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Recipe: Asali's Sweet Potato Cream Atayef (Middle Eastern pancake)

Sweet potato pancakes are delicious and this version from Asali in Cary is one of our favorites!

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Asali's Sweet Potato Cream Atayef or Middle Eastern pancake
Kathy Hanrahan
, WRAL lifestyle editor
CARY, N.C. — Sweet potato pancakes are delicious and this version from Asali in Cary is one of our favorites!

The Cary cafe is featuring Sweet Potato Cream Atayef (Middle Eastern pancake) on the menu through Oct. 24. Find out how to make them by checking out the recipe below.

Recipe: Asali’s Sweet Potato Cream Atayef (Middle Eastern pancake)

A fluffy pancake filled with creamy mashed sweet potatoes, drizzled with sweet rose water and orange blossom syrup, topped with roasted pecans.



  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c fine semolina
  • 1 ½ c. water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp salt


  • 1.5 cups smashed sweet potato 9previously cooked and drained)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. corn starch
  • 1/4 c. water


  • 1c water
  • 21/2 c sugar
  • 1 tea lemon
  • 1 tea rose water
  • 1 tea orange blossom
Preparation Instructions:
  • Bring water and sugar to a boil and add the lemon juice.
  • Mix and lower heat for 10 minutes
  • After you remove from heat, add rose and orange blossom and maple syrup and allow to cool completely before using.
  • In a small bowl mix the corn starch and water and set aside.
  • In a large pan heat the milk and sugar to hot but not boiling and then lower heat and add the corn starch mixture while continuing to stir vigorously.
  • Take off heat and continue to mix and add the smashed sweet potato.
  • Continue to mix well and the cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Using a submersion blender blend the mixture to a smooth texture and transfer to a bowl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool completely.
  • In a bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients and then add wet.
  • Continue to whisk to combine well and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes
  • Heat a non-stick pan or pancake griddle on medium high and pour batter to create a circle (use approximately ¼ c for medium size pancakes.
  • As the pancake cook bubble will appear and continue to cook until bubbles dry out
  • Transfer to a tea towel and cover with another towel to keep them from drying
  • Repeat until all batter is finished

Pinch the Atayef edges together to start forming a half moon and then stuff with the cooled filling. Continue closing by pinching together the edges to end in a half moon shape.

Atayef can be baked (brushed with butter) or fried and immediately dip in the cooled syrup.

Sprinkle with chopped pecans and enjoy!

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