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Passionate mom of threeโ€ฆFinding balance between life as a mom and running small home businesses

Kunafa & Cheese Recipe

Kunafa & Cheese Recipe

Kunafa… that ooey goey crunchy buttery melted-cheeesy drizzled in sugary syrupy ultimate goodness!! Yeah, we’re not talking anything calorie free here ๐Ÿ™‚


Anywhoooo… I’ve searched high and low for the perfect recipe to imitate the same perfectness as the Kunafa Nabulseya made back home (in Palestine).. I found it here..

Made it a couple times and it is as close as I can get.. I will update this page if i find anything better ๐Ÿ™‚

here we go…

dough mix:
half a package kataifi dough
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup syrup
1 cup clarified butter (sometimes i use vegetable shortening)
Cheese Mix
2 cups milk
one fresh mozzarella cheese ball or 1 lb sweet cheese (from Middle Eastern store)
1/2 cup farina (semolina)
2 cups sugar
1.5 cup water
half a lemon
1 tsp orange blossom water (optional)
Ground pistachios for garnish

this is how the kataifi dough box looks like (or similar)

this is the dough itself. (more like shredded hair)
take half of the dough and place in a food proccessor.
this is still too big
perfect size!
place in a deep bowl.
this is the brand of panko breadcrumbs i used. its the only one i found that day. make sure its PLAIN.
add the 1 cup panko to the dough mix.
I forgot to mention while you’re preparing the dough mix, put the sugar and water to start boiling. this is for your syrup.
after it starts boiling, squeeze half a lemon and add 1 tsp orange blossom water and let boil for another 10 mins then reove from stove. and let cool.
back to the dough, add 1 cup clarified butter and mix. how to clarify butter: melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave or on the stove top. when its all melted, scoop off the top white foamy stuff (the milk in the butter) and whats yellow is the clarified butter. simple!
add 1/2 cup syrup to the mix.
mix well and let rest a lil so everything absorbs.
now for the cheese…. this is the cheese i used. i bought ready from the middle eastern grocery. its in the freezer section usually. its called sweet cheese for knafa and sweets. or just go with the recipe and use fresh mozzerella balls
cut it big slices
pat it with a paper towel to remove excess water.
place all in food proccessor and blend until crumbly.
place the dough mix in a pan and press with ur hands until firmly packed down and there are no gaps.
get your 2 cups milk and in a pan, heat until almost boiling. add the 1/2 cup farina (semolina) and mix until cooked and thick.
once thick and ready ( texture should be as thick as cooked cream of wheat or oatmeal grits)
take off heat , add the crumbled cheese and mix well.
all mixed!
pour over the dough mix in pan.
spread it out evenly. place in already heated oven at 400 f and leave in for about 30 mins until golden brown from bottom. i like to use the clear glass pans so its easier to tell the color. flip it over another pan or plate. cut, drizzle cooled syrup on top, add ground pistachios for garnish and serve hot!



  1. hi, it says if i cant find the weet cheese (jibna hilwa) that i can use one ball of fresh mozzerella ..the sweet cheese is one pound so does that mean i need 1 pound of the mozzerella cheese???..because the ball i found is 8oz.

    • If you are making only the recipe above (half a package of kunafa dough) then one 8 oz ball mixed with the ashta recipe is enough.

  2. I love your presentation of Knafa and your step by step directions on how to make it!

    • Thank you I’m glad you liked!

  3. I see that you dont use kunafa coloring?

    • I do sometimes, when I do I add 1/4 tsp to the kunafa mix before I press it in the pan. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Thank you. It is hard to find all the right things but I will try

  5. Thank you,you make this receipe step by step ,it’s very easy for me ,I like it,

  6. You see the kunafa dough.. can you use shi3ria/sawian instead?? Because I can’t seem to find a middle eastern shop near where I live

  7. Pls tell me the easy&simple kunafa using with nuts

    • I’m so sorry I have no clue how to make that nut filling.

  8. best of all kunafas….1 question is it necessary to add semolina
    and if sweet cheese is not available what is other option, here we get mozeralla hard cheese balls which melts only when you bake it ๐Ÿ™ how to sof it?? plz mail me the answers waiting for ur reply thanks…….

    • You don’t have to add the semolina/milk mix. You can just use cheese. The cheese I use now are the fresh mozarella balls. You will need 1 16oz ball for every package of kunafa.

  9. The way you explain its amazing really i loved it…….
    god bless you with your choicest wish ๐Ÿ™‚
    i love kunafa like any other sweet, here lil bit confused where is sugar syrup to be added??? and can we use chopped pistahcios for garnish?? plz suggest thanks.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • After the kunafa is baked and done. Flip it over on another plate then drizzle the syrup on top, cut and serve. We usually garnish with the pistachios to give it a nice contrast in color. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Is the syrup you add to the dough mix corn syrup? And is it necessary?

    • It is the same simple syrup u make to drizzle on top at the end. It helps keep the dough sticking together so it doesn’t crumble, but other recipes don’t use it so feel free to eliminate if you like. I never tried it without

  11. Can I substitute regular bread crumbs for the panko?

    • I’m not sure, I never tried that. Let me know how it turns out if u fo

      • Just made it using plain italian bread crumbs and it came out really good! Thanks for the recipe!

  12. Hi, Samantha. If I was to opt for vegetable shortening, do I mix it directly into the kunafa dough or I need to melt (liquidify) shortening beforehand?

    • Im guessing yes. Although I never tried it. Let me know how it turns out!


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