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+ servings
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Kanafeh is a typical Middle Eastern pastry, soaked in rose water syrup, made with kadaif (angel hair), akawi cheese, butter and pistachios or walnuts.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Israeli, Jordanian, Lebanese, Middle Eastern, Syrian, Turkish, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 people
Author: Laurie Liagre
For the kanafeh
  • 8 oz. kadaïf angel hair
  • 16 oz. akawi cheese
  • cup samneh (ghee or clarified butter)
  • 3 oz. crushed pistachios
  • ¼ teaspoon orange food coloring
For the syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • cup caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoons rose water
The day before
  1. To desalt the cheese: Cut the akkawi cheese into slices (not too thin or too thick). Soak them in a large volume of water. Change the water very regularly. It must still be salty to prepare the knafeh.
The day of the preparation
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180°C).

  2. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the clarified butter with the food coloring.
  3. Place the kadaïf in small amounts in a blender and pulse 3 or 4 times to disentangle and reduce their size.

  4. Transfer the kadaïf into a large bowl.
  5. Pour the melted clarified butter and stir with your hands so that all the angel hair are buttered.
  6. Line the bottom of a square, rectangular or round pan with just over half of the kadaif and butter mixture.
  7. Flatten with your hands in the bottom of the pan.
  8. Grate the cheese and cover the kadaïf with the cheese by pressing lightly.
  9. Cover with the rest of the kadaïf. Flatten with the hands so that it is leveled.
  10. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned.
  11. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup:
  12. Heat the sugar and water over low heat and leave on the heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  13. Add the rose water.
  14. Remove from heat and let cool.
  15. When the kanafeh is out of the oven, drizzle the syrup over the kanafeh and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.

  16. Serve hot.