Your cart is empty
Shop products

Shared by Moselle Tobias and Florence Cohen

Ka'ak (Anise-Laced Crackers)

Yield: 120 to 140 crackersTime: 2 h and 30 min

Ka'ak (Anise-Laced Crackers)

Yield: 120 to 140 crackersTime: 2 h and 30 min

Family Journey

Aleppo, SyriaBrooklyn, NY
Deal, NJ

This recipe was shared by Moselle Tobias and Florence Cohen. Read more about their family in " From Grandmother to Granddaughter: A Syrian String Cheese Recipe Is Passed Down" and try their recipe for Syrian string cheese.

When we met up with Moselle and Florence in Brooklyn, Moselle also shared her ka’ak recipe. “Ka’ak has been made for centuries,” Moselle explains. But when she was growing up, it was always purchased from Syrian shops. About eight years ago, she decided she wanted to make her own. “I like to do everything homemade and it was one of the last things on my list that I wanted to learn,” she adds. Today, she makes it four or five times a year in large batches, spending the entire day baking, saving many of the crackers in the freezer and sharing some with family members as well.


  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¾  teaspoon whole nigella seeds
  • ¼ tablespoon ground mahlab
  • 1 tablespoon whole anise seeds
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 ounce fresh yeast
  • 1 ¼ cup water, divided
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup whole sesame seeds
VegetarianVeganPareveMiddle East


  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

  • Step 2

    Melt shortening in a pot over low heat until it forms into a liquid, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  • Step 3

    Make the dough: Place flour, salt, sugar, nigella seeds, mahlab, anise seeds, canola oil, shortening, and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1 cup of lukewarm water and ¼ cup of warm water into the bowl. Using the dough hook attachment, mix the ingredients on low until combined and then raise the speed to medium for about 1 to 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

  • Step 4

    Shape the ka’ak: Transfer the dough onto a flat surface. Take about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a thin log that measures about 5 inches long and ¼ inch in thickness. Using a small knife, make 8 evenly spaced slits halfway into the log, crosswise. Pinch both ends of the log together, keeping the slits on the outside to form a ring-like shape with fringes. Set the shaped dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet and continue with the rest of the dough. Once all the dough is shaped into ka’ak, brush about 5 to 7 shaped pieces of dough with egg wash. Evenly press about 1/4 teaspoon of sesame seeds over the egg wash with your fingertips. Continue placing the egg wash and sesame seeds onto the rest of the pieces of dough, in batches of about 5 to 7 at a time until all the shaped pieces of dough are covered.

  • Step 5

    Bake the ka’ak: Place the ka’ak into the oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden. Remove the ka’ak from the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 225 degrees and place back into the oven. Continue baking for about 20 minutes until the crackers are dry and crisp in the center. 

  • Step 6

    Serve at room temperature.

Make Ahead: Make the ka’ak in advance and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or place in an airtight container in the freezer and store for up to 1 to 2 months.