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cream kunafa
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5 from 1 vote

Cream Kunafa

Watch and learn how to make the popular Cream Kunafa filled with semolina cream, baked to golden brown and doused in aromatic simple syrup.
Prep Time1 hr 25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: arabic, middle eastern
Keyword: Eid Sweets, kunafa dessert, kunafa recipe with semolina and cream
Servings: 6 Pieces
Author: Famidha Ashraf


For the Aromatic Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 green cardamom
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon rose water
  • ¼ teaspoon orange blossom water

For the Knafeh Cream Filling

  • 1 cup full-fat milk
  • ½ cup whipping cream or fresh cream or tin cream
  • 1 tablespoon semolina
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 mastic beads crushed (optional but recommended)
  • ½ teaspoon rose water
  • ½ teaspoon orange blossom water

For the Kunafa dough

  • 250 grams frozen kunafa dough If using fresh, freeze overnight to make it easy
  • ½ cup melted ghee
  • ghee to grease the pan

For garnish

  • dried rose petals
  • crushed pistachios


Prepare the sugar syrup (You may make this a day ahead and refrigerate)

  • Add the sugar, water, lemon juice and cardamom to a deep saucepan and bring to a boil. Do not stir this at any point. Let it boil until all the sugar dissolves.
  • Reduce the flame to low and let it simmer for 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Switch off and stir in the rose water and orange blossom water.
  • Transfer the syrup into a mug to cool completely.

Prepare the Cream filling (You may make this ahead and refrigerate)

  • Whisk together milk, cream, semolina, sugar, and cornflour until well combined without any visible lumps.
  • Bring this to boil on a medium flame while whisking constantly to prevent the cream from sticking to the bottom and getting burnt.
  • Whisk on low to medium flame for about 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken (it will thicken more while cooling).
  • Switch off and stir in the rose water and orange blossom water and keep aside.

Prepare the Kunafa Crust

  • Crush the dough using hands while frozen or use a mixie to do the job but make sure it is not super fine. We need texture.
  • Pour ¼ cup of melted ghee and use a long fork or gloves to rub the dough with ghee. Add the remaining ghee and make sure every strand of the dough is coated with ghee. You can switch to a rubber spatula and do the folding method to ensure an even coating. Take time for this step as this is what makes a baked kunafa soft and crispy.
  • Grease an 8-inch pan with ghee all over and on the sides.
  • Transfer ⅔ of the prepared dough onto the greased pan and spread it to cover the bottom. Use a small flat-bottomed mug or cup to help you with flattening the crust evenly. Spread the crust to the sides of the pan too like a wall around the pan. This will encase the cream filling that we will add. Make sure there are no cracks in the bottom and that it is even throughout. Don't go to the next step until your crust is firm and neat.
  • Pour the prepared cream filling into the crust. Spread the filling evenly across the crust using the back of a spoon.
  • Spread the remaining kunafa dough carefully and lightly all over the cream filling. Make sure no cream is visible.
  • Use the spoon to lightly press down around the edge to seal the crust.

Bake the Kunafa with cream

  • Preheat the oven to 200℃ with the rack on level 2.
  • Bake the kunafa for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top and sides of the kunafa are deep golden brown in colour and has pulled away from the sides of the pan. If you notice the sides brown and released much earlier, then reduce the temperature to 180℃ for the remaining time.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately pour the cooled sugar syrup into a thin stream making sure to cover the entire surface. Reserve the remaining syrup for later.
  • Let it rest in the pan itself for 10 minutes.
  • Flip onto a serving platter. Keep the serving platter on the cake pan, hold with both hands and flip so that the cake pan is on top now. Remove the pan to reveal the beautifully baked kunafa.
  • Garnish with dried rose petals and crushed pistachios.

Serve Kunafa warm

  • Use the reserved syrup to serve along with the warm kunafa.
  • Cut the kunafa using the knifepoint and stab across till the edge and repeat the other side and use a cake server to remove the cut piece and serve.
  • Store any leftover covered in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat the stovetop on a flat pan. Do not microwave.