Kanafeh Dessert

I can’t seem to stop myself from making Kanafeh at least once a month, and when you try it, you will know why.

Kanafeh or (knaffeh) is a very popular dessert throughout the Arab world! It’s sweet, cheesy, and easy to prepare, of course at the same time it’s very delicious.

There are different kinds of Kanafeh (rough, fine, and mixed) and every one has a favorite. I will be posting the rough one today.

It became my potluck dish to almost every party I go to.


Kanafeh Dessert



1 package of shredded Filo dough (another name Kataifi)

1 pound of sweet cheese

1 pound of mozzarella cheese

1cup soften sweet butter

1/ 2 cup chopped pistachios


2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1tbs. Mazaher (orange blossom water)



Mix sugar and water, boil until slightly thickened, add orange blossom water

Let it cool down.


Follow all photos

Just make sure you shred the dough and mix well with butter.

Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown.


Serve Kanafeh while WARM, add syrup to your taste.

Kanafeh Dessert


Add the soft butter, mix and shred until it becomes Light and fluffy!

Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


Kanafeh Dessert


~ by simplyheavenfood on July 10, 2009.

35 Responses to “Kanafeh Dessert”

  1. Wow! Your step-by-step photos have me drooling! What are the chances of me scoring an invite to a potluck where you’ll be bringing this? 😉

  2. That looks sooo good, Afaf! I love Middle Eastern desserts because they’re usually not too sweet! I like that. Can’t wait to try this.

  3. Afaf, I love your step-by-step photos for this recipe! I have actually eaten this and a similar recipe from India and Pakistan called Sewian. It is actually made with vermicelli instead of shredded phyllo dough and instead of Mazaher, we use rose water. They are very similar recipes and taste as equally delicious. I was actually looking for this recipe a few months ago and the one I found wasn’t very tasty (which really surprised me), then I found an okay recipe, but your recipes are always amazing, so I’ll try it out with yours. This is definitely finding it’s place in my recipe binder.

    Thanks for sharing such a great recipe with us! 😀

  4. Any dessert that has mozzarella in it is OK with me! Afaf, every visit to your site is another learning experience for me. Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful dishes from your beautiful country with us.

    Your blog continues to strengthen my belief that we are the best culinary nation in the world, because of all of the different varieties of food we have available to us from all over the world.

    We are blessed to have people like you who share the best of what the world has to offer.

  5. “Sweet AND Cheesy”???? Can you please make this for GARDEN JAM?

    You are the QUEEN of step-by-step photo instructions!

  6. Jo, Phil and Charles!! Your continuous support and nice comments leave me speechless! Thank you all!!!!
    For sure I will add this dessert on the menu for Garden Jam!

  7. This dessert looks very rich and creamy, yum! The only thing remotely close to this dessert that I’ve ever had, is a dessert made with cottage cheese, nuts and raisins, made by my friend from Bangladesh.

  8. Fabulous. I think I’ve had a version of this at a Lebanese restaurant that I frequent. Amazing stuff, the orange blossom syrup gives it such a special quality. Thanks for posting this, love your site!

  9. I’ve never heard of this dessert before. It looks rich and decadent. A wonderful treat!

  10. Amazing blog. soooooo coulourful et so yummy!……. please keep up your good work!

  11. looks good, I think i had this in Brooklyn once, we used to eat lots of middle eastern food there, when we visited friends, love it, nice blog came from kamrans LOL

  12. yumm , I am always on the look out for middle eastern recipes , but i do have a question, is there an alternative for filo pastry.

  13. I have kanafe dough sitting in my freezer, but I’ve never set aside the time to make this dessert. Looks beautiful!
    يسلمو دياتك

  14. There is one (and only one) very good reason that I am glad I don’t get to see you very often. I would be the size of a house! Everything you make causes me to salivate! This looks sensational!

  15. Yes!!!! I’ve been waiting for this recipe. My husband has seriously been begging me to make him knaffe for over 3 years! Can’t wait to try your recipe. All of your food looks absolutely amazing. I’m so glad I found your blog via My last bite via foodgawker.

  16. You make me wish I could eat that! Love all your photos, beautiful 🙂

  17. Wow, what a fascinating dessert! Would love to try it. I am not familiar with Sweet Cheese. Will have to locate a source for that. …Susan

  18. Marhaba Afaf,

    THis is a gourgeous looking kanefe my dear, Bitshahi.
    I dont have sweet cheese in my area, I use instead the fresh mozarella cheese – Bococchini cheese comes in small balls.
    thanks for sharing.

  19. This looks good. I always wanted to try this dessert.
    What is or what can I use instead of “sweet cheese”? Ricotta will work?
    I’d love to make this but hesitate becuae of the 2 cups of sugar(that’s a lot for me) – do you think it’ll be good if I cut it to only 1 cup?

  20. Wow, this looks so delicious! A couple of stupid questions (sorry) is sweet cheese at all similar to cream cheese or mascarpone? How do you shred the Filo dough or do you buy it that way? Thank you!

  21. Hi every one! Sweet Cheese is a little similar to non salted Halloumi or non salted Plaited cheese. Thank you!

    Peanutts: I haven’t made it with an alternative pastry, I think it will be best at the original dough. Thank you!

    1 family food: yes you can cut the sugar to one cup (also reduce the water to 1 / 2 cup).
    Thank you!

    Phoo-D: I usually shred the dough by hand (it’s soft). Thank you!

  22. I would like to THANK every one for taking the time and leaving these kind comments! At the same time apologize for not getting back soon enough to answer your questions.
    I’ve been on summer vacation with the family. THANK YOU ALL again!


  23. Oh My. This looks delicious!
    I have to say kanafeh tastes great!
    I cant wait to go visit my parents for the eid and have some kanafeh. We go eat it hot and fresh at the Masri Sweets store!
    This looks delicious by the way.
    Yeslamo dayatik!

  24. You make it once a month! You must have very strong willpower. I would be 500 pounds by now if I made it more often than once every 5 years!
    Beautiful result and great post!

  25. hi. I’m from malaysia. i’ve lived in jordan for a few years and realy like to introduce knafeh to my family in malysia. i’m a little confused, did you blend both the cheese? and what’s that stuff you spread on the pan


  27. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I can not believe that it is possible to make this at home. I have only ever had this delicious dessert in a restaurant. Never in a million years would I think to make it myself! I am going to try this recipe. You are the best. Most graciously yours O.Kaye

  28. Our tour group was on the steps of the museum in Amman Jordan. Our guide brought this to us while we waited. We all wondered why we stopped the bus earlier. I am having some ladies over for a bunco party tomorrow night. This is what I will be attempting. I have the rose water, so will try that, and also read where ricotta would work in a pinch. Fingers crossed!!!!!!

  29. This looks amazing.

  30. wow oh wow!! i cant stop visiting your page and looking at this over and over,hopefully i can make it when i get back to tokyo….is there any substitute for sweet cheese? thank you

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