized atayef. You can half the recipe to make less. 


For the batter

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup semolina

1/2 teaspoon yeast

1 teaspoon baking powder (see note in red)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons orange blossom water (optional)

3 cups of warm water (you may need 1/4 to 1/2 cup more- see notes)


  1. You can prepare the atayef mixture by placing all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisking them to insure that they are properly mixed.
  2. Add the water, oil and orange blossom water and whisk thoroughly until you get a thin homogeneous mix. You can also place the wet and dry ingredients in the blender and blend until you get a thin mix.
  3. Allow the batter to rest for  10 minutes
  4. Heat a non-stick pan, once the pan is hot, start pouring the atayef and lower the heat to medium low
  5. Pour 1 tablespoon or 2 teaspoons of the batter in the pan. 
  6. The atayef should start to bubble around the edges. 
  7. The bubbles should then spread to cover the entire surface.If your atayef are not covered with bubbles then this means your batter is too thick and you need to add more water. Do so in 1/4 cup additions, whisk and try again
  8. Wait until the atayef are done, you can tell by watching the surface. When it is no longer shiny.Then the atayef are done. The time depends on the size of the atayef, the small ones take about a minute, the big ones 2-3 minutes
  9. Take the atayef off the heat, place them on a clean kitchen towel and fold the towel over them to cover them. This step is very important as it will soften the atayef making them easier to stuff and seal and it will prevent them from splitting when you fill them.
  10. Continue pouring the atayef until you finish the entire amount.
  11. When your atayef cool you can either stuff them immediately or you can store them in a plastic bag that is well sealed or closed for a couple of hours and stuff them later. I would recommend that you don’t keep them un-stuffed for more than a couple of hours because if you do they will dry out and sealing them will become problematic.
  12. To store them in a plastic bag  arrange them so that the top bubbly surface touches that of another atayef and then layer them in the bag. 

Atayef asaferi stuffing

Clotted cream or thick cream 

Top the cream with one of the following

Ground pistachios or your choice of ground nuts

Toasted coconut

A sprinkle of cinnamon or cardamom

Candied orange peel or your choice of candied fruit

How to stuff your Atayef Asaferi

  1. Fold the atayef into a half circle and seal it only half way as you can see in the picture
  2. With a small spoon, fill the opening with clotted cream
  3. Dip it in ground pistachios or your choice of nuts
  4. Arrange the atayef in a serving plate with some rosewater syrup, strawberry syrup or cherry syrup. Atayef asafiri are not baked or fried and they can not be frozen. You can store them in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Thanks to Chef in Disguise for kindly donating this recipe. Photo by Chef in Disguise.