How to Make Kunafa at Home: Kunafa Recipe

How to Make Kunafa at Home is a popular Middle Eastern dessert that is made with layers of shredded phyllo dough (also known as kataifi dough) filled with cheese and soaked in a sweet sugar syrup. It is often served warm or hot, and can be garnished with pistachios, nuts, or dried rose petals.

What is Kunafa made from?

Kunafa is made from two main ingredients: kataifi dough and sugar syrup.

Kataifi dough is a shredded phyllo dough that is often used in Middle Eastern desserts. It is made by shredding sheets of phyllo dough into thin strands. Kataifi dough has a delicate texture and a slightly chewy bite.

Sugar syrup is a sweet syrup made by boiling sugar and water together. It is often flavored with rose water or orange blossom water. Sugar syrup is used to sweeten and moisten many Middle Eastern desserts, including kunafa.

In addition to kataifi dough and sugar syrup, kunafa can also be made with other ingredients, such as:

  • Cheese: The most common type of cheese used in kunafa is Nabulsi cheese, which is a white, brined cheese. Other types of cheese that can be used in kunafa include mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese,

Is Kunafa Arabic or Turkish?

Kunafa is a popular dessert in both Arabic and Turkish cuisine. However, its exact origins are disputed. Some sources claim that it originated in Egypt, while others say that it originated in Turkey.

The word “kunafa” comes from the Arabic word “kanafeh“, which means “to flank or enclose”. This is likely because the kataifi dough used in kunafa is often layered and folded in a similar way to how wings are folded.

The earliest known recipes for kunafa date back to the 13th century. These recipes were written in Arabic, and they suggest that kunafa was already a popular dessert in the Arab world at that time.

However, kunafa is also very popular in Turkey. In fact, the Turkish version of kunafa is known as “künefe”. Künefe is typically made with a different type of kataifi dough than the Arab version of kunafa. Turkish künefe is also often topped with pistachios, while Arab kunafa is typically topped with almonds.

Despite its disputed origins, kunafa is now a beloved dessert in both the Arabic and Turkish worlds. It is often served as a special occasion dessert, and it is also popular as a snack or dessert on its own.

Also read: 49+ Indian Sweets And Desserts (With Recipe)


  • 1 pound (454 grams) kataifi dough
  • 1 cup (225 grams) melted butter
  • 1 cup (227 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (227 grams) grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) rose water (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) orange blossom water (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (57 grams) chopped pistachios, for garnish

Instructions: How to Make Kunafa at Home

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the kataifi dough and melted butter. Use your fingers to break up the dough and toss it with the butter until it is evenly coated.
  3. Press half of the kataifi dough mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread it out evenly and press it down firmly.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and mozzarella cheese. Beat until smooth.
  5. Spread the cheese mixture over the kataifi dough in the baking dish.
  6. Top with the remaining kataifi dough mixture and press it down firmly.
  7. Bake the kunafa for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. While the kunafa is baking, make the sugar syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.
  9. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the syrup thickens slightly.
  10. Remove the kunafa from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  11. Pour the sugar syrup over the kunafa and let it soak in.
  12. Garnish with pistachios and serve warm or hot.


  • For a crispier kunafa, brush the top with melted butter before baking.
  • If you don’t have rose water or orange blossom water, you can omit them or substitute them with vanilla extract.
  • To make kunafa with a different type of cheese, such as ricotta cheese or feta cheese, simply substitute it for the cream cheese and mozzarella cheese in the recipe.
  • Kunafa can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10-15 minutes, or until it is heated through.


  • For a chocolate kunafa, add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the kataifi dough mixture before baking.
  • For a nutty kunafa, add 1/2 cup of chopped nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, to the kataifi dough mixture before baking.
  • For a fruity kunafa, add 1/2 cup of chopped dried fruits, such as apricots, raisins, or dates, to the kataifi dough mixture before baking.


Kunafa is a delicious and decadent dessert that is perfect for any occasion. It is made with simple ingredients, but it is the combination of flavors and textures that makes it so special. The crispy kataifi dough, the melted cheese, and the sweet syrup create a truly irresistible experience.

If you have never tried kunafa before, I highly recommend giving it a try. It is a dessert that is sure to please even the most discerning palate.

And if you are looking for a way to impress your guests, kunafa is the perfect dessert to serve. It is sure to be a hit at any party or gathering.

Thank You…!

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