Moroccan Orange Dessert

Yum, Hank put together this gorgeous dessert with some blood oranges we swiped from my parents’ tree. ~Elise

This was the first dessert I ever made to impress a girl, years ago when I was attending graduate school in Wisconsin. We were both athletes, and eating for us had mostly been about fuel, not fun. But it was Valentine’s Day and I was making her dinner, so I wanted something exotic and, well, sexy, to end the meal. When I read about this Moroccan classic in one of my cookbooks, I knew I had my dessert.

I’ve made these oranges periodically ever since that night, and this dish is as lovely as it is simple: Fresh oranges (of whatever variety), doused in orange flower water, dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon. That’s it.

The only change I’ve made to the recipe over the years is to macerate the orange slices in the orange flower water for an hour or so to deepen the flavor. Sometimes I’ll use different-colored varieties of oranges—blood oranges, cara cara oranges and navels are a pretty trio—just to fancy things up.

Moroccan Orange Dessert Recipe

  • Prep time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2, and can be doubled.

While we used blood oranges here, any sweet orange will work. Orange flower water can be found at Whole Foods or at a Mediterranean market.




1 Slice the top and bottom off each orange. Slice off the rind and all the pith and then cut the orange into 1/4 inch rounds. Sprinkle a little orange flower water in the bottom of a wide-bottomed glass or plastic container and lay the orange slices on top. If you need to do more than one layer of oranges to get them all in the container, sprinkle more orange flower water over each orange layer as you go. Add any remaining orange flower water, cover the container and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

2 To serve, take the oranges out of the container and arrange on a plate. Add a little of the liquid from the container. Just as you serve, sprinkle some powdered sugar and cinnamon over the oranges.

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Moroccan-style Orange and Radish Salad - from Eat Real
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Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • Sam

    As a moroccan I have never heard of this dessert but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a classic, it looks delicious. Moroccans prefer fruit as a dessert rather, so this is right up my alley.

  • Garrett

    Love making this for company. Come summer blackberries in rose water is equally awesome. =D

  • Vallen

    I love this dessert but use rose water instead of orange flower water – it is an ethereal delight.

  • Pille @ Nami-Nami

    I’ve made something very similar – sans orange juice. But what really “annoys” me, Elise, was the fact that you got the blood oranges from your parents garden. I have been looking for them in vain in supermarkets here, but seems that they’re not being imported to Estonia this year. Love the flavour and colour (we usually get Sicilian red oranges in the stores here)..

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