Greek Ekmek Kataifi recipe (Custard and whipped cream pastry with syrup)

Ekmek Kataifi recipe

A mouthwatering Greek Ekmek Kataifi recipe for the lovers of the Greek cuisine!

Ekmek kataifi is an all-weather Greek dessert made with layers of kataifi dough baked until crispy and golden, bathed in lemon scented syrup, topped with creamy thick custard and whipped cream and garnished with cinnamon and pistachios…Yummy! This is a very easy to follow Ekmek Kataifi recipe for you to recreate this traditional sweet delight from scratch. (See also the preparation shots below.)

This easy to follow ekmek kataifi recipe never fails to impress and is always a crowd pleaser. The essence of this traditional Ekmek kataifi recipe can be summarised in three key stages: preparing the syrupy kataifi base, preparing the creamy custard and preparing the airy whipped cream. Each stage will require using quite a few pots and pans, but i think you will agree that the end result is well worth the mess!

Ekmek kataifi recipe – Tips for the perfect creamy custard and whipped cream

The creamy custard is the most essential part for a traditional Greek Ekmek Kataifi recipe and probably the trickiest part too. To achieve the perfect texture the key is to constantly whisk the milk while it is boiling, so that it doesn’t get lumpy. The perfect custard for your ekmek kataifi should be smooth and creamy. Prepare the custard over medium-low heat in order to prevent it from burning and sticking on the bottom of the pan, but be cautious not to undercook it. Give it a taste while stirring. Its ready when you can’t taste the flour and its texture is thick.

To prepare the whipped cream for this traditional ekmek to perfection, chill a clean bowl along with the whisk attachment from a stand mixer in the freezer for 10 minutes and make sure that your whipping cream is very cold. Be careful not to over beat the cream or else it will become like butter.

Ekmek kataifi recipe – Prepare the base

It is very important to defrost the kataifi dough overnight. The secret is to let it defrost in the fridge and not at room temperature as this will prevent it from getting soaked with melting ice water.

When it comes to buttering, don’t be thrifty! Drizzle with enough butter to help the dough bake and get a golden brown colour. Plus butter adds plenty of extra yummy flavour!

Kataifi dough is actually shredded phyllo dough and dries out very quickly, so it’s best to keep exposure to the air at a minimum. Work the dough gently with your hands on a large surface or over the sink, so that you don’t end up with a kitchen filled with scattered shredded dough, drizzle with butter and straight to the oven!

The key for the most flavorful homemade Ekmek Kataifi is to use good quality fresh butter for buttering. The authentic Greek ekmek kataifi recipe calls for ‘galaktos’ butter made from cow’s milk, which really gives a unique flavour and amazing smell!

The base for the ekmek kataifi should be crispy and moist at the same time. To achieve that it is important that you bake the dough very well until its crispy and nicely golden, or else it will become mushy when pouring the cream over it.

Ladling with the syrup is the final “gotcha” to this dish. Make sure that the syrup is lukewarm and your ekmek kataifi is cold. Always ladle the syrup over the cold pasty really slowly, enabling each ladle to be absorbed, so that the syrup is spread our evenly through the dough.

And the final step… Even though it will be really difficult to follow, you should wait for the ekmek kataifi to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours for a before serving! So go ahead, give this traditional Ekmek Kataifi recipe a try and indulge yourself to this little sin! And don’t forget to share this recipe with your friends and family using the social sharing buttons above and at the end of this recipe!

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Ekmek Kataifi recipe

Greek Ekmek Kataifi recipe (Custard and whipped cream pastry with syrup)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (478 votes, average: 4.93 out of 5)
  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 60 min
  • Cook Time: 60 min
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 pieces 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Greek


An absolutely delicious Ekmek Kataifi recipe! Discover how to make this traditional Ekmek dish to perfection with my extensive list of hints and tips and detailed preparation photos! Go ahead, indulge yourself!



Base ingredients

  • 250g kataifi dough (9 oz.)
  • 50g butter, melted (2 oz.)
  • 80100g pistachios, chopped (3.5 oz.)

For the syrup

  • 200g sugar (7 oz.)
  • 200g water (4/5 of a cup)
  • lemon peel from half a lemon
  • 1 cinammon stick

For the custard

  • 750g whole milk, cold (3 cups)
  • 150g sugar (5.5 0z.)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g corn starch (2.6 oz.)
  • 45 egg yolks (depending on the size of the eggs)
  • 75g butter (2.6 oz.)
  • a pinch of powdered mastic (optional)

For the whipped cream

  • 500g cold heavy whipping cream (2 cups)
  • 60g icing sugar (2 oz.)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. To prepare this traditional Ekmek kataifi recipe start by making the base. Preheat the oven to 170C and unroll the kataifi dough from the plastic sleeve. Work the kataifi dough with your hands, tearing apart the shreds and spreading the strands out a bit if they clump together, in order to get fluffy. For this ekmek kataifi recipe you will need a 25cm square non-sticking baking dish. Butter the bottom of the baking dish and spread the kataifi dough to form the base of the ekmek kataifi. Pour over the melted butter and bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven, until crispy and nicely coloured.
  2. In the meantime prepare the custard for the ekmek kataifi (steps 2-4). Add in a large bowl the egg yolks with half the sugar (100g) and whisk until fluffy. Add 3-4 tbsps of the milk and the corn starch and whisk again until the corn starch has dissolved. Set aside.
  3. Pour the rest of the milk in a large non-sticking pan and add the sugar and the vanilla extract. Place the pan over high heat and bring to the boil. As soon as the milk comes to the boil, remove from the heat and ladle gradually 1/3 of the milk into the egg mixture, whilst whisking. Place the pan (with the remaining milk) again on the stove and turn the heat down to medium. Add the egg mixture into the pan with the remaining warm milk. Whisk continuously, until the mixture has thickened and is smooth and creamy. Remove the pan from the stove, add the butter and stir.
  4. Pour the custard in a large tray, cover with some plastic wrap (the plastic wrarp should be touching the custard, so that it doesn’t form a crust) and let it cool, while you prepare the rest of the ekmek kataifi recipe.
  5. Turn the kataifi out of the oven and let it cool down completely.
  6. Prepare the syrup for the ekmek kataifi. Add all the ingredients for the syrup into a small pot and bring to the boil. Simmer the syrup of 3 minutes (without stirring), until slightly thickened and remove from the stove. Leave the syrup aside to cool down for a while, until lukewarm. Ladle slowly the lukewarm syrup over the cold baked pastry, enabling each ladle to be absorbed. Set aside to cool down for a while.
  7. Prepare the whipped cream and assemble the ekmek kataifi. Top the kataifi base with the custard and even out using a spatula. Put the cold heavy cream into a mixer’s bowl, add the icing sugar and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 minute. Top the ekmek kataifi with the whipped cream and even out. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and a pinch of cinnamon.
  8. Store the ekmek kataifi in the fridge and serve cold. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1 piece
  • Calories: 739kcal
  • Sugar: 57.8g
  • Sodium: 215.4mg
  • Fat: 42.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 25.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 14.4g
  • Trans Fat: 0.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 82.9g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Protein: 8.5g
  • Cholesterol: 205.8mg

Keywords: Ekmek Kataifi, Kataifi with Cream recipe

Recipe image gallery:

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  1. Whats in a name? Both take credit for it and both add a little of themselves to it. Can I make this the day before I serve it? Thank you. Nina

  2. Has anyone tasted what they made? Is it good? I am wanting to make it for a gourmet dinner party and would like to know if it is worth the effort? Thanks.

  3. What size pan did everyone use?

  4. What is the chocolate sauce and whipped cream on the side. Is there anything specific about it?

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