Kunafa, also known as Kanafeh or Knafeh, is a popular Middle Eastern dessert especially during the holy month of Ramadan. Kunafa has other names in the Mediterranean region such as Kataifi, it has gained worldwide recognition with its versatile sweet and savory filling.
If you have a box of shredded phyllo dough, let me show you 21+ ways to use it.
Kunafa pastry can be purchased in your local Middle Eastern store but if you cannot find it here is an easy recipe for how to make Kunafa from scratch.
- An iconic dish that shows up regularly and very impressive.
- Easy to work with and very versatile.
- A budget-friendly delicious treat that you can even make the dough yourself at home.
- Buttery, sweet and crunchy a drool worthy dessert but also can be used in savory dishes.
Classic Cream Filled Kunafa
My mom's signature dish, this kunafa recipe has been in the family for decades and it never fails.
Can be made into parfait style or the traditional style. This Mango kunafa is one of the new kunafa recipes that chefs has introduced in the last couple of decades. Fruity creamy yet still buttery and crunchy.
Birds Nest Kunafa
Edible bird's nest, this kunafa is made by rolling Kataifi into bird's like shape and filling them with your favorite nuts.
More Kunafa Recipes
- Chocolate Kunafa Cookies! Kunafa like you've never seen it before.
- Greek Kunafa (Kataifi).
- Vegan Kunafa.
- Red Velvet Kunafa.
- Mixed Nuts Kunafa.
- Cheese Knafeh.
- Toffee Kunafa.
- Kunafa Pie.
- KitKat Kunafa.
- Kunafa Cones.
- Feta Kunafa.
- Mini Kunafa Cream Puffs.
- Kunafa Osmaliya.
- Lotus Kunafa.
Savory Kunafa Recipes
- Chicken Kunafa Rolls.
- Shrimp Kunafa with tahini dressing.
- Savoury Kunafa.
- Savory Kunafa Pie.
- Creamy Egg Kunafa.
Cheese Kunafa is usually made with sweet cheese, Nabulsi and Akkawi are the most common cheese used in the Middle East. Fresh Mozzarella can also be used.
The origin of Kunafa is still debatable, the most common story refers back to the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt but it is not verified. The work Kunafa showed up in many Arab cook books from the 13th and 14th centuries.
According to this Arabic video, Kunafa is derived from the word"Kanaf" which can mean many things like saying " Kanaf Allah" meaning the protection of God
Things to Know
Follow these tips to make the best Kunafa regardless of the recipe.
- Use the best quality ghee you can get. Homemade ghee is perfect for this recipe.
- The ratio of sugar : water in the kunafa syrup should be 2:1 or closer. we aim for a thick sugar syrup.
- I love my Kunafa crunchy but not rock hard, if you like yours more soft cover it immediately with aluminum foil right after pouring the syrup over and leave it to cool down.
21+ Best Kunafa Recipes
- ¼ to ⅓ packet of shredded phyllo dough (Kataifi) A packet is usually 450gm.
- ¼ cup melted butter.
- Ice cream of your choice.
- Optional : Simple syrup or honey.
- Ground nuts of your choice.
- Start by dividing the kunfa dough into 6 equal parts.
- Brush each part with melted butter or butter/oil combination.
- Brush each cup in a 6-cup muffin tin with butter then roll the kunafa dough around until you form a nice cup.
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven until it is golden brown.
- If using, drizzle the knafeh cups while hot with simple syrup or honey.
- Right before se