Homemade Kataifi recipe!

Homemade Kataifi recipe!

Golden, crispy and amazingly moist! Kataifi is a delicious dessert which like baklava is very popular among Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern nations. An amazing dessert made with roughly chopped walnuts (and sometimes other nuts), scented with ground clove and cinnamon, wrapped into buttered cripsy kataifi dough and bathed in lemon scented syrup.. Simply amazing! This is a very easy to follow Kataifi recipe for you to recreate this traditional sweet delight from scratch. (See also the preparation shots below.) The key for the most flavourful homemade Kataifi is to use good quality fresh butter for buttering. The authentic Greek Kataifi recipe calls for ‘galaktos’ butter made from cow’s milk, which really gives a unique flavour and amazing smell! Crispy Kataifi and right syrup-ing go together! To accomplish this make sure that the syrup is cold and your Kataifi is really hot. Always ladle really slowly the cold syrup over the hot Kataifi, enabling each ladle to be absorbed, so that the syrup is absorbed evenly. Even though it will be really hard.. you should wait for the Kataifi to cool down for a while before serving.

Working with kataifi dough – Tips

It is very important to defrost overnight the kataifi dough from the freezer. To do that, the key is to leave defrost in the fridge and not at room temperature, in order to prevent it from getting soaked with water. If the kataifi dough gets soaked with water, it will be difficult to work with and will be less crispy, when baked. When it comes to buttering, don’t be thrifty! Drizzle with enough butter to help the kataifi dough bake and get a golden brown colour; plus extra flavour! Kataifi dough is actually shredded phyllo dough and dries out very quickly, so it’s best to keep exposure to air at a minimum. Uncover the plastic wrap, when you are ready to use it and when done preparing this kataifi recipe, put it straight into the oven. 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! Cover the kataifi dough with a damp towel and keep it covered, while you prepare the kataifi rolls. So go ahead, give this traditional Kataifi recipe a try and amaze your friends and family! Oh and you can always read this delicious recipe in Greek here Παραδοσιακό κανταΐφι σιροπιαστό.


  • 450g kataifi dough (16 oz.)
  • 250g walnuts, roughly chopped (9 oz.)
  • 1 tsp ground cinammon
  • a pinch ground clove
  • 250g butter from cow’s milk (9 oz.)

For the syrup

  • 450g sugar (16 0z.)
  • 330g water (12 oz.)
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. To make this Kataifi recipe, start by preparing the syrup. Add all the ingredients for the syrup into a small pot and bring to the boil. As soon as the sugar has dissolved, the syrup is ready. Leave the syrup aside to cool completely.
  2. Prepare the filling for the Kataifi. In a blender add the walnuts, ground clove and cinnamon; pulse until the walnuts are roughly chopped (not powdered). Although the walnut filling is the most common, lots of kataifi recipes also add pistachios and almonds. So it’s up to you to decide.
  3. Melt the butter and with a cooking brush butter the bottom and sides of a baking pan. (approx. 26-28cm diameter)
  4. Unroll the Kataifi dough from the plastic sleeve. Work the kataifi dough with your hands, tearing apart the shreds and gently spreading the strands out a bit if they clump together, in order to get fluffy. Cover the Kataifi dough with a slightly damp towel.
  5. Take one piece of the kataifi dough, and spread it on a working surface or on your palm. Drizzle with melted butter and place 1 teaspoon of the filling at one end. Roll it up tightly, folding inwards the sides, to form a small cylinder. Place the kataifi roll in the pan and brush with melted butter, using the cooking brush to shape it a little bit. Repeat with the rest of the kataifi dough and filling. Place the kataifi rolls the one next to the other, leaving no gaps between them and drizzle with a little bit more butter.
  6. Bake the kataifi in preheated oven at 170-180C for about 1 hour (on the middle rack), until nicely coloured and crispy.
  7. As soon as  you turn the kataifi out of the oven, ladle slowly the 3/4 of the cold syrup over the for kataifi, enabling each ladle to be absorbed. Cover the pan with a towel and set aside for 10 minutes. Ladle the rest of the syrup over the kataifi and wait until absorbed.
  8. Serve this delicious kataifi dessert with a full spoon of vanilla ice-cream. Enjoy!

Recipe image gallery:


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  1. Why can’t your recipes have both temperature settings, F and C? Kataife doesn’t.

  2. I just tasted this today at a local Greek Festival. It was delicious and I’m thankful to find your blog so I can make it too! I’ looking forward to taking it to a family event in a few weeks. 🙂

  3. Want to try this. I absolutely love it. Going to Greek festival today. Will see if they have the dough there. Otherwise where would I find it?

  4. the dough is available in every Greek supermarket/grocery store. I bought mine last week and I plan to make kataifi soon. Use the right and pure ingredients and it will be perfect. Home made does not even come close to the one you buy in a shop unless it is a first class patisserie that uses the best ingredients as the recipe above

  5. This pastry haunts my dreams it is so wonderful. I want to try to make this. Unfortunately we are in the south and not much in the way of ethnic markets here, if any.

  6. deborah brown says:

    pastry can be ordered online from a company called melbury&appleton i have used and they are very good hope this helps

  7. This is Turkish 🙂

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  13. Making it today, i’ll post some picks later if it works 🙂

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