Kadayif, Kadaif, Kanafe, Kanofa, Kanafeh…who knows?

It occurred to me that maybe some of you might seek out a Middle Eastern or Greek market searching for za’atar. If that is the case, you need to search for kadayif, too. I love Middle Eastern pastries. Now most of you are probably familiar with baklava and I love that. But another fun pastry that involves another type of fillo is called kadayif. I’ve posted about it before but wanted to share this simple quick recipe, too! So in other words, to make kanafeh, you need kadayif.

Kadayif is shredded fillo dough. It comes in 1 pound packages and is made by Apollo. At least that is what I find here. I’m sure there must be other brands. I love this stuff and can only find it in the frozen sections of Middle Eastern groceries. You can do lots of things with it, as it isn’t just for pastry. You can wrap it around shrimp and give them a little pastry crust. You can use it to make little appetizer pastry cups. But I used it for this quick dessert. Kanafeh are amazing and so simple to make.


I thought of this today because I still have some in my freezer that I made for Yom Kippur. They were simple and quick and reminded me of what I ate in Israel. In Israel though, they were rolled up like little cigars. I kept this easy and just layered the pastry in a pan. Anyway, what made me think about them is that I have a friend coming over who just celebrated a BIG birthday (I, on the other hand will always celebrate little birthdays…) and I know she likes this pastry so I decided to make kanafeh. She was the one that loved the last kadayif and cous cous cake that I made some time ago, and insisted on taking some home. So, I took these out for her.


What I love about these kanafeh, besides their simplicity, is the crunchiness of the pastry and the sweet coconut filling. To keep it easy and quick I used one can of coconut cream-you know the kind they say to use for pina coladas. I had this can in my pantry for a very long time and because of all the sugar and preservatives, it was still good. I can’t vouch for the fact that it is good for you, but I can tell you that it does taste good. You can fill this with whatever you want, but the ones I had in Israel were filled with coconut and they were, like INCREDIBLE! I haven’t forgotten them so I tried to recreate them.

Quick and Simple for a fast Friday! And plan a field trip to an ethnic market for the weekend. You will have fun and feel like you are in another country!

What is your favorite ethnic market?

Coconut Kadayif
Time to Make: About 15 minutes plus bake time
About 1/2 lb kadyif pastry (I had 1/2 a package left in the freezer and used this) Follow thawing instructions on box.
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
1 can cream of coconut
About 1 c of sugar syrup
Preheat oven to 350. Pour butter over the kadayif and toss to coat. Put half of this in an 8 or 9″ square pan. Spread on the coconut cream. Put other half of kadayif on top. Sprinkle with a few drops of water. Bake until golden brown-about 45 minutes. Pour the cooled syrup over the hot pastry. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sugar Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 t lemon juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for about 5-7 minutes or until this forms a thin syrup. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Let cool. Pour cooled syrup over hot pastry.


More to Try:
Shortbread Nut Bars
Middle Eastern Cheesecake or Kadaif
Chocolate Krantz Cake or Babka
Kohlrabi Fennel Salad
Parsnip Jerusalem Latkes

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  • Amy
    November 19, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Oh my! These look so good. I don't know what to call them…let's just call them delicious! 😉

  • kumars kitchen
    November 14, 2013 at 12:51 am

    gorgeous & sweet little treats…loved the coconut cream in it…delicious 🙂

  • Winnie
    November 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Kadaif is very popular here and your Coconut Kadayif looks fabulous!

  • Coffee and Crumpets
    November 13, 2013 at 4:44 am

    oooh, never thought about using coconut cream! I always use ashta in mine because I love the cream kunafa. This looks fab Abbe, I love coconut so I would really like this.
    I got to Arash here but I love Phoenicia in Houston.


  • Abbe Odenwalder
    November 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Juliana, thanks for visiting my blog. You would enjoy trying kadaif. I can tell you have lots of wonderful things on your blog, that I want to try!

  • Juliana
    November 12, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I never used kadayif before, and I love how it can be use in so many different ways…looks delicious!
    Have a great week Abbe 😀

  • Laura Dembowski
    November 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I love Middle Eastern sweets too. These look like they came straight from the bakery!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks Laura! That's because I manage a decent photo like one in a million times! But they taste as good as a bakery or better!

  • Donalyn @ The Creekside Cook
    November 12, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Kadayif is a lovely ingredient and this is such a simple and tasty sounding way to use it – very nice!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Thanks Donalyn! It is easy to work with and fun to use. Can't wait to try it with something savory!

  • Dan from Platter Talk
    November 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Love this post! This recipe looks incredible, I love the different uses that you cited for kadayif. I will be looking for this when I go grocery shopping!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 12, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      Thanks Dan! And thanks for visiting my blog. Hope to see more of you!

  • Biz
    November 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    I've never seen shredded phyllo dough before – I need to look for it!

    I have a Japanese grocery store about 15 miles from my house, but conveniently two blocks from my diabetes doctor, so I love going there 4 times a year.

    My local grocery store actually has a different ethnic aisle – so one aisle is Italian, the next Mexican, the next Asian, the next Polish, etc. – you can find pretty authentic products!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 12, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      You live in good grocery country judging from all the different ones you mention on your blog. You would like this stuff, Biz. Probably could even use it as a crust for crunchy pizza!

    November 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I can imagine if I made these I'd eat them straight after the photo shoot as well

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 12, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      It is easy to make them disappear!

  • Pam
    November 11, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    They're new to me and look delicious! I like Greek food, and fortunately, there are many different ethnic markets around here. Thanks for this, I'll look for it.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Lucky you. I love groceries and even visit them on vacation! It is very much a Mediterranean pastry!

  • Sue/the view from great island
    November 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Wow, this is all new to me and sounds amazing! I've got to get out and find that dough. I just spotted a Middle Eastern Market the other day, so I'm going to head over and see what I can discover. Great post!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 12, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      Sue, if you find it, buy it! You will enjoy being creative with it!

  • Liz Berg
    November 11, 2013 at 3:14 am

    Oh, my. I really need to taste this…as it sounds incredible!! I have known about kataifi for a long time, but I don't think I've ever seen it around here. I am going to start the hunt 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      They are good Liz. Start the hunt. It is fun stuff to work with!

  • shannon weber
    November 11, 2013 at 2:42 am

    these are lovely! I had no idea you could buy phyllo dough pre-shredded: guess i need to start spending more time in ethnic food markets, clearly. 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      They call it shredded phyllo though I guess it is a bit different than shredding phyllo! I love going to ethnic markets-makes me feel like I'm on vacation!

  • Yi @ Yi Reservation
    November 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I live not too far from a Geek community in New York and I have seen this pastry many times When I pass by. Now with your introduction I finally feel comfortable to try it. Better yet I can make it myself now! Thanks for sharing this wonderful Kanafe recipe!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Lucky you, Yi! Try them. They are really good!

  • Angie Schneider
    November 9, 2013 at 8:32 am

    They look melt-in-mouth and irresistible!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      They do melt in your mouth. And when you hit the middle of coconut it is so worth it!

  • Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    November 9, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Oh, Abbe! This sounds amazing! It's so pretty, too! I adore Greek food but don't have many chances to enjoy it. Now I'm realizing that maybe I don't need a reason – I just need to scarf down some of this ASAP!

  • vanillasugarblog
    November 9, 2013 at 12:14 am

    ohhh girl!
    I am so making this!
    Good job!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Oh man Dawn. I need you right behind me with pom poms!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    November 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Good policy, always celebrating little birthdays. You're 39, just like Jack Benny, right? 😉 Fun dish. I've eaten these, never made them. Gotta do that – thanks.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Everyone like them because they give a crispness to pastry. I would like to try them some new ways, maybe in place of panko crumbs. Ahh. when I get to it. Oh, and I haven't made it to 29 yet!

  • yummychunklet
    November 8, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Whatever you call it, it looks delicious!