Abdul’s Kunafa Recipe

Members of the Syrian community from Hastings and Rother Refugee & Asylum Seeker Project and their buddying scheme kindly demonstrated how to cook this Syrian delicacy as part of the university’s One World Week celebrations on Tuesday 19 March 2019. Here’s Abdul’s delicious recipe for you to try and share with your friends.


  • 500gr Semi-frozen kunafa dough (can be bought from most halal or middle eastern shops)
  • 225 g (1 pack) of unsalted butter
  • Butter to grease baking tin
  • ½ mug (regular coffee mug size) granulated sugar
  • 2 mugs (regular coffee mug size)  water for boiling
  • 2-3 drops of lemon juice
  • 300ml extra thick double cream
  • 125gr grated mozzarella cheese
  • X2 large square or round oven baking trays (these should be the same size)
  • Optional topping: crushed pistachios and pomegranate


  1. Grease both baking tins with butter
  2.  Prepare the sugar syrup by boiling water, sugar and lemon juice. Boil until the sugar completely dissolves. Switch off the hob once the syrup thickens
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan on a low heat until melted and put to one side for later. (It should be a rich yellow colour)
  4.  In a large mixing bowl take the semi-frozen kunafa dough and separate and shred it up until it is in small and fine pieces (this can take up to 15 minutes to do)
  5. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
  6. Mix most of the melted butter with the shredded kunafa dough and mix well until combined
  7. Put half of the shredded kunafa dough mix into the baking tin. Spread and press it down well with the flat bottom of a cup or lid until you have a nice flat layer around 2-3cm thick
  8. Using a tablespoon, place spoonfuls of cream at regular 3cm intervals on the kunafa dough
  9. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese unevenly on the cream and kunafa dough
  10. Place the rest of the shredded kunafa dough on top of the cream and press down slightly, so all the cream and mozzarella is completely covered by the kunafa dough
  11. Using a ladle or large spoon put the remaining spoonfuls of the melted butter on top of the kunafa
  12. Put your kunafa in the oven for 35/40 minutes or until the top turns a nice golden brown colour. Do not allow to burn.
  13. Once the top is brown remove from the oven. Using oven gloves carefully place the second baking tray on top of the kunafa. Turn the baking tray upside down so the base of your kunafa is now on top. Remove the top baking tray and place the kunafa back in the oven for further 15 minutes/until the top is a nice golden brown colour
  14. Remove from oven and drizzle the sugar syrup on top of your kunafa as required.
  15. Serve warm or cool. Optional: sprinkle the crushed pistachio and pomegranate on top before serving


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *