Knafeh cheesecake

This gooey, dairy delight is bang on Tel Aviv trend


A tray of Baked Kunafa, a piece been sliced off and showing gooey cheese. On a white background.

  • place PRE 20 minures
  • place COOK 40 minutes
  • place SERVES 8
  • printicon


  • Preheat oven to 180°C.

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, place sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for approximately 10 minutes or until the liquid has become a syrup. Remove from heat and leave to cool.

  • When the syrup has cooled, add the rosewater and set aside to be used later.

  • Use a little of the butter to grease an 28cm springform pan.

  • In a large bowl, break apart the kataifi pastry until all the shreds are loose. Mix the rest of the melted butter in, using your hands, so the pastry is well coated.

  • Beat together the mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, egg yolks and sugar until smooth.

  • Sprinkle blanched almonds over the bottom of the pan. Take half of the kataifi dough and place over the almonds, pressing it down.

  • Spread the cheese mixture over the kataifi, using a palette knife so you have an even layer. Take the other half of the kataifi dough and press over the top.

  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden.

  • Sprinkle ground pistachios on the top. Pour the rosewater syrup evenly over the cake. Leave to cool and remove from the pan.

    Adapted from Jewish Food: The Ultimate Cookbook published by Cider Mill Press


300g sugar
240ml water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp rosewater
200g unsalted butter, melted
340g kataifi pastry
255g mascarpone cheese
255g cream cheese
2 large egg yolks
50g sugar
140g blanched almonds

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