Knafeh Recipe

Last Updated on September 20, 2023 by Jacqueline Rafidi

I 100% consider myself a chocoholic. Whenever I’m at a restaurant and want a dessert, it’s usually something like a molten lava cake or a decadent chocolate torte. But THIS dessert, knafeh, is the only dessert I will choose over any of those. This crunchy, sweet, cheesy dessert takes the cake for me!

This dessert is a major staple in Arab culture, and I’m telling you, ask any Arab what their favorite dessert is.. it’ll most likely be this one!


This crunchy, sweet, cheesy dessert takes the cake for me!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 10


  • Equipment:
  • Food processor
  • Large circle pan with high edges


  • 1 package shredded filo dough 16 oz
  • 16 oz Sweet cheese
  • 12 oz Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 sticks butter melted
  • knafeh food coloring optional

For the simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • -Add sugar to small sauce pan with water and let simmer on medium low over the stove while knafeh is being prepared and cooked
  • -Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • -Add 1 teaspoon of knafeh food coloring to melted butter and mix
  • -Remove shredded filo dough from packaging and place in large bowl. Begin to break apart with your hands and use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut the dough into small shreds
  • -Once dough is in small shreds, add the melted butter with the food coloring and allow to fully saturate the shredded filo dough, set aside
  • -Slice sweet cheese and mozzarella cheese into small cubes and add to food processor. Pulse until all cheese is in small crumbles. Set aside
  • -Add a thin layer of shredded filo dough to the bottom of your circle pan, making sure every inch is covered. Add a all of the cheese crumbles in an even layer for then middle layer of the dessert. Add the rest of the shredded filo dough in an even layer on top, making sure all the cheese crumbles are covered
  • -Place in middle rack of oven for 30-35 minutes or until edges are golden brown
  • -Remove simple syrup from heat once it has thickened and begins to bubble. Add the lemon juice to remove any crystalization
  • -Remove knafeh from oven and serve, adding a small amount of simple syrup to each piece. Enjoy!
Keyword Knafeh!!

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  1. It is good as a quick version. At least finish it thru with the pistachios. With butter it does not give it the authenticity like with Samneh. Plus the traditional Kanafe Babulsieh gets flipped and is Nu He finer. But I suppose for an easy Arab Americanized version it works. Plus it is Fillo (like the double EE sound) dough not the way you pronounce it Fyllo. Just FYI. Just trying to preserve the authenticity of true Kanafe. They already butcher our hummus let’s stick to a more authentic version of kanafe.

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for giving it a try. I really appreciate the feedback and you’re absolutely right, it’s not the most authentic knafeh because of the cheese used and the fact I didn’t flip it. (I forgot that I used butter in this recipe, I have been using samneh for a while now and should update this) But this is how I would have it growing up. My parents didn’t always have access to the most traditional ingredients when I was younger that they’d use overseas, so to me, although not made with Nabulsi cheese, it still carries some nostalgia 😊
      I wrote this about 3 years ago and now make it differently, so I am planning on making an updated video and recipe for it. Thanks for your time commenting and I hope you stick around to see an updated version!

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