Künefe is a sumptuous Turkish dessert that hails from the southeastern region of Turkey. This delightful dish weaves together the textures and flavors of shredded phyllo dough, unsalted cheese, and a sweet syrup, finished off with a sprinkle of ground pistachios. Best served warm, Künefe is a celebration of taste and tradition, offering a crispy exterior with a gooey, cheesy interior.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serving: 4


  • 2 cups of finely shredded kadayıf (phyllo dough)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups of unsalted cheese (such as mozzarella or a traditional Turkish cheese like dil peyniri), shredded
  • For the Syrup:
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Ground pistachios for garnish


  1. Prepare the Syrup:
    • Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until it thickens slightly. Allow to cool.
  2. Assemble the Künefe:
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Mix the shredded kadayıf with melted butter until well coated.
    • Place half of the buttered kadayıf in a round baking dish, pressing down lightly. Spread the shredded cheese evenly over it, leaving a small margin around the edges. Cover with the remaining kadayıf, pressing gently.
  3. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top turns a golden brown.
  4. Final Touches:
    • Remove from the oven and immediately pour the cooled syrup over the hot künefe. Allow it to soak for a few minutes.
  5. Serve:
    • Garnish with ground pistachios. Serve warm for the best experience.


  • The key to a great künefe is the balance between the syrup’s sweetness and the mildness of the cheese.
  • For an authentic touch, serve alongside Turkish tea or a scoop of ice cream.
  • Künefe is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven when the cheese is still stretchy and the syrup has been fully absorbed.

Nutritional Information per Serving (Based on USDA Guidelines):

  • Calories: 580 kcal
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 80g
  • Fat: 25g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Sugars: 50g

Photo: <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/turkish-kunefe-garnished-with-pistachio_6979422.htm#fromView=search&page=1&position=0&uuid=61813c62-3416-48f2-9958-c40e1dd446e7″>Image by KamranAydinov on Freepik</a>

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