How to Make Moroccan Pancakes (Msemen)

moroccan pancakes
Typical Moroccan Breakfast with Msemen aka Moroccan pancakes


Yes, Moroccan’s eat pancakes.

But not the fluffy, maple syrup filled ones we’re accustomed to. These pancakes remind of me of a very flat, buttery croissant and its our kids absolute favorite breakfast item here in Morocco.

Msemen is a traditional Moroccan pancake prepared for breakfast and sometimes as a snack. You can find many street vendors making them with nutella and its very cheap and tasty! Served mainly with honey or jam, this pancake is folded several times to form a square, before being pan fried to golden goodness.

Here we share with you a simple recipe we received today from a local friend and we’re excited to make it when we return back home to Hawaii.



2 cups/500 grams – Flour

1 cup/250 grams – Semolina

2 tsp – Salt

1/4 tsp – Yeast

1.5 cups – warm water

Dough Preparation:

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, gradually adding water while kneading. Add more water when necessary to make a cohesive dough for 10 minutes (or knead the dough in a stand mixer for 5 minutes), until the dough is very soft .

Next, prepare these ingredients. These we will use to shape the dough to make balls of equal size. You will need a smooth surface to work with. Spread a little vegetable oil around the surface area so the dough doesn’t stick to the surface.

  • Vegetable oil
  • Fine semolina
  • Unsalted butter (softened)

Keeping your hands and the dough well-oiled, divide the msemen dough into smooth equal-sized balls (size of a small apricot) by grasping a large portion of dough and squeeze off a ball between your thumb and forefinger. It takes a little practice, but this method is an efficient way to control the size of the balls.

Set the balls of dough on the oiled surface. Make sure the dough is well-oiled so that it doesn’t dry out. If making a large quantity, cover the dough loosely with plastic. Allow the dough to rest for at least 5 minutes before working with it in the next step.

Below is also a “how to fold” video taken at a hotel we recently visited in the city.

Repeat the process until all the balls of dough have been folded into squares.

Heat a frying pan on medium to high heat. Take a square of dough, and pat it with your fingers or palm of your hand to flatten it until approximately double in size.

Place the msemen in the pan and fry, turning over several times, until golden brown and the center of the msemen is cooked (it should be chewy). This should take several minutes.

Repeat with all of the dough.

Remove to a rack to cool.


2 thoughts on “How to Make Moroccan Pancakes (Msemen)”

  1. Yasine Abdul Qadir

    msmen is not what I would equate with a pancake. Pancakes are made from batter, where msemen is made from dough. I think Beghrir is more of a Moroccan pancake as it is made from batter and is topped with a “syrup” made from honey and butter.

    1. Pint Size Gourmets

      Thanks for your comment – will have to try Beghrir the next time we’re in Morocco. Pancake or dough, they’re still so delicious!

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