Israeli Desserts Take Inspiration From All Over

Maisie Wilhelm

It’s hard to define what, if anything, makes a dessert “Israeli.” The variety of sweets you find in Israel mirrors the country’s diversity, which in turn stems from its immigrant population.

Common in Israel today are sweet yeast cakes brought from Eastern European Jews; baklava and knafeh—ultra-sweet Turkish and Middle-Eastern confections made with phyllo or kataifi and ground nuts; and Middle Eastern desserts like basboussa, a semolina cake in syrup, or malabi, a simple...