Secret Private Chef Recipe: Knafa

Personal Chef Philip brings you his secret recipe for Knafa (aka knafeh, kunafa).  Knafa is a pastry with cheese and cream in the centre and drizzled in blossom water with pistachios and rose petals.  It’s great as a dessert or even just for a mid-afternoon treat, or mid-morning (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone)! Keep reading for the recipe.

These pastries are baked in ramekins making them the perfect size for one person.  This recipe makes 6 individual Knafa but you can easily make more or less, just change the recipe accordingly.  If you’d like to try something different try using orange water instead of blossom water for a fruitier pastry, or if you dare to go spicy try mixing some chili flakes into the soft cheese.  Let us know your variations on the recipe in the comments below.

Private Chef Philip

Private Chef Philip tells us his secret Knafa recipe

Private Chef Philip is based in London but can fly to you where ever you may be in the world, you can have Chef Philip at your home by clicking the link to his profile here.  He specialises in Persian food and is very versatile in what he can produce, having been trained in Gordon Ramseys Michelin MAZE restaurant, but also working in the street food circle for some time.  He sticks true to his Iraqi roots with the aim of changing the image of Iraq from one of war to one to one of its true culture, beautiful scenery and love of food.  If you are interested in visiting or learning more about Iraq take a look at 7 Reasons Why You Must Travel to Iraq.


Serves 6
A beautiful pastry sweet for dessert or an afternoon treat.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 400g Shredded Knafa Filo Pastry
  2. 20g Unsalted Butter
  3. 6 Ramekins
  4. 60g Soft Cheese
  5. 600ml Double Cream
  6. 2 Tablespoon of Blossom water
  7. 100ml Water
  8. 20g Caster Sugar
For the Garnish
  1. 12 Crushed Pistachios
  2. 12 Rose Petals
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Begin chopping the filo pastry finely or use a food processor.
  3. Once shredded, pan fry in butter, you want to extract all the moisture and make the filo crispy with a little bit of colour so it is light golden.
  4. Butter the ramekins and fill a quarter of the ramekins with the filo mix.
  5. The next layer should be any soft cheese that you have, the lighter the better. Spread in into a thin layer in the ramekin on top of the pastry.
  6. Infuse the double cream with 1 tablespoon of blossom water.
  7. Add the infusion to the ramekins, so they are around three quarters full.
  8. Finally, place the remaining pastry on top.
  9. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, remove from the oven once it is baked.
  10. Heat some water and sugar to create a syrup and infuse with 1 tablespoon of blossom water and drizzle over the Knafa.
  11. Garnish with the pistachios and rose petals.
 We love knafa. For some twists on traditional knafa, check out our post on “Knafa Recipes Reimagined”  You can literally enjoy freshly made knafa in any of our cities!