♥♥ When two Cultures mixed (。◕‿◕。) Anything in my Page are only simple thing, but I did it with great love.

Künefe Recipe /Turkish sweet cheese kadayif pastry (Kunafa / kanafeh)

Selam Everybody...... Merhaba From Turkey...

Künefe or kanafeh or kunafeh or kunafah or ... I don't know any other names of it.. But basically it's sweet pastry made from wiry kadaif filled/ layered with unsalty soft cheese and soaked in sugar syrup. Served hot or room temperature.
Künefe is popular from Turkey and from some Mediterranean countries (as a former Ottoman Empire)

In Turkey, some cities (like Hatay, Adana, Mersin, Sanliurfa, Mardin) had claimed where this Künefe originated from. But according sources Künefe originally from Arabian.The soldiers of the Ottoman Empire which was sent on the road to the establishment of the Republic has gone to Yemen. Some of troops here had made some "sweets/ dessert" and then later when they (ottoman soldiers) have returned to their home they started to learn making this dessert. Künefe came to Mersin the end of the year 1930, and to Hatay at 1940s.

I ate this sweet pastry first time few years ago when I got to Turkey for 1st time ( I think it was around 2008). And my first impression was this dessert was away too sweet for me.. any Turkish dessert were too much sweet for me as they mostly soaked in thick sugar syrup.
But after few years living here slowly my taste have adapted, but still I eat some sweets in moderation.

This popular and everybody's favorite dessert is surprisingly easy to make. Here I use a plate specially for making Künefe. It has about 15 cm in diameter with deep-set in middle part (around 12 mm depth). But feel free to use baking tray or pan.
The recipe I saw from this video, and yes.. there is not exact amount of ingredients used. You need to know that this künefe has thin layer with cheese layer in between. Press the kadaif pretty hard to make it solid and flat.

yeaah... for me who living in Turkey, it's very easy for me to get this dessert around the corner, but again, since I'm living here -which is easily access to all ingredients - I want to experience (not mastered though) how to make this famous dessert for my family.
So for you who wants to experience Turkish dessert for your family... here recipe I use:

Serve 3~4 plate


For thick sugar syrup (make a head):
  • 650~700 gr sugar
  • 400 ml water
  • 1 tsp corn syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zest.
⇒Mix all ingredients and heat until rolling boiled. Chill to room temperature until ready to use.

I use unsalted string cheese
 For kadayif pastry:
  • About 350 gr stale wiry kadayif*
  • about 400 gr good quality butter, soften at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp molasses ( I use grape molasses)
  • "künefe soft cheese" unsalted (here mostly people use hatay cheese or string cheese)
  • Pistachio and clotted cream (turk; kaymak) for serving.
(*) I use fresh kadayif then keep in room temperature unwrap so it gets dry a bit.

Kadayıf string
 How to make:
1. Roughly chopped kadayif into smaller part

2. Mix soften butter with grape molasses. Take your künefe plate (or use baking tray or cast iron pan), generously rub with butter.

3. Scatter chopped kadayif over butter. I didn't measure exactly how many grams (around 50 gr each layer). Then press firmly with your palms or something flat and heavy so you will get firm and solid layer.

4. Layer the cheese evenly over kadayıf.

5) Again cover with kadayif and press firmly.

6) Heat over low flame while press the surface with something flat. Cook until brown, you can see the edge become brown and künefe can easily separate from plate.

7. Now this is a little bit tricky step.... How to turn over your künefe. Take one flat plate, put face down over künefe plater then with fast movement flip over those plates... taddaaa...

8. Generously rub again künefe plater with butter before slip over your künefe.

9. Cook other side over low heat evenly until golden brown. Once off from stove, generously  flush künefe with sugar syrup.

Serve warm or room temperature. Sprinkle with chopped/ powdered pistachio and dollop of clotted cheese (kaymak).
I skip kaymak because I think I already gain some big calories with this dessert (^,^)

  • This food is highly recommended while you visit Turkey, especially to these area: Hatay, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Mardin, Adana, Mersin and around that area (^,^)
  • Do not think about your diet program while enjoy this. 
  • Note and bookmark this recipe cause it's addictive dessert, you might want it again and again (^,^)



  1. Wow, that is so unique! You always introduce us to such intriguing recipes!

    1. Thank you dear Rebecca... living in other country is one advantage to know something really new including cuisines ^,^

  2. This looks so good! I've had this before and it's awesome!

    1. Glad that you tasted this before.. And I guess I'm not mistaken saying that it is addictive food, right? ^,^

  3. So gorgeous! I've never had anything like this beautiful dessert before, I wish I was nearby, I would be at your door with a fork! :D How fun, thanks for sharing!!

    1. I wish you were nearby Debra... I would love to share anything with you ^,^

  4. This is a new food to me but I'm loving everything about it! Plus, it looks REALLY simple and super easy to try - I'll have to make it soon :D

    1. Hi Chrisy... it is indeed simple than anyone thought. you should try it sometimes

  5. So unique, it looks wonderful!

  6. roughly how many calories is this dessert? it looks really good:)

    1. I don't know exactly how many cal in this yummy dessert. But I wrote a warning there: Do not think your diet program while eating this.. (^,^) or you should exercise double after enjoying this :=)

  7. We went to Istanbul last year and had the pleasure to taste this dessert, which became a daily thing throughout our journey there... coming back home we got a kitty which we had to call Kunefe (yes had to) ��.
    Iam trying this one today but will have to do with mozzarella as I couldn't get any soft cheese with light taste...

    1. Wow... so glad that you love this Amel. İ bet your kitty sweet and cute *_*

  8. İstanbul geldiğine sevindim

    1. Teşekkur ederim Ayşe Hanım ^_^ Bursada Yaşiyorum

  9. Can you help me find these plates? I want to make this and cannot find the plates to make it in. Thanks.

  10. I have checked everywhere to buy these plates. I live in NJ. Can you help me find them for purchase? Alice

    1. Hai Alice..thank you for dropping by. maybe you can check at middle eastern/ turkish store around your neighbourhood. Or you can buy online. But also you can use normal baking tray or even your cast iron pan may works well. Hope it helps you.

  11. I was in Istambul this month and ate kunefe, is realy good but to sweet.i d like to know if the "pasta" is wet or dry, the kadaiyf, I d like to try to make it, with mozarella.
    I love your blog.


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