Traditional Palestinian Ma’moul Cookie Recipe

If you've been looking for a delicious and traditional treat to make with your friends and family, we've got just the thing for you! Ma'moul cookies, or ka’ek al eid ma’moul, are date-filled sweet treats that really hit the spot. Imagine a shortbread-like cookie filled with succulent dates and baked to perfection. 

These cookies are traditionally made with intricate care and attention to detail. They're especially famous in Nablus, which is known to be the heaven of sweets in Palestine! In the Old City of Nablus, people decorate these cookies by hand like the old times and bake them in the old forns (bakeries). Imagine just walking by and smelling these delicious cookies bake! 

This sweet treat is also a shared tradition throughout Palestine! It’s tradition to make kaek al eid ma’moul for Muslims on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that finishes the holy month of Ramadan. And Christians celebrate Easter with ma’moul too! So around this time of year, you can find it almost every Palestinian home.

Each piece of ma’moul is decorated by hand and made in a different shape according to what is inside it. So essentially - different shapes for different stuffings!

This stuffed butter cookie made with semolina flour can be pretty versatile with these fillings too. It can be made with dried and squashed dates, and you can add in nuts like pistachios or walnuts, and even almonds!

Since these holidays are coming up soon, we wanted to share with you a ma'moul recipe from our friends at Fufu's Kitchen. Celebrate with a taste of Palestine wherever you may be!



Ma'moul Dough:

  • 6 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Milk Powder ex: Nido or carnation
  • 2.5 tbsp Ma'amoul spice also known as Cookie Spice or Kaek spice at the Arab store.
  • 2 tbsp Ground Anise
  • 2 tsp Ground Mahlab
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Mastic
  • 3 cups Semi-melted unsalted Butter (I use Crisco butter flavor) *microwave for 1 min 20 sec for desired consistency
  • 1 cup Water start at using 3/4 cup and gradually add as needed.

Date Filling:

  • 36oz Baking Date Paste
  • 1.5 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Ground Anise
  • 1 tbsp Butter, room temp. I use the same Crisco butter flavor here as I did with the dough


  • Powdered sugar, to your preference.



  1. In a small bowl, combine the date paste with the ground anise, cinnamon, and room temperature butter. You can prep the date paste into tsp size balls and set aside. These are ready at this point to be placed in the cookie dough. * You can make the date balls the night before and keep in the fridge for the next day.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the flour, powdered sugar, milk powder, cookie spice, ground mahlab and mastic, ground anise, and stir together.
  3. To this, add the semi-melted butter. Gently start mixing with your hands rubbing the ingredients between your palms rather than kneading the dough.
  4. Then, add the water to the dough. Start with 1/2 a cup and mix as you did above and add the remaining 1/2 cup of water and mix with your hands. The dough should be soft and pliable to work with and not crumbly. If necessary, add a spoon of water at a time and make sure all the components are well combined. Keep the dough covered with a towel so it does not dry as you work.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Grab about a tbsp of the dough and shape it into a mini bowl in the palm of your hands. Insert the date ball into this well and wrap the dough around the date to cover it entirely. Flatten the ball and shape into a round cookie. Insert a mini dowel or back of a clean new pen in the center to create a little hole. Use clippers/tongs to decorate the edges and top of the cookie. * Please see photos and video for a visual if needed.
  7. Place the cookies onto the baking sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom. Then, broil the top for about a minute until it has some color but keep an eye on them as to not burn.
  8. Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar and store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

From Palestine to You