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Halise, The Original Version

A Lebanese dessert recipe made with semolina flour and topped with orange blossom water syrup and almonds.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Baking Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 17 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 40 slices


For Semolina Cakes

  • 4 Cups Milk
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Cups Cream of Wheat
  • 1 Cup Butter unsalted
  • 40 Blanched almonds

For Syrup

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Capful Lemon juice, Bottled
  • 1 Capful Orange Blossom Water See Notes


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking pan.
  • In a medium sized pot add milk, sugar, cream of wheat and butter and cook on medium until cream of wheat is very stiff.
  • Spoon stiff cream of wheat into greased 9x13 pan, smooth top, then cut into 1"x1" diamonds or triangles.
  • Add one blanched almond to each triangle then bake in preheated oven for 50 to 90 minutes or until edges start to brown.
  • Meanwhile, prepare syrup by adding sugar and water to small pot and cooking for 20 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.
  • Then add lemon juice and orange blossom water and cook 5 additional minutes.
  • Refrigerate syrup until cooled.
  • When edges of Halise are golden, remove pan from oven, re-cut same lines of triangles, then pour COLD syrup over top HOT Halise and enjoy.


If you can't find orange blossom water, you can substitute fresh squeezed orange juice or a combination of grenadine and orange liquor.