Classic Kunafa by Salima Khaled

By Salima Khaled

Kunafa recipe

A Kunafa is a thing of beauty when done right. And with this recipe I took from @brimabarhoom and adapted to my liking, it couldn’t be any simpler. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I enjoyed eating it!


  • 500g kataif (shredded filo pastry/vermicelli)
  • 1 cup melted butter

For the filling

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 heaped tbsp cornflour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • Half a cup cream cheese (philadelphia or mascapone)
  • 1 heavy cream
  • Pistachio crumble


  1. For the filling, put 2 cups of milk in a pan and on low heat allow to boil.
  2. Then mix the 3rd cup of milk with cornflour and pour in the pan.
  3. Allow for the mixture to thicken to a custard like consistency.
  4. Turn off the heat and add rosewater, sugar, cream cheese and heavy (double) cream, and stir so all the ingredients mix together.
  5. Chop the kataif into small pieces and pour the melted butter on them and mix so that they are covered completely in butter.
  6. Grease a kunafa tray or cake tin and spread half the kataif all over it, covering it completely, including the sides, so the filling doesn’t burn. Press down on it firmly either with your hand or another tin.
  7. Spread the filling over and then cover with the rest of the left over kataif to cover it completely.
  8. Place foil over it and put another slightly smaller tin on it. Bake at 180° for 45 minutes.
  9. Garnish with pistachio crumbs.

Sidenote: How much of the kataif and filling you use depends on the size of your tin. My tin required only half the amount of kataif and filling; I could have easily made two kunafa dishes with this recipe!

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