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Greek Kataifi Recipe

Greek Kataifi Recipe

Kataifi is a Greek baked dessert made of buttered dough filled with nuts and spices which is then drenched in syrup. The pastry dough begins as a thin batter which is poured into fine strands then cooked. The cooked pastry resembles vermicelli.

The nut and spice filling are placed on one end of a cluster of Kataifi strands, then rolled up. The raw Kataifi is buttered then baked and after baking covered with a generous amount of syrup which the pastry absorbs.

Kataifi is also a popular dessert in areas neighboring Greece, such as Turkey and the Middle Eastern nations. The use of shredded pastry is synonymous; however, the fillings, syrups and appearance vary.

Origin and Cultural Significance

The exact origins of Kataifi are long and unknown. It can be traced back to the Ottoman empire when the control of the Ottomans spread from Turkey to South Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa.

The Ottomans are attributed for introducing foods and dishes such as rich pastries across the regions they ruled. No wonder that neighboring countries all claim some stake in Kataifi’s origins. In Greece, Kataifi can be enjoyed year-round but is particularly popular on Greek holidays like Christmas.

Greek Kataifi Recipe
Yield: 22

Greek Kataifi Recipe

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes


Kataifi Dough

  • All-purpose flour – 1 2/3 cups
  • Cornstarch – 1 cup
  • Salt – ¾ teaspoon
  • Vegetable oil – 2 Tbsp
  • Water – 2 cups


  • Sugar – 450 g
  • Water – 330 g
  • Whole lemon peel - 1
  • Cinnamon stick - 1


  • Walnuts, whole – 250g
  • Cinnamon, ground – 1 tsp
  • Clove, ground – 1 pinch
  • Pure butter – 250g


Kataifi Dough

  1. Whisk flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add oil and water and whisk until smooth.
  3. Strain the batter through a sieve to make sure it is lump-free.
  4. Pour the batter into a squeeze bottle with a very small hole cut into the top.
  5. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat until it's very hot.
  6. Gently squeeze the bottle to dispense a very thin stream of batter in a circular motion, starting from the center of the pan and working towards the edge of the pan.
  7. When the pastry begins to peel off of the pan in 5 to 10 seconds, gently pick it up with a spatula and drop it into a bowl. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and continue this process until all the batter is used up.
  8. Shred the strands into smaller sections. Use 16 oz for this recipe


  1. 1. Add all the ingredients for the syrup into a small pot and bringto the boil.
  2. As soon as the sugar has dissolved, the syrup is ready. Let itcool completely.


  1. In a blender add the walnuts, ground clove and cinnamon; pulse until the walnuts are roughly chopped (not powdered).
  2. Melt the butter and with a cooking brush butter the bottom and sides of a 12 x 10 baking pan.
  3. Work the 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.
  4. Take one piece of the kataifi dough, and spread it on a working surface
  5. Drizzle with melted
    butter and place 1 teaspoon of the filling at one end.
  6. Roll it up tightly, folding the sides inwards to form a small cylinder.
  7. Place the kataifi roll in the pan and brush the top with melted butter and shaping it slightly. Repeat with the rest of the kataifi dough and filling.
  8. Place the kataifi rolls next to each other, leaving no gaps between them and drizzle with a little bit more butter
  9. Bake at 350 F for about 1 hour (on the middle rack), until golden and crispy.
    10.  Once the is kataifi out of the oven, slowly ladle 3/4 of the cold syrup over the hot kataifi.
  10. Cover the pan with a towel and set aside for 10 minutes.
  11. Ladle the rest of the syrup over the kataifi and wait until it absorbs

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 834Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 406mgCarbohydrates: 96gFiber: 3gSugar: 57gProtein: 8g

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