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Discovering the Art of Making Moroccan Msemmen

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

My favorite Dish in Capablanca, Morocco

In the heart of Capablanca, Morocco, one of my Semester At Sea field classes embarked on a bazaar adventure dedicated to preserving Moroccan traditions by teaching them to today’s youth. This included old Moroccan music, art, clothing-making techniques, pottery, and of course cuisine. My favorite part of this class was learning about Morrocan cuisine because we actually got to learn how to make some dishes! Among the delightful array of dishes I encountered, the art of making Msemmen stood out as a true culinary treasure. This traditional Moroccan pancake, with its layers of buttery goodness, has a rich history dating back centuries. It’s not merely a breakfast item but a beloved treat enjoyed by families across the country.

Msemmen Recipe:

Creating Msemmen is a meticulous yet rewarding process, where simple ingredients come together to craft a delectable treat. To make these delectable pancakes, you’ll need:


  • 3 1/2 cups white flour, all-purpose or bread
  • 1/2 cup fine semolina or durum flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dry yeast (adjust for warm weather)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

For Folding the Msemmen:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup fine semolina
  • 1/4 cup very soft unsalted butter

Reheating and Serving:

  • Reheat the frozen Msemmen on a frying pan or in the oven. Prepare a traditional Moroccan syrup by heating butter and honey, then dip the warm Msemmen into the syrup.

If you want to create a more advanced dish, you have the option to fill your Msemman with a variety of delicious ingredients to really take advantage of these versatile Moroccan pancakes. Here are some popular fillings that you can use to enhance the flavor and texture of your Msemmen:

Sweet Fillings:

  • Honey and Butter: A classic choice, where the warm Msemmen are drizzled with honey and a dollop of butter, creating a sweet and buttery delight.
  • Jam or Preserves: Spread your favorite fruit jam or preserve it inside the Msemmen for a fruity, sweet flavor. Apricot, fig, and strawberry jams work exceptionally well.
  • Chocolate Spread: Generously spread chocolate hazelnut spread like Nutella for a rich, indulgent treat.

Savory Fillings:

  • Ground Meat: Cook seasoned ground beef, lamb, or chicken and use it as a savory filling. Add spices like cumin, paprika, and coriander for an authentic Moroccan touch.
  • Vegetables: Sautéed vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions seasoned with spices make a flavorful and healthy filling option.
  • Eggs: For a hearty and protein-packed filling, crack an egg inside the Msemmen while cooking. Let it cook until the egg is set, creating a delicious breakfast option.

A Glimpse into Msemmen’s Rich Heritage:

During my field class, we learned about the significant meaning Msemmen holds in Moroccan culinary tradition. Its origins are deeply rooted in the country’s history, reflecting the diverse influences of Arab, Berber, and Mediterranean cultures. These delicate, flaky pancakes are often served during special occasions and family gatherings, symbolizing warmth and hospitality.

In exploring the art of making Msemmen, I discovered a delightful delicacy and also experienced the heartwarming hospitality and rich history of Moroccan cuisine. It’s a culinary journey I will always cherish, reminding me of the beauty of cultural exchange and the joy found in the simple pleasure of sharing a delicious meal.

Vivian Marmor

Wisconsin '23

Hey there, my name is Vivian Marmor and I am from Long Island, New York. I have recently graduated from UW Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies, Consumer Behavior & Marketplace Studies. A little about me is that I have a deep love for hockey, an undeniable addiction to iced coffee, and I have a huge crewneck sweatshirts collection. A lifelong goal of mine is to travel to each of the seven continents. I am passionate about writing stories from my life, crafting creative recipes, exploring my hobbies, and sharing discoveries from my travels."