Home-style kunafa with ricotta

Home-style kunafa with ricotta

Cairo Kitchen
Jonathan Gregson

Kunafa is a Ramadan speciality. Many of the kunafa dough makers only work in Ramadan, but some open up once a week throughout the year. This kunafa recipe has more ricotta than usual, but it makes the cake thicker and tastier. You can adjust the sweetness with the amount of syrup you add. Outside of Egypt, if you can’t find kunafa dough, you could use kataifi pastry, which is a kind of finely shredded filo pastry.


Quantity Ingredient
300g sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
500g kunafa dough
100g butter, melted
500g ricotta cheese
100g sugar
50g butter, cut into pieces
100g blanched almonds, to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In a saucepan over a high heat, bring 500 ml water and the sugar to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the consistency is that of syrup. Add the lemon juice and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, gently loosen the kunafa dough. Mix in the melted butter.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta cheese with the sugar and add a few pieces of butter.
  5. In a greased 24 cm cake tin, arrange the almonds around the tin and add half the kunafa dough, pressing down slightly into an even layer covering the base and sides of the tin. Pour the ricotta mixture over the dough and spread to cover all the kunafa evenly. Place the remaining kunafa dough to cover the ricotta.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and invert the kunafa onto a serving dish, almonds side up. While still warm, pour the syrup over the kunafa. Serve warm.
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