Mahlab is the pit of a small sour cherry tree (St. Lucy's) found in the Mediterranean. The pits are cracked and then ground, to form a powder. It has a fruity flavor but is also bitter.
How Do You Use Mahlab?
Mahlab is often used in Middle Eastern baked goods, like bread and cookies. It can also be used in rice puddings and in Greece it's used in tsoureki, an Easter sweet bread.
Recipes with Mahlab
Here are some great recipes using mahlab you can try.
- Mahlab Butter Cookies (Sweet Ka'ak) - Buttery, sweet cookie rings with the addition of mahlab and black seeds.
- Cherry Clafoutis - This traditional clafoutis aux cerises removes the pits, but adds mahlab to impart a complex almond flavor.
- Chocolate Chip Mahlab Bread - a sweet bread perfect for the holidays.
- Mahlab Sugar Cookies - A soft sugar cookie, with the addition of almond flour and almond extract, and ground mahlab.
- Almond Butter Cake with Chocolate frosting - a beautiful layered cake with a nutty flavor.
Where to Buy Mahlab
Mahlab can be found at Middle Eastern grocery stores. You can also purchase it on Amazon - we recommend this mahlab powder.
Mahlab can turn rancid quickly, so either use it quickly or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Mahlab can be substituted for nutmeg in baking recipes.