Makrod: Semolina Date Pastry Recipe. Gluten-Free Friendly

Makrod is a great North African Dessert Classic.

It showcases some of my absolute flavors: semolina, dates and honey. I have always rather neglected this wonderful treat because the traditional preparation requires frying, my nemesis. Frankly, I don’t think I have more than a handful of fried dishes in my whole repertoire. But, I tweaked the recipe to do my bidding as a baked, not fried, treat, and the result is scrumptious! Sephardi flavors at their best. Take a look: My husband and I did some…. quality control: Approved!


Baked Makrod: My solution WORKS!

I instruct you to roll out the dough with a pastry roller, but you can also pat it down evenly simply using your hands. In this case, when adding the top layer of dough, shape it in small pieces, flatten them and put them on top of the filling, putting the little pieces side by side until it is used up and the top is covered with dough.

Making Makrod with butter

I won’t lie: That comes out amazing. I am giving you the recipe with oil, which is delicious, but using butter will take it will be beyond amazing!


No problem using gluten-free flour and fine cornmeal. It will work beautifully as well. Cornmeal is nice and absorbent, and will soak the syrup right through.

You can use almonds or pine nuts

In this case:
1- No sesame seeds at the end of baking
2- push an almond or a pine nut in the center of each serving before baking.



  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup oil (or softened butter)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 cups farina or semolina
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • About 1 cup water. Start with less. Add just as needed to make the dough come together


  • 1 pound pitted chopped dates (make sure no pits remain), about 3 cups packed
  • 1/2 cup very hot water, a little more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • Peel of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons orange flower water


  • 1 1/2 cups honey, at room temperature
  • 1/4 toasted sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the dough ingredients thoroughly, and knead it on a board for just a minute or two to obtain a smooth dough. Set aside.

Process all the filling ingredients in a food processor, using the pulse button to avoid splattering, until smooth. Divide the dough in half.

On a lightly floured board, roll each piece into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick, about 10 inches wide and 12 inches long (You can do this by hand too. In this case shape it directly into the pan, just make sure it's an even thickness).

Transfer the dough rectangle onto a well-greased cookie sheet with straight sides (don’t worry if it doesn’t cover the whole surface). Cover the dough evenly with the filling. Repeat with the remaining dough, and place gently over the filling (it’s OK if it breaks, just patch it).

Score the pastry in the shape of small squares or diamonds. Bake about 40 minutes, or a little longer, until golden.

Immediately pour the honey slowly and evenly over the whole pastry, then sprinkle all over with the sesame seeds. If you used almonds or pine nuts in the center of each serving, skip the sesame seedsLet the pastry cool, then cut it along the scored lines.

Store in an air-tight tin box. Makes about 3 dozen pieces.

22 replies
  1. Nabia
    Nabia says:

    Hi Levana

    I have not tried the recipe yet but it seems to be excellent as with all your recipes. I cannot wait to try it but I am not sure about the cookie sheet with straight sides. Would it be a flat cookie sheet or more like a brownie rectangle pan? Thanks Levana. Buy the way I have tried and adopted both of your orange poppy seed cake and Lemon cake. Absolutely delicious.

  2. ons
    ons says:

    Thank you for the recipe. I was wondering what are the ingredients quantities for the gluten free option. Thank you

  3. Shula
    Shula says:

    I can’t believe how wonderful this recipe is I always wanted to do this and I’m glad I tried it and it came out awesome thanks

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Joy you got me intrigued, and I checked the chocolate bark link on my Rosh Hashanah link; sure enough it didn’t go to the right post, just as you said. I have it fixed now, thanks to you!!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Joumana you will love it! Iam making it this week at a couple demos, it was such a huge hit at my last demo! Hey how was (is?) Nice? xoxoxo

  4. Simone Greenbaum
    Simone Greenbaum says:

    OMG. Just made it. So much easier than the way I make it. I do mine in a rectangle l, put filling inside, roll into a log then slice, bake. Then once baked and cooled I dip each individual piece in honey I make myself from sugar water and lemon juice.
    I made your recipe this morning. So quick and no real mess. Tastes awesome too. Will make it again for yomtov iyH because I am sure this will be finished way before then.
    . Thank you and shabbat shalom.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Simone, hello, I know just what you mean! this is why I never made it, it looked much too daunting. This streamlined and much leaner way comes out just fabulous! I am giving a Pre-Tishrei demo next week in my children’s Schul in Washington Heights, and I gave them a menu complete with dessert. But when they tasted this dessert at our house, they asked me to switch to this dessert!

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