12 Desserts You Must Try in Africa

As we explore desserts around the world, we enter a continent that also contains the largest desert, the Sahara desert in Africa. I am heading there this April. Until then I will dream about these desserts I will try in Africa.



 Contributed by Sarah from Borders & Bucket Lists

Basboosa is one of the most widely enjoyed Egyptian foods. This semolina cake topped with syrup has been eaten in the country for centuries! Each individual syrup-laden square of basboosa is topped with a single nut as decoration, which is a wonderful touch.

As with many popular desserts, there are a couple of variations of basboosa. While some versions of basboosa are topped with a rose water-infused syrup, other versions are covered in an orange-infused syrup. As expected, if you prefer flowery flavors, the rose water basboosa is the way to go. On the other hand, if fruity notes are your preference, opt for the orange-infused basboosa.


from Kenny of Knycx Journeying

Desserts in Egypt

Due to its closeness to the Arab World, many Egyptian cuisines have a trace of the Middle East, like Baklava. The pastry is a rich sweet dessert made of layers of filo filled. The scrumptious dessert has so many variations and I am surprised at every meal in different places. They could be filled with chopped nuts, hazelnuts, pistachio, walnuts or almonds. Some of them substitute milk for the syrup.

While Baklava could be found in Egypt, it is also common in the Middle East, and even Greece, Caucasus, Balkans, and Central Asia. Although sometimes Balkava might taste a bit too sweet for me, I love the texture that is crunchy yet incredibly light. It’s one of my favorite and I always have one after a meal when I was in Egypt.   


By Rai of A Rai of Light

Egyptian deserts

My favorite food in Egypt and one of the best desserts to try is konafah. A  traditional Middle Eastern dessert, it is made with thin noodle-like pastry, filled with creamy unripened cheese, and baked to a deliciously rich treat. Konafah looks like noodles before it is cooked in a circular tray at home. After being baked, it is soaked in a sweet, sugar-based syrup and can then be served hot, warm, or cold, going down perfectly with some mint tea. Fortunately, the locals enjoy it as much as I do and it can be found in cafes and vendors throughout the country.



Contributed by Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan
Desserts from Mozambique

Among foreign visitors, Mozambique is mostly known for its seafood, but there’s a lot more to Mozambican cuisine. In fact, most of the seafood dishes you see served in restaurants are eaten only by tourists, as locals can’t afford them. To experience authentic Mozambican food, you need to head to the streets and the markets to taste the country’s street food. Not only will you have a more authentic culinary experience, the food you’ll find on the street is also much cheaper and really tasty!Those with a sweet tooth should seek out etoritory, a local treat that’s like a homemade peanut fudge. If you like peanut butter, you will love etoritory! It crumbles and melts in your mouth, kind of like eating the center of a Reese’s peanut butter cup. It’s typically baked in wide sheets and then cut up into squares or other shapes and sold by local women and children on the streets.



By Amber from Food And Drink Destinations

Desserts in Morocco

Morocco is a country teeming with mouthwatering desserts. Using locally-sourced ingredients like almonds, dates, and fruits, the sheer number of desserts found throughout Morocco is mindblowing. One dessert to keep an eye on is briwate. A savory dish often filled with meat or cheese, it’s the sweet version that’s the true star. Briwate is a deep-fried pastry, made with pastry that is similar to filo dough. It is filled with almonds and sugar and coated with honey flavored with orange blossom water. Normally it is found in the shape of a triangle, but you might also see them in the shape of a small cigar. It’s a traditional Moroccan food for people with a real sweet tooth.

Orange Salad

by Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan

Desserts you must try in Morocco

A typical meal in Morocco is often accompanied by small portions of several different types of salad. Whereas most Moroccan salads are served at the start of the meal, this orange salad is served at the end as a dessert. It’s simply fresh oranges sliced into rounds and sprinkled with cinnamon, and perhaps a bit of powdered sugar as well. Some cooks will also squeeze a bit of orange juice over the dish for an extra burst of orange flavor.
Fresh fruit for dessert may not sound that exciting, but that’s only if you’ve never tasted Moroccan oranges. They are some of the best in the world! If oranges are not in season, you may also see this dish prepared with mandarins instead.



By Louisa “Or-More” Moje of Island Revel

Nigerian Chin-Chin

Chin-chin is probably one of the most liked Nigerian desserts. It is a deep-fried crunchy snack that looks like donuts and about the size of peanuts. Chin-chin is made from a dough mixture of flour, sugar, butter, milk, baking powder and sometimes a sprinkle of ground nutmeg. It is considered a light refreshment like chips that can be eaten as is or with cold drinks.

In the past, chin was made on special occasions. Now, they have evolved to become almost a staple for some families. Aside from the taste of this crunchy-goodness, chin-chin can last a long time if stored in air-tight containers to maintain its texture and crunch. I craved this delicious dessert so much that I had some shipped to me in Alaska!

Puff Puff

Contributed by Louisa Moje of La Passion Voutee

Desserts in Nigeria

There’s no denying that puff puff needs no introduction with West Africans.

Arguably one of the simplest desserts and most sought after street snacks, Puff Puff, is made from a mixture of flour, sugar, yeast, water, and salt. Simple right? It’s easier said than done. But, the result of a perfect executed Puff Puff cannot be underestimated.

Loved by kids and adults alike, a West African party would be incomplete without a serving of this dessert. Love your Puff Puff with a twist, add a touch of ginger, nutmeg, or whatever your heart desires. Indeed, there’s no end in sight at the sight of Puff Puffs #NoPunIntended!

South Africa

Malva Pudding

From Michelle at Greedy Gourmet

south african desserts

One of the must-try desserts of South Africa is malva pudding. Malva pudding is also commonly referred to as marshmallow pudding. Its name also stems from the word malvalekker, which is translated to marshmallow. Hence, it is a cake with an incredibly soft texture. It is best served warm and with a caramel or vanilla sauce topping. You can also try it with Africa’s fruity liqueur, Amarula.

 Although malva pudding is a rather traditional South African dessert, it only started to gain popularity overseas in 2006. It was introduced by Oprah’s personal chef Art Smith, who served it on Christmas show. Since then malva pudding has gone viral. 

To learn more about malva pudding and how to make it, check out my food and travel blog.


From Sabine of The Travelling Chilli

best desserts in Africa
food durban durban
South Africans are known to have a sweet tooth, making desserts very popular in the country. One of the most popular desserts in South Africa is milktart, or melktert as they call it locally. The tart originates from the early Dutch settlers and has been around since the 1600’s.
The tart consists of a sweet pastry crust with a milky custard filling consisting mainly out of milk, eggs, sugar and flour. When the tart is cooled down in the fridge and ready to be served it is richly sprinkled with fine cinnamon powder on top, giving it that beautiful final flavour.
There is no single specific recipe to prepare the tart. Over the years, people have made their own variations, just as long as the tart consists of the same base ingredients mentioned in the paragraph above. Also nowadays it’s not always made as a tart, but can be served in a glass or with the milktart filling in a pancake.
Did you know that milktart is such a popular food dish in South Africa that it even has it’s own day; 27th of February is Milk Tart day.

Swaziland (Eswatini)


From Wendy of The Nomadic Vegan

Desserts in Swaziland

Eswatini, until recently known as Swaziland, is a tiny African kingdom that sits on the border between Mozambique and South Africa. As you might expect, many of its local specialty dishes are shared with neighboring countries. One of these is mafetsi, a popular treat of fried balls of dough that you’ll see sold on street corners by local vendors. They are also very popular at local fairs and festivals, such as the spectacular Umhlanga or Reed Dance Festival.

These balls go by different names in other southern African countries, but in Eswatini they are known as mafetsi. They are basically like doughnut holes, except that they are not as sweet as typical Western doughnuts. You could probably ask for extra sugar to be sprinkled over them if you want a sweeter taste, but most locals prefer them with just a touch of sweetness.

West Africa

Meat Pie

Contributed by Lydia from Africa Wanderlust

Have you ever heard of a meat pie? I am sure you have! How about a Nigerian meat pie? My guess is no! Meat pie in West Africa is one of the most popular snacks in the region. With influence from the British culture, this pastry is sold at many bakeries and has become the de facto of the West African desert.

A meat pie is a savory dessert made with flour, sugar, salt, and stuffed with sauteed meat. The buttery crust pastry has a rich flavor, and the flaky crust crumbles in your mouth as you take a bite. Once you have your first bite, you will be unable to stop eating until it is all gone. It has the right balance between sweet and savory, as most traditional West African desserts are not very sweet as we have in the United States.

Meat pie and other traditional desserts like puff puff or fried plantains are necessary for the perfect African Christmas. If you are reading this post after the holiday season and not currently in the region, you should find West African restaurants in your area. They most likely will have meat pie on the menu. Once you try it, then you will truly understand why meat pie is one of the best desserts in West Africa.

Which African dessert are you dreaming of?

Keep feeding your sweet tooth dreams and read about the desserts of the United States, Asia, and Europe.

If you liked it, please share it. Thank you!

7 thoughts on “12 Desserts You Must Try in Africa”

  1. I love desserts, and you’ve created a real list of ones to look for in Africa. I’ve tried several of these, including Malva pudding in South Africa, and Konafeh and Baklava in the Middle East (though not in Egypt). I’d love to try Etoritory from Nigeria!

  2. Yum! My mouth is watering after reading about all these delicious desserts . I love baklava so I’d like to try that as well as milk tart, puff puff and chin chin.


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