Knafeh Recipe: Crispy and Sweet

knafeh recipe
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Crunchy Knafeh Recipe
Knafeh is a dessert that tantalizes the taste buds with its unique blend of textures and flavors. This dessert features layers of crispy shredded phyllo dough, creamy cheese, and a sweet syrup infused with fragrant hints of orange blossom or rose water

Hey! Today, I’m gonna share with you my absolute favorite recipe for knafeh through Beyond the Bayou Blog , a mouthwatering Middle Eastern dessert that’s just field with deliciousness.

It all started a few years back when I was visiting my friend Lisa make in her hometown of Beirut, Lebanon. One evening, as we strolled through the streets of the city, we stumbled upon a little bakery tucked away in a corner. The aroma of freshly baked pastries wafted through the air, drawing us in like magnets.

I eagerly followed her lead and ordered Philadelphia Cheesecake, Lemon Velvet Cake and a generous slice of knafeh, served piping hot and dripping with sweet syrup. With the first heavenly bite, I was transported to a world of pure bliss. The crispy, golden-brown exterior gave way to a gooey, cheesy center, while the fragrant syrup danced on my taste buds, leaving me craving more with every bite.

From that moment on, I was hooked. I begged Lisa to teach me the secrets of making knafeh, and she gladly obliged, passing down her family recipe with all its cherished traditions. So, without further ado, let’s dive into making some irresistible knafeh together!

What is Knafeh?

Knafeh is a delicious dessert originating from the Middle East. It’s a sweet cheese pastry that boasts a crispy exterior and a gooey, indulgent interior. This treat is crafted using shredded phyllo dough, rich creamy cheese, and a luscious syrup infused with flavors such as orange blossom or rose water. Loved for its combination of crunchy texture, cheesy goodness, and delightful sweetness, knafeh is a true culinary delight!

Overview: How to make Knafeh Recipe?

Overview: How to make Knafeh Recipe

Making Knafeh is a fun and rewarding process that anyone can enjoy. First, you’ll need to prepare the ingredients, which include shredded phyllo dough, creamy cheese, butter, and syrup. Then, start by mixing the shredded phyllo dough with melted butter until it’s nice and coated. Next, spread a layer of the dough mixture in a baking dish to form the base.

Now, it’s time to add a layer of creamy cheese on top of the dough. Once that’s done, cover the cheese with another layer of the dough mixture. Press it down gently to make sure everything sticks together. Pop it in the oven and let it bake until it’s golden brown and crispy on the outside. While it’s baking, prepare the syrup by heating it up until it’s nice and thick. Once the dish is done baking, pour the syrup all over it while it’s still hot. Let it cool down for a bit before serving, and enjoy the sweet, cheesy goodness of your homemade Knafeh.

knafeh recipe

Crunchy Knafeh Recipe

Knafeh is a dessert that tantalizes the taste buds with its unique blend of textures and flavors. This dessert features layers of crispy shredded phyllo dough, creamy cheese, and a sweet syrup infused with fragrant hints of orange blossom or rose water
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Jacob Allen
Servings: 7 people


  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Oven
  • Baking Dish


  • 250 gram Shredded phyllo dough (Kataifi)
  • 1 cup Unsalted butter, melted
  • 500 gran Ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease baking dish.
  • Mix shredded phyllo dough with melted butter.
  • Spread half of the dough in the baking dish.
  • Crumble cheese evenly over the dough.
  • Layer remaining dough on top.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
  • Prepare syrup: Boil sugar, water, and lemon juice.
  • Simmer syrup until slightly thickened, then add flavoring.
  • Pour syrup over baked Knafeh.
  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then garnish with pistachios if desired.
  • Serve warm and enjoy your delicious Knafeh.


  1. Quality Ingredients: Choose high-quality ingredients, especially the cheese and phyllo dough, for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Consistent Layers: Ensure that the layers of dough and cheese are evenly distributed to create a balanced bite in every serving.
  3. Golden Brown: Bake the Knafeh until it’s uniformly golden brown on top for a crispy texture and appealing appearance.
  4. Flavorful Syrup: Use fragrant and flavorful syrup, such as orange blossom or rose water-infused syrup, to enhance the taste of the Knafeh.


Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 30g | Sugar: 30g
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Time for the Tips!

  1. Proper Cooling: Allow it to cool slightly before serving to allow the flavors to develop and prevent burning your mouth.
  2. Garnish Thoughtfully: Garnish with chopped pistachios or other nuts for added texture and visual appeal, but ensure they complement the flavors of the dish.
  3. Serve Warm: This is best enjoyed warm, so serve it shortly after cooling for the most delicious experience.
  4. Butter Application: Ensure the melted butter is evenly distributed throughout the phyllo dough for a consistent texture. Don’t skimp on butter, as it adds richness and helps the layers crisp up during baking.
  5. Syrup Saturation: When pouring the syrup over the baked dish, ensure it covers the entire surface evenly. The syrup adds sweetness and moisture to the dessert, so don’t be afraid to be generous with it.

What to Serve with Knafeh?

serving knafeh recipe
  1. Grapefruit Custard Pie
  2. Fruit Salad
  3. Coffee Milk
  4. Long Island Iced Tea

How to make Perfect Layers for Knafeh?

  1. Prepare Phyllo Dough Mixture: Start by mixing the shredded phyllo dough with melted butter until it’s evenly coated. This ensures that the dough is moist and will stick together, creating cohesive layers.
  2. Layer Bottom and Top: Spread half of the butter-coated phyllo dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish to form the base layer. Then, add the cheese filling evenly over the dough. Finally, spread the remaining butter-coated phyllo dough on top to form the top layer.
  3. Press Gently: After adding each layer of phyllo dough, press down gently with your hands or the back of a spoon to compact the layers and ensure they adhere together. This helps prevent the layers from separating during baking.
  4. Even Thickness: Aim for even thickness when spreading each layer of phyllo dough and cheese filling. This ensures that the Knafeh cooks evenly and results in uniform layers throughout the dessert.
  5. Trim Edges: After assembling the Knafeh layers, trim any excess phyllo dough from the edges of the baking dish for a neat appearance and even baking.
  6. Bake Carefully: Bake the Knafeh in a preheated oven until it’s golden brown and crispy on top. Keep an eye on it during baking to prevent over-browning or burning.

What to do With Leftovers?

  1. Reheat and Serve: Simply reheat the leftover in the oven or microwave until warmed through, then serve it again as a delightful dessert.
  2. Parfait: Layer small pieces of leftover with Greek yogurt or whipped cream in parfait glasses for a delicious and indulgent dessert parfait.
  3. Ice Cream Sundae: Crumble leftover over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with extra syrup for a decadent ice cream sundae.
  4. Knafeh Breakfast Bowl: Enjoy leftover as part of a breakfast bowl by topping Greek yogurt or oatmeal with crumbled dish, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey or syrup.
  5. French Toast: Use leftover Knafeh to make a unique twist on French toast. Dip slices of Knafeh in an egg mixture, then fry them in butter until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Serve with maple syrup for a sweet and savory breakfast treat.
  6. Knafeh Trifle: Layer crumbled Knafeh with whipped cream or custard, fresh fruit, and nuts in a trifle dish for a stunning and delicious dessert.
  7. Knafeh Stuffed Pastries: Use leftover Knafeh as a filling for stuffed pastries such as turnovers or hand pies. Simply wrap the Knafeh in puff pastry dough and bake until golden brown for a tasty snack or dessert.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use different types of cheese?

A: Yes, you can experiment with different types of cheese based on your preference. Traditional options include ricotta or Nabulsi cheese, but mozzarella or a mix of cheeses can also work well.

Q: What if I don’t have orange blossom or rose water for the syrup?

A: You can use other flavorings such as vanilla extract or a splash of citrus juice in the syrup to add flavor to the Knafeh.

Q: Can I make Knafeh without phyllo dough?

A: While phyllo dough is traditional, you can try using other types of pastry dough or even shredded wheat as a substitute.

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