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a plate of zalabia
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5 from 1 vote

Zlabia (Middle Eastern Mini Funnel Cakes)

Perfect Zlabia or Zalabia recipe, which yields light, crisp, and absolutely addicting mini funnel cakes drenched in a rose-water flavored syrup!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 40 Zalabia
Calories: 80kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner



  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. rosewater


  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying (or more as needed)



  • Mix sugar, water, lemon juice, and rose water in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  • Bring to a slow boil for approximately ten minutes, or until it starts to have a syrupy consistency.
  • Allow the syrup to cool off while you work on the batter.


  • Mix yeast, sugar, and water. Cover, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Mix in cornstarch, flour, salt, and baking powder.
  • Cover and place in a warm location for one hour.


  • Heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees F.
  • Place batter in a squeeze bottle, cut the tip of the bottle if necessary.
  • Squeeze batter out of the bottle, into the hot oil, forming 3″ circles resembling funnel cakes.
  • Drain on paper towels. While still warm, dip the Zalabia in the syrup and allow excess to drip off.
  • Continue until the batter is used up. Enjoy!


  • Be sure to have a bottle of rosewater on hand before starting on this recipe.
  • Another helpful item would be a plastic condiment squeeze bottle. You will use the bottle to squeeze out the batter into swirls as you fry them.
  • It's helpful to have someone help you when it's time to fry the Zalabia. While one of you fries and drains the Zalabia, the other can dip them in the syrup, while still warm, and plate them. 


Serving: 1zlabia | Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 5g