Kadaif: A Sweet & Crispy Dessert (Kadayif)

Jump to recipe


Kadaif (Kadayif) is actually finely shredded filo (phyllo) dough which is used in various Middle Eastern desserts. In this case though it’s also the name of the dessert itself. While researching several countries for my ‘Baking Around the World‘ challenge Kadaif popped up several times. In Turkey it’s called Kadayif. Even though this dessert is typical to various countries, I decided to make the Albanian version.

Where to buy Kadaif (Kadayif) dough

The shredded filo (phyllo) dough in this recipe can be found in Middle Eastern or International supermarkets. I saw that Amazon has a selection of shredded filo dough as well (note: this is an affiliate link,). Your local International or Middle Eastern supermarket is probably cheaper though.

Kadaif – Albanian style

Kadaif (Kadayif) is really easy to make.

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 1

You’ll need, sugar, water, melted butter, vanilla sugar, the peel and juice of a lemon, kadaif (shredded filo/phyllo dough) and walnuts.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 2

Take the Kadaif and separate it on a baking tray.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 3

Pour the melted butter onto the dough.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 4

Mix the butter into the dough, make sure it’s coated all over.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 5

Put half of the filo dough into a baking tray, spread evenly.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 6

Sprinkle over half of the chopped walnuts.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 7

Add the other half of the buttered filo dough onto the walnuts, spread evenly. And put into a preheated oven, bake till golden brown. While it’s in the oven let’s start with the syrup.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 8

In a saucepan add sugar.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 9

Vanilla sugar.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 10

Water.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 11

And the peel of a lemon. Optionally you can also add one stick of cinnamon at this point.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 12

Bring to a boil while stirring.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 13

Add the juice of a lemon and let simmer for another 7 minutes.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 14

Let the syrup cool slightly and take out the lemon peel.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 15

You should end up with a nice transparant syrup.

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 16

Take your golden brown baked Kadaif.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 17

And while the Kadaif and the syrup are still warm (not hot), pour the syrup all over the Kadaif. You might think the syrup is too much, but pour it all over, the dough will eventually absorb the syrup.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe - Step 18Top with the remaining walnuts and let it soak for at least one hour or until all the dough has absorbed all of the syrup.

 

Kadaif (Kadayif) Recipe

Cut into squares and enjoy 🙂

These Kadaif squares are even better the next day when the sugar syrup has fully soaked into the dough. The dough will be crispy on top and soft and sticky (in a good way) at the bottom with the crunch of the walnuts in between. If you’ve got a sweet tooth you’ll love these!

Don’t forget to tag me on Social Media when you’ve made this dessert. And let me know if you like it.

A great recipe for Kadaif (Kadayif)

Save

Print
Kadaif: A Sweet & Crispy Dessert (Kadayif)
These Kadaif (Kadayif) squares are even better the next day when the sugar syrup has fully soaked into the dough. The dough will be crispy on top and soft and sticky (in a good way) at the bottom with the crunch of the walnuts in between. If you've got a sweet tooth you'll love these!
Kadaif: A Sweet & Crispy Dessert (Kadayif) Recipe | Kadaif (Kadayif) is even better the next day when the syrup has soaked into the dough. Crispy on top, soft and sticky at the bottom. | https://www.cakieshq.com
Votes: 18
Rating: 4.39
You:
Rate this recipe!
Cuisine Albanian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 60 minutes
Servings
squares
Ingredients
Kadaif
Syrup
Cuisine Albanian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 60 minutes
Servings
squares
Ingredients
Kadaif
Syrup
Kadaif: A Sweet & Crispy Dessert (Kadayif) Recipe | Kadaif (Kadayif) is even better the next day when the syrup has soaked into the dough. Crispy on top, soft and sticky at the bottom. | https://www.cakieshq.com
Votes: 18
Rating: 4.39
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Kadaif
  1. Preheat the oven to 175 ºC / 350 ºF.
  2. Desperate the Kadaif onto a baking tray and pour over the melted butter. Make sure all the threads of dough are covered with butter.
  3. Put half of the dough into a 35cmx25cm / 14 inch x10 inch baking tray, spread evenly. And sprinkle over half of the walnuts.
  4. Add the remaining half of the dough into the baking tray, spread evenly over the walnuts.
  5. Put into the oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of the oven and leave to slightly cool.
Syrup
  1. Bring water sugar, vanilla sugar and the lemon peel to a boil. Keep stirring till the sugar has dissolved and the water is clear.
  2. Add the lemon juice and leave to simmer for another 7 minutes.
  3. Leave to cool slightly. Remove the lemon peel.
Finishing the Kadaif
  1. While the Kadaif and the syrup are still warm (not hot), pour the syrup all over the Kadaif. You might think the syrup is too much, but pour it all over, the dough will eventually absorb the syrup.
  2. Top with the remaining walnuts and let it soak for at least one hour or until all the dough has absorbed all of the syrup.
  3. Cut into squares and serve.
Recipe Notes

You can add a stick of cinnamon into the sugar at the same time as the lemon peel and remove at the same time as the lemon peel.

17 comments

  1. Stela
    1 March 2019

    I am from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the version you made here IS what we also call kadaif. Like with lots of dishes and cakes with Middle Eastern origin there are hundreds of ‘right versions’, and ‘my version is correct, not yours’ debates.
    I can tell you in entire region including Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia…. this is what we call kadaif.
    I also know there are lots of other versions with kajmak, cream, different nuts etc etc and they are called similar names.
    Your recipe is spot on. Great stuff.

    1. 2 March 2019

      Thanks, I’m glad you like the recipe 🙂 I’ve noticed there’s much debate regarding the name 😀

      1. Maryam Ibrahim
        19 July 2019

        We are Egyptian and know this as kunafa. Our favourite is with custard in the middle. Love it with ice cream too. Just taken some out of the oven and the smell is killing me!!!!!

        1. 22 July 2019

          Your version with custard sounds delicious as well. Can’t wait to try that one day!

  2. Deniz
    17 February 2019

    Sorry I have to correct you at this point. This is Kadayif, original name is Tel Kadayifi (string kadayif) There are 3 kinds of kadayif. 1. Tel kadayif whics is the one you see picture of it on this page. 2. Ekmek Kadayifi (bread kadayif) it is in round tray with syrup, look like flat cake brown in color. people enjoy to eat it with a piece of kaymak (milk cream) 3. Tas kadayif. Read it Tash. (stone kadayif) thos one you are talking about. It looks like small round pancake and yes you give the excellent recipe for it. Tas kadayif easier ton make than the other two kinds. Kunefe made with string kadayif. Only difference is you put fresh white cheese between layers, not walnut. and you cook it on stove after taking it from the oven and pour syrup all over for a little time. Therefore it is thicken compering to Tel Kadayif.

    1. 18 February 2019

      Thanks for the information. I knew the name is used in different ways by different cultures. It’s good to know the many variants there are. 🙂

  3. Viv
    12 October 2018

    Hola, saludos desde Argentina. Estaba buscando una receta de baklava y me cruce con Está que me gustó mucho. Es una versión de esa? Cómo sea; quería preguntarte si se puede reemplazar el azúcar por un ingrediente que no sea derivado de animal. Muchas gracias

    1. 13 October 2018

      Hi Viv,

      I currently don’t have a version that uses alternative sugars. You can try and see if it works for you, but I haven’t tried it myself so I’m not sure it’ll turn out the same.

  4. Marcia
    26 September 2018

    Do you have this recipe with a cream in the middle? Armenian I believe.

    1. 28 September 2018

      Hi Marcia,
      I currently don’t have a version of the recipe with cream in the middle unfortunately. But you’ve given me a new recipe to find and try and master 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Diana
    22 December 2017

    It is KADAIF in Albanian and I am 100% albanian. I am not sure what part of Albania calls it konafa and also not sure of the other receipe called kadaif. At the end of the day, no matter what we call it, its delicious!! My favorite dessert on my childhood. Making it right now. ❤️

    1. Rachel (Cakies)
      24 December 2017

      I agree, whatever it’s called it’s delicious. I’m glad you like it as well ?

    2. JJ
      30 March 2019

      “Konafa” or Kunefe as we pronounce it in Lebanese is a variation of Kadayif, pronounced phonetically as “Attayef” in Lebanon. The difference is that Kunefe has cheese and pistachio in it and can be eaten with a thick sweetened dough like an open sandwich.

  6. Eno
    12 January 2017

    This is kadaif. I have tried konafa, however, konafa is much drier than kadaif.
    Is it possible to decrease the mount of sugar in this recipe?

    1. Rachel (Cakies)
      15 January 2017

      Hi Eno,
      I’ve not tried decreasing the amount of sugar. The sugar syrup will be absorbed by the dough so you need a fair amount to keep the kadaif a bit sticky.
      You can try and decrease the amount but I don’t know how that will affect the dessert.

  7. Anastasia
    2 October 2016

    Hi, there is something I want to correct. It is called konafa not kadaif; there is a recipie called kadaif which is kind of small pancakes then filled with nuts and raisins after that fried in oil and finally pour a little of simple syrup, it’s so delicious! I’m half Albanian half Lebanese , so I know this well. You’re konafa recipe looks yummy! Can’t wait to try this recipe.
    Best regards.

    1. 27 October 2016

      Hi Anastasia, thanks for your reply. Apologies for my late reply I’ve been on vacation for a few weeks 🙂
      I looked it up and the recipe is indeed also called konafa. I’ve actually see both names used for this recipe by Albanian people as well as other nationalities which have similar dishes to this. One of the most well known websites I’ve seen it on is Martha Stewarts site where an Albanian woman explains how the recipe is made. She also calls it Kadaif. Whatever people call it all agree to one thing, it’s a delicious dessert! However, I’m now curious about your version for Kadaif. I’m going to look that up and see how that’s made! I hope you enjoy this recipe for konafa:)

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Home