The Best Turkish Desserts: Künefe and Puddings

Author: Istanbul Grill | | Categories: Turkish Cuisine , Turkish Custard , Turkish Dessert , Turkish Healthy Diet , Turkish Kunefe , Turkish Pudding , Turkish restaurant , Turkish Restaurant Orlando


In Turkish cuisine, delicacies like baklava and şekerpare (sheh-KEY-RAY') are famous for their sweetness and syrupiness. Nonetheless, the region of Turkey is equally popular for a cheesy and luscious dessert called künefe (kyoon-eh-FAY ').

In Turkish restaurants that serve meats and kebabs, this dessert is among the best pastry desserts.

Turkish Künefe

This delicious cheese-filled dessert is made with kadayif (kah-day-feet), which is a traditional Turkish dessert made with shredded wheat and pistachios. Künefe is served hot from the oven where the cheese is stringy and soft.

Künefe is a traditional Turkish dessert cooked in a special shallow, round metal pan created specifically for the purpose. Neither Turkish nor foreign tourists can get enough of it, so they keep coming back for more.


Originating in the Mediterranean region of Turkey's southeastern region, künefe is a true representative of indigenous regional Turkish cuisine. These regions also produce the best Turkish kebabs. Restaurants that serve kebabs are the only places that serve künefe.

Künefe is attributed to Hatay as the city that invented it, but many smaller cities claim to have invented it as well. Several important cities in the southeast offer their own variations of the dessert, including Mersin, Adana, Gaziantep, Kilis, Anlurfa, Diyarbakr, and Mardin.

Besides the Levant, Egypt, the Caucasus, and Greece, it is also popular in other countries of the Arab world.

It is also known as kanafeh and is said to originate in Nabulus, where Nabulsi cheese is used to make it. The ingredients of this traditional Turkish dish are sugar, cheese, pistachios, rose water, and Kaymak, and are said to have been developed in the 10th century.

Alternatively, long threads of noodle-like noodle dough and semolina dough can be used to make the pastry.

The Best Way to Prepare It

The recipe for Künefe is tough, so it is rarely prepared at home. Authentic desserts are usually eaten at kebab houses when people eat kebabs.

Although it's a challenging recipe, you can try making it if you're willing. To prepare this dish, it is recommended that you use a shallow metal künefe pan or a small cast iron skillet. Turkey's künefe pans can be bought at local bazaars, restaurant supply shops, and the city's Grand Bazaar if you're in Istanbul.

Künefe is a dried dough with finely shredded kadayif, which is partially baked to make it dry. To separate the shredded parts from the kadayif, a large clump must be separated first. Next, it is chopped into small pieces. To make an even layer, butter the bottom of the pan generously before pressing in the chopped kadayif.

After that, low-salt Turkish cheeses such as kashar, lor, or dil are inserted. After the cheese has been pressed to form the top layer, another layer of chopped kadayif is added. In order to saturate the kadayif, the top is drizzled with clarified butter. After that, the tray is placed into the oven to bake until the top is crispy and brown.

Künefe is topped with bright green ground pistachios before serving. In order to preserve its softness and stringy texture, the cheese is cut into wedges and served piping hot.

Turkish Puddings

How long has it been since you had pudding for dessert? Milk-based desserts such as puddings, custards, and custard pie are not just for kids in Turkish cuisine. Since centuries, they have been an important part of the Turkish cuisine.

Desserts made with milk are favorites of home cooks, especially those with young children, but they are also enjoyed by everyone. In fact, you can find them on the menus of the finest restaurants.

Several big cities have cafe-style restaurants that serve only puddings, milk desserts, coffee, and tea. Several have been franchised and have locations across the country. It is impossible to beat a nice, lazy Sunday afternoon spent eating sweet, milky custard and drinking fresh Turkish tea or coffee.

Usually, Turkish puddings are thickened with flour, wheat, or rice starch. Adding flavors like saffron, rose water, and pine mastic, to vanilla, chocolate, and strawberries is the perfect way to make them even more delicious. Some desserts also contain ground chicken.

Here are the most well-known and loved Turkish puddings, custards, and milk desserts.

Firin Sütlaç (Baked Rice Pudding)

Similarly, to what we all loved as children, baked rice pudding is a milk and rice custard pudding. To thicken the milk, sugar, cooked white rice, and rice starch are gently scalded together with whole milk.

In this version of the pudding, the top becomes golden, sometimes slightly charred, when it is baked in the oven. In addition to being served at home and in most fish and meat restaurants, 'Sütlaç' is a favorite of people of all ages.

Aşure (Noah’s Ark Pudding)

One of the earliest desserts on the planet is Noah's Ark pudding aşure. In Turkey, it is known as the symbol of diversity. The dish is prepared and shared during Ashura. This recipe contains healthy ingredients such as whole grain wheat, legumes, nuts, and dried fruits.

Tavuk ğüsü (Turkish Chicken Breast Dessert)

Turkey's classic chicken breast dessert Tavuk Göğüsü is high in protein and is made from finely shredded white chicken meat. Despite its unpopularity in the West, this classic Turkish dessert is a must-try once you try it.

Children and adults alike enjoy chicken breast. Your kids will benefit from increasing their protein intake this way.

Kazandibi (Carandini)

Kazandibi is another Turkish classic dessert that is caramelized on one side. In its name, it means "bottom of the pan," and just like that, it is. Kazandibi is actually a Turkish "chicken breast" pudding that is cooked a second time in a metal tray in order to caramelize one side of it. A knife and fork are usually needed to eat it since it's thick.

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