Kunafa: Recipe, Nutritional Facts, Health Benefits, And More

Are you ready for a dessert that’s a total showstopper and a tummy pleaser? Well, get your taste buds prepared for a journey to the land of deliciousness because we’re about to dive headfirst into the world of Kunafa! This Middle Eastern food is a true masterpiece, combining crispy, buttery layers of pastry with a luscious. It’s like a party in your mouth!

Now, let’s talk about the nutritional facts, shall we? Well, let’s just say that Kunafa doesn’t exactly qualify as a healthy food. However, who needs a six-pack when you have a six-layer Kunafa, am I right? It’s a dessert meant to be savored and enjoyed in moderation. Plus, the sheer joy it brings to your taste buds is definitely a mood booster.

Here, we are going to discuss the recipe, nutritional facts, health benefits, and more about Kunafa. So, grab a fork, brace yourself for a sugar rush, and let’s indulge in some delicious food magic!

What Is Kunafa?

Kunafa is a popular dessert with Arab origins and people of the Middle East enjoy it. You can also get this delicious food in Turkey. There are two main types of this dessert: Nablus Kunafa and Syrian Kunafa.

To prepare Nablus Kunafa, people use shredding semolina dough into thin strands and soak them in a sweet syrup. Syrian Kunafa, on the other hand, uses a shredded pastry called kataifi, which you can make from a mixture of flour and water.

People fill both types of this dessert with a mixture of cream cheese and mozzarella and then topped with sweet syrup and pistachios. It is a delicious treat and many in the region enjoy it.

Origins Of Kunafa

The Middle East originated Kunafa as a dessert. Arabic cookbooks from the 10th century provide the earliest known references to this food. People believe the dish originated in Syria or Iraq. Then it swiftly spread to other regions in the Middle East, as well as North Africa and the Mediterranean.

People think the name “Kunafa” comes from the Arabic word “Kunif,” which means “thread.” This refers to the shredded wheat pastry that they used to make this dish. They make the pastry by stretching and shredding semolina dough into thin strands.

Recipe Of Kunafa

All the essentials in your kitchen are enough to make these Middle Eastern desserts. This irresistible treat features layers of crunchy shredded pastry, creamy cheese, and a hint of aromatic syrup. With its golden crust and luscious filling, Kunafa is sure to captivate dessert lovers everywhere. Here is the recipe:


  • 500 grams of dough (shredded phyllo dough or kataifi)
  • 250 grams of unsalted butter, melted
  • 250 grams of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup of simple syrup (made by boiling equal parts of water and sugar until sugar dissolves)
  • Optional: Crushed pistachios or almonds for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a round baking pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, separate the dough strands gently with your fingers to ensure they are loose and evenly distributed.
  3. Pour the melted butter over the dough and mix well until you coat all the strands.
  4. Take half of the dough and spread it evenly on the bottom of the baking pan, pressing it down gently to form a compact layer.
  5. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella evenly over the layer of dough.
  6. Cover the cheese layer with the remaining dough, pressing it down gently to form another compact layer.
  7. Place the baking pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the Kunafa turns golden brown and crispy.
  8. Once you bake, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  9. Drizzle the simple syrup over the warm Kunafa, allowing it to soak through the layers. You can adjust the amount of syrup to your desired sweetness.
  10. Optional: Sprinkle crushed pistachios or almonds over the top for added flavor and decoration.
  11. Allow the dessert to cool well before cutting it into squares or wedges for serving.
  12. Serve the Kunafa warm or at room temperature, and enjoy its delicious, sweet, and crispy texture.

Note: This recipe is a basic version of Kunafa. You can experiment with different fillings, such as nuts, cream, or fruits, to create variations according to your taste preferences.

You can also follow the short video of a simple Kunafa Recipe.

Nutritional Facts Of Kunafa

While this Middle Eastern dessert is undoubtedly a treat for the taste buds, it’s important to be aware of its nutritional facts. Kunafa typically contains a combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These make it a calorie-dense dessert that you should enjoy in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Here are the nutritional facts about Kunafa from a reliable source:

Serving size: 1 piece (100g)

  • Calories: 285
  • Total fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 29mg
  • Sodium: 199mg
  • Total carbohydrates: 30g
  • Dietary fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 24g
  • Protein: 2g

Health Benefits Of Kunafa

While Kunafa is a delicious dessert, it is generally not considered a healthy food. It is typically high in calories, saturated fat, and sugar because of its ingredients and preparation methods. Here are a few potential health benefits associated with this dessert include:

  • Source of Calcium: Kunafa often includes a cheese filling, which can provide a wonderful source of calcium. Calcium is necessary for bones and teeth.
  • Nutrient Diversity: Depending on the specific variations and ingredients used in this food, it may provide some nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, the quantities and nutritional profile can vary significantly.
  • Cultural and Social Well-being: Kunafa holds cultural significance and is often associated with celebrations and social gatherings. Enjoying traditional foods can contribute to cultural connection and overall well-being.

Cultural Significance Of Kunafa In Dubai

Kunafa is a popular dessert and people in Dubai often serve it on special occasions. It is a traditional dessert for Ramadan, and people also serve it at weddings, births, and other celebrations.

You may see this dessert as a symbol of hospitality. In the Middle East, it is customary to serve Kunafa to guests. We see this as a way of welcoming guests and showing them they are appreciated.

In some cultures, people consider this food as a symbol of fertility. This is because the shredded wheat pastry looks like resembles a woman’s hair.

Many believe that Kunafa is also associated with love, as people often serve this dish at weddings. In some cultures, they believe that taking this dessert will bring good luck.

Types Of Kunafas In Dubai

There are different types of Kunafa available in Dubai. Some of the most popular include:

  • Na’ameh: This is the most common type of Kunafa. People prepare it with a fine semolina dough that is shredded into thin strands. They then layer the dough with a filling of Nabulsi cheese.
  • Khishneh: People prepare this type with a coarser semolina dough that is shredded into thicker strands. Then they layer the dough with a filling of mozzarella cheese, which is a softer, milder cheese than Nabulsi cheese.
  • Mabroomeh: People in Dubai make this type with a long, thin noodle dough that is rolled around a filling of Nabulsi cheese. Then they bake the rolls, topped with a simple syrup.
  • Bayn Narain: Local vendors make this type with two layers of dough. A coarse semolina dough makes up the bottom layer, while a fine semolina dough makes up the top layer.
  • Kunafa bi Halawi: Locals use a filling of Halawi to make this type of Kunafa. People make Halawi by combining sugar, rose water, and pistachios to create a sweet, sticky paste.

The Best Kunafa Near You In Dubai

Dubai is ‍a place of the best Kunafa establishments, offering a delightful Middle Eastern dessert experience. Discover a hidden gem that stands out among the rest, serving dessert with a crispy pastry, creamy filling, and aromatic syrup. If you’re a dessert enthusiast in Dubai, these destinations should be at the top of your list to savor the finest flavors in town.

Shop Address
Qwaider Al Nabulsi Sweets 514 Al Rigga Road, Bur Dubai, Dubai
Al Samadi Sweet 627 Al Karama Road, Al Karama, Dubai
Bait al Kanafa Traditional Foods 114 Al Satwa Road, Al Satwa, Dubai
Mr. Kunafa Shop 101, Al Muraqqabat Souq, Al Muraqqabat, Dubai
Al Baba Sweets Shop 12, Al Manara Mall, Al Manara, Dubai
Narbus Near Wafi Mall, Jumeirah 1, Duba
Salé Sucré Shop 102, The Beach, JBR, Dubai
Wafi Gourmet Wafi Mall, Jumeirah 1, Dubai
Looshis Bakery Jumeirah Beach Residences 1, Dubai
Abu Shakra Sweets Shop 108, Al Nahda Mall, Al Nahda, Dubai
Al Fanoos Sweets Shop 205, Al Ghurair Centre, Deira, Duba
Halwani Sweets Shop 204, Al Ghurair Centre, Deira, Dubai
Habibi Sweets Shop 111, BurJuman Centre, BurJuman, Dubai
Aziz Sweets Shop 206, BurJuman Centre, BurJuman, Dubai
Al Reef Lebanese Bakery Jumeirah Beach Residences 1, Dubai
Sultan Sweets Shop 201, Al Ghurair Centre, Deira, Dubai
Misk Sweets Shop 102, Al Safa Mall, Al Safa, Dubai
Al Badia Sweets & Pastries Shop 104, Al Manara Mall, Al Manara, Dubai
Madina Sweets Shop 203, Al Ghurair Centre, Deira, Dubai
Al Mallah Sweets Shop 103, Al Safa Mall, Al Safa, Dubai


Potential Side Effects Of Taking Excessive Kunafa

While indulging in Kunafa can be a delightful experience, excessive consumption can have potential side effects worth considering. Overindulging in this rich Middle Eastern dessert may lead to weight gain because of its high calorie and sugar content. Some potential demerits of this dessert include:

  • High in Calories: Kunafa is typically calorie-dense because of its ingredients, such as butter, sugar, and cheese. Excessive calorie consumption can contribute to weight gain and associated health issues.
  • High in Saturated Fat: This dessert often contains significant amounts of saturated fat, primarily from butter and cheese. Diets high in saturated fat can increase cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular diseases if consumed in excess.
  • High in Sugar: People sweeten this food with syrup, which adds to its overall sugar content. Consuming excessive amounts of added sugars can lead to weight gain and tooth decay. It can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Potential for Overeating: Its rich and indulgent taste may lead to overeating, especially when consumed in large portions or without portion control. Overeating can contribute to discomfort, weight gain, and potentially adverse health effects.
  • Dietary Restrictions and Allergies: Kunafa contains ingredients like dairy and gluten. These may pose challenges for individuals with lactose intolerance, dairy allergies, or gluten sensitivities. It’s important to consider alternative recipes or adaptations to accommodate dietary restrictions.
  • Lack of Nutrient Density: While this dessert may provide certain nutrients, it is generally low in essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Relying on it as a significant part of one’s diet may lead to nutrient deficiencies if he does not consume other nutrient-rich foods.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where Did Kunafa Originate?

Kunafa originated in the Middle East, with its exact place of origin being debated among different countries in the region.

What Are The Traditional Fillings For Kunafa?

The most traditional filling for this dessert is cheese, typically a white-brined cheese like akkawi or nabulsi. However, variations with nuts or cream fillings are also popular.

Can You Make Kunafa At Home?

Yes, you can make this popular dessert at home. While the process requires some skill and attention to detail, there are numerous recipes and tutorials available to guide you through the steps. You can also follow the recipe above to make the basic type of Kunafa.

Should You Serve Kunafa Hot Or Cold?

People enjoy Kunafa both hot and cold, depending on personal preference. Locals often serve it warm or at room temperature, but some variations, like Kunafa with ice cream, are served chilled.

Can You Customize The Syrup Used In Kunafa?

Yes, you can customize the syrup according to your personal taste. You can make it with different flavors, such as rose water or orange blossom water, to add a unique twist.

Are There Any Gluten-Free Variations Of Kunafa?

While traditional Kunafa is not gluten-free because of the use of phyllo dough or kataifi, there are gluten-free alternatives available. These types use gluten-free shredded phyllo dough or substitute it with other ingredients like vermicelli or rice noodles.

Final Words

Kunafa is a cherished dessert with a rich history and cultural significance. While it offers a delightful taste experience, enjoy it in moderation because of its high calorie, saturated fat, and sugar content. Nonetheless, this dessert brings people together and is appreciated worldwide for its unique flavors.

So, indulge in a slice of this mouthwatering food, savor its deliciousness, and remember to embrace balance in your enjoyment of this beloved treat.

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