Where to get delicious Middle Eastern desserts in Metro Detroit

Sweet shops established by immigrants become longstanding staples in region

Kashta, meaning Rosewater in Arabic, is the base of delicious Kashta cream. This rich, sweet cream is the filling of fried Kellajj, baked Shouiebieh, and rich and creamy Cream Caramel. Photo: Shatila Bakery in Dearborn
Kashta, meaning Rosewater in Arabic, is the base of delicious Kashta cream. This rich, sweet cream is the filling of fried Kellajj, baked Shouiebieh, and rich and creamy Cream Caramel. Photo: Shatila Bakery in Dearborn ((COPYRIGHTED))

DETROIT – Metro Detroit is home to a large Middle Eastern community, and throughout the region you can find pastry shops that cater to the growing population.

Over the decades many of the family owned baking businesses that were started by immigrants from the Arab world have earned a reputation for excellence in the mastery of Middle Eastern sweets.

Here is a look at some popular ones that carry everything from baklava, Kunafah, maamoul, awamat among more favorites.

1. Shatila Bakery

Shatila Bakery is internationally known and attracts people from around Metro Detroit on a daily basis.

Its original location in Dearborn on Warren Avenue is often visited by tourists. Over the decades it has become known outside Michigan with orders placed nationally and abroad.

It was founded by Lebanese American Riad Saad Shatila who passed away a few years ago and started the bakery in the early 1980s. Today his family owns and operates the business which now includes a second location in West Bloomfield.

It even has its own line of ice cream flavors that are also very popular. Make sure you try the pistachio, mango and Kashta flavors!

Selection of traditional Maamoul Arabic cookies from Shatila. Maamoul is a decadent powdered cookie stuffed with walnuts, dates, or pistachios and bathed in rich butter. ((COPYRIGHTED))

2. Masri Sweets

Some people argue that Masri Sweets on Schaefer Road in Dearborn has some of the best Kunafah in town. You’ll have to try it out and decide for yourself! It is known as the “home of the Kunafah.”

Piece of Kanafeh from Masri Sweets in Dearborn. (Masri Sweets)

3. Lebon Sweets

Outside of its delicious selection of baklava this business is actually popular for something very special it offers known as the “cheesedome” which is a piece of Kunafah inside of sesame bread. This is pretty much a Kunafah sandwich. It is very fulling and often topped and eaten with syrup. Lebon Sweets has locations in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights and Sterling Heights.

The popular Cheesedome from Lebon Sweets. (Lebon Sweets)

4. Paris Pastry

This business originally started in Oak Park and while the first location closed it has branched out with stories in West Bloomfield and Sterling Heights. It is a longstanding staple in Metro Detroit and has been around for decades.

5. Palm Sweets

This Sterling Heights based Middle Eastern sweet shop is relatively new and has only been in the city for a few years. Since opening it has become increasingly popular in a short amount of time. It has a large variety of sweets to choose from including gelato ice cream.

6. Farhat Sweets

Farhat Sweets of Sterling Heights was the 2019 Vote 4 The Best winner in both the “Best Bakery” and “Best Cakes” categories! Its baking journey began many years ago and is based on traditional recipes and the cultural heritage of Middle Eastern sweets.

Tray of Arabic dessert known as Atayef Ashta carried at Farhat Sweets. (Farhat Sweets)

About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.