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Kunafa is a beloved Middle Eastern dessert that not only tantalizes your taste buds with its exquisite flavors but also offers surprising health benefits. In this guide, we will take you through the art of making the ultimate Kunafa, step by step, ensuring you master this sweet pastry recipe. Let’s embark on a journey of Kunafa indulgence and discovery!

Kunafa, often called the “queen of desserts,” is a Middle Eastern delicacy celebrated for its rich flavors and delicate layers. It has a long history and is an integral part of Middle Eastern culture and cuisine. Today, we not only bring you the best Kunafa recipe but also reveal its fascinating history and the health benefits it carries.

The Art of Making Kunafa

Making the perfect Kunafa requires a combination of skill, precision, and fresh ingredients. This traditional dessert is an art form in itself, and by following our step-by-step guide, you’ll be well on your way to mastering it. Don’t be intimidated; making Kunafa from scratch is a rewarding endeavor that you can enjoy as a delicious and nutritious dessert.

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s explore the essential Kunafa ingredients. While Kunafa is undeniably a sweet indulgence, there are ways to make it healthier. For instance, choosing high-quality ingredients, like fresh phyllo dough and organic pistachios, can elevate both the taste and nutritional value of your dessert.

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter: the step-by-step Kunafa recipe. We’ll guide you through every stage, from preparing the delicate layers to assembling the dessert and finally baking it to perfection. The result will be an authentic Kunafa that will leave your taste buds craving for more.


For the Kunafa Layers:

  • 1 package of Kunafa dough (also known as Kataifi dough), approximately 450g
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, melted
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For the Kunafa Filling:

  • 2 cups of unsalted, mild white cheese (e.g., mozzarella or akkawi cheese), grated or finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of crushed pistachios for garnish (optional)

For the Kunafa Syrup:

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of orange blossom water (optional)


Prepare the Kunafa Layers:

  • Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Take the Kunafa dough and gently fluff it up using your fingers to separate the strands.
  • Place half of the fluffed Kunafa dough in a large mixing bowl and drizzle it with the melted butter. Toss the dough strands to ensure they are coated evenly.
  • Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
  • Press the buttered Kunafa dough into the bottom of the baking dish to create an even layer.
  • Now, evenly distribute the grated or chopped white cheese over the Kunafa dough layer.

Prepare the Kunafa Filling:

  • In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the optional orange blossom water.
  • Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the cheese layer.

Add the Remaining Kunafa Dough:

  • Take the remaining half of the fluffed Kunafa dough and spread it evenly over the cheese and sugar layers, pressing down gently.

Bake the Kunafa:

  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the Kunafa turns golden brown and crisp.

Prepare the Kunafa Syrup:

  • While the Kunafa is baking, make the syrup. In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, and lemon juice.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it slightly thickens.
  • Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the optional orange blossom water. Allow it to cool.

Serve the Kunafa:

  • Once the Kunafa is done baking and while it’s still hot, pour the cooled syrup evenly over it. Be sure to cover all areas.
  • Allow the Kunafa to absorb the syrup for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Garnish and Enjoy:

  • If desired, sprinkle crushed pistachios on top of the Kunafa for added flavor and a decorative touch.
  • Cut the Kunafa into squares or diamond shapes and serve it warm. It’s best enjoyed fresh!


  • Kunafa is often served warm, but it can also be enjoyed at room temperature.
  • Adjust the level of sweetness by altering the amount of sugar in the syrup or filling to suit your taste.
  • You can experiment with different cheeses or additional fillings like cream or nuts for variations of this classic dessert.
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The Health Benefits of Kunafa

Surprisingly, Kunafa offers some health benefits amidst its decadent sweetness. When consumed in moderation, this dessert can aid in digestion, boost mood, and provide essential nutrients. Plus, its calorie content is relatively moderate compared to other sugary treats.

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Kunafa is more than just a dessert; it’s a cultural treasure that combines exquisite flavors with surprising health benefits. It’s the ultimate sweet pastry recipe for those who seek both indulgence and nutrition in their treats. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, mastering Kunafa will be a delightful journey worth undertaking.


We invite you to embark on your Kunafa-making adventure, a delightful journey that will soon turn you into an expert in crafting this elegant dessert. By following our detailed Kunafa step-by-step guide, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge needed to create a Kunafa that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also pays homage to its rich cultural heritage.

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As you savor the flavors of your homemade Kunafa, you’ll experience more than just its deliciousness. You’ll also discover the deep-rooted traditions and stories woven into every layer of this exquisite dessert. Kunafa is a testament to the Middle Eastern culinary legacy, and each bite carries a piece of its history.

Moreover, Kunafa brings health-conscious elements to your table, offering surprising benefits amidst its sweet indulgence. It’s not just a dessert; it’s a harmonious blend of flavors and textures, showcasing the careful balance that Middle Eastern cuisine is known for.

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So, as you embark on this culinary journey, we wish you happy cooking and indulging in the sweet delicacies of Kunafa culture. May your homemade Kunafa bring joy, satisfaction, and a deeper appreciation for the traditions that make it a truly remarkable dessert.

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