Om Ali (Egyptian Bread Pudding)

Egyptian Om Ali Recipe

Om Ali is a storied dessert. There are a number of tales that purport to explain its origins. Whichever is correct, and I’ll not regale you with them here, one thing is for sure; literally translated, ‘om Ali’ means ‘mother of Ali’. But more importantly, it is the Egyptian take on the British classic bread and butter pudding.

In its most basic form, om Ali is made with puff pastry, milk, sugar, coconut and currants. If you’re feeling plush you could add different nuts and spices, but the dessert doesn’t need it. Except for almonds. Almonds are always worth it.

Recipe for Egyptian Um Ali

The most cost-effective way to make om Ali is with pre-baked puff pastry. Having said that, it is also a fantastic way to use up leftover croissants, too far past their best to be otherwise enjoyed. As you can see, it’s very similar to bread and butter pudding in all regards.

Some add a layer of whipped cream to the top of om Ali. The idea is that the natural sugars in the cream caramelise, adding a luxurious and rich topping to the pudding. Though similar to bread and butter pudding, om Ali is supposed to be a smidge naughtier.

For a different take on bread and butter pudding see my delicious hot cross bread and butter pudding. It’s divine.

Om Ali

Serves 4-6


  • 250g puff pastry
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 100g sugar
  • 50g currants
  • 25g coconut flakes
  • 25g almond flakes


  1. Pre-bake your puff pastry at 200C/180C(fan), until brown and cooked through. Set aside to cool. Keep the oven on.
  2. Once cool, break your pastry into a medium-sized casserole dish. Gently warm the milk with the sugar until the latter dissolves.
  3. Scatter the currants and coconut flakes over the pastry. Pour over the milk and top with the almond flakes.
  4. Bake the prepare om Ali for 10-15 minutes, removing it from the oven once browned on top and cooked through. Serve immediately, or leave to cool and refrigerate for later.

Om Ali Recipe Recipe for Om Ali

Cost: The cost of your om Ali will largely depend on the source of your pastry. I used the odds and ends of a leftover roll of shop bought puff pastry. Based on that, you can make this wonderful Egyptian dessert for as little as £1.50.

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18 comments on “Om Ali (Egyptian Bread Pudding)

  1. susandrexel
    March 1, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    That looks delicious! I’ll definitely have to try this. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      March 4, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      My pleasure – it’s become a real favourite 🙂

  2. knittynutter
    March 1, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    that looks yummy..

  3. thesnowwoman
    March 1, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    This sounds very interesting and delicious.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 4, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      It’s a great dish and just about as quick as you’ll find.

  4. Chica Andaluza
    March 2, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Looks wonderful – had never heard of this!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 4, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks – I hadn’t until recently. So glad I have now.

  5. Tania
    March 2, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    beautiful bread pudding!

  6. petitedecadence
    March 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    This looks delicious frugal! Pity I never have leftover croissants…If I have croissants, they’re probably ending up in my tum :/ but I’ll keep this in mind the next time I buy puff pastry!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 4, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      Yeh, you can do it with anything really. Was just an option 🙂

  7. mswalsh
    March 2, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    I saw this when Dave Meyers was doing his Cook Abroad – it looked delicious so thanks for the recipe.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 4, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      That’s where the inspiration came from, though my recipe is a bit different 🙂

  8. angelica | table twenty eight
    March 3, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    That is so interesting… And fascinating how similar it is to the British classic pudding, though the two developed on entirely separate continents. Where did you come across this recipe?

    • frugalfeeding
      March 4, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Well, the recipe is my own. But the idea I saw on a television programme. I was inspired 🙂

  9. odelleasmith
    March 4, 2015 at 7:18 am

    ‘Om Ali’
    A new take on our traditional ‘Bread & Butter Pudding’. I’ve never heard of this until now, far superior in my opinion, especially with the almonds & coconut adding extra crunch, enriching the pudding wonderfully…
    I imagine it tastes gorgeous, must try this.
    Have you a recipe for Hot Cross Buns? It will be a great way to make Om Ali.
    Beautiful recipe, many thanks for your unique post.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 4, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      I’m not convinced it’s necessarily superior. Bread pudding with sourdough is fairly unbeatable :).

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