Delicious Tel Kadayif Recipe for Sweet Tooths

Welcome, food lovers! Today, I’m sharing with you a mouth-watering recipe that has roots in the historic Ottoman Empire. The Turkish Tel Kadayif, also known as shredded wheat dessert, is a popular and beloved Turkish dessert made from shredded wheat pastry filled with sugar syrup-soaked cheese and ground walnuts.

I remember the first time I tasted this dessert at a family gathering in Istanbul where my aunt served us her homemade version of this delicious treat. The moment I bit into it, I knew that I had stumbled upon something truly special. The crispy texture of the shredded wheat combined with the sweet and savory filling was like no other dessert I had ever tasted before.

I’m excited to share this recipe with you today– not only because it’s incredibly delicious but also because it’s easy to make and guaranteed to impress your guests. Trust me when I say that once you’ve tried this dessert, you’ll be hooked on its unique flavor and texture!

So let’s get started and learn how to make this delightful Turkish Tel Kadayif dessert together!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Turkish Tel Kadayif (Shredded Wheat Dessert)
Turkish Tel Kadayif (Shredded Wheat Dessert)

If you are a sweet tooth like me, you will fall in love with Turkish Tel Kadayif at first bite! Imagine biting into layers of shredded wheat pastry that crackle with a satisfying crunch and reveal a soft, syrup-soaked cheesy filling bursting with flavors of ground walnuts.

This dessert has the perfect balance of sweetness, nuttiness and tanginess from the lemon juice in the sugar syrup. It’s like having a party in your mouth with every bite!

What sets this dessert apart is its unique pastry texture that is similar to phyllo dough but even better because it’s made entirely out of shredded wheat. Its delicate strands make for a visually striking presentation too – no wonder it’s one of the most popular Ottoman desserts.

One great thing about this recipe is that you can customize the filling to your liking. You can go for a savory-sweet flavor combination by adding cheese or try more traditional fillings like pistachios or clotted cream. It’s also versatile enough to be served for breakfast, snack or as a dessert after dinner.

So, whether it’s for an intimate gathering or you just want to treat yourself to something indulgent, Turkish Tel Kadayif is sure to satisfy your sweet cravings and make you feel like royalty!

Ingredient List

 Crispy shredded heaven waiting to be served
Crispy shredded heaven waiting to be served

Before you begin making Turkish Tel Kadayif, it’s essential to ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients on hand. Don’t worry; most of them are commonly available items found in your local grocery store.

Here are the ingredients for this recipe:

  • Tel Kadayif Shredded Wheat: For an authentic Turkish taste, use kadaif shredded wheat to make this dessert.
  • Butter: Melted butter is used in this recipe to give the shredded wheat a buttery taste and crispy texture.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts add crunchiness and nuttiness to the dessert. Make sure to use ground walnuts as they blend well with the shredded wheat.
  • Sugar: This recipe requires two types of sugar. One is for the syrup, which consists of water, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. The other is for the filling, which is powdered sugar.
  • Phyllo Dough: Phyllo dough is also used instead of kadaif shredded wheat in some recipes for variations.

Make sure to measure out the ingredients accurately as they can affect the overall texture and taste of your dessert. After gathering all the ingredients and measuring them correctly, we can now move on to the recipe how-to section.

The Recipe How-To

 A delicious twist on a traditional Turkish dessert
A delicious twist on a traditional Turkish dessert

Assembling the Ingredients

Before starting to make the Turkish Tel Kadayif, I recommend gathering all of your ingredients and having them within reach. The first step is to make sugar-water syrup with 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan. This will be poured over the finished dessert, so it’s essential to prepare this at the start. In a separate bowl, we’ll mix 2 cups of finely chopped walnuts with 1/4 cup of melted unsalted butter, and finally, we need a pound of shredded wheat known as “Tel Kadayif.”

Preparing the Shredded Wheat

Tel kadayif is very thin, hair-like strands that come bundled together in a package. Most Middle Eastern or Mediterranean grocery stores carry them but since they dry out quickly and don’t keep well, it’s best to buy them just before you plan on making this dessert. We will start by unwrapping it and cutting it into smaller 2-inch pieces using kitchen scissors or a knife. Once done, use your fingers to separate the strands gently.

Making the Filling

In another mixing bowl, we create filling by adding half of the shredded wheat (about 8 oz.) and mixing it with 1/2-cup sugar 2 tbsp lemon juice, stirring until it is completely coated. Next, we add the nut mixture into this bowl and stir until mixed thoroughly.

Assembling the Layers

To assemble the layers, begin by placing half (about 8 oz.) of the remaining shredded wheat at the bottom of a buttered baking dish or pan (use a 9 x 13 rectangular pan). Gently press down on it to create an even layer, ensuring that there aren’t any holes in between. Spread out cheese or ricotta cheesecake mixture evenly on top of the shredded wheat layer.

We place another layer of shredded wheat on top of the creamy mixture and pat it down gently again. Finally, we evenly distribute our walnut and shredded wheat mixture over this layer and press gently to ensure everything sticks together well.

Bake Time

This dessert needs time to soak up all of its delicious sweet syrup, which can take anywhere from one hour up to one day! You can do this in two ways: either let Tel Kadayif soak up its syrup overnight in the refrigerator or leave it at room temperature for at least three hours before serving!

You should bake Tel Kadayif until warm for about 20 minutes at 375ºF until lightly browned on top. Serve warm with a little bit more syrup poured over or scoop some ice cream onto it for an extra treat!

Substitutions and Variations

 A warm and gooey treat to satisfy any sweet tooth
A warm and gooey treat to satisfy any sweet tooth

As much as I love the traditional Turkish tel kadayif recipe, sometimes you just need to switch things up a bit. Luckily, there are several substitutions and variations that you can try with this shredded wheat dessert.

Firstly, if you can’t find tel kadayif shredded wheat in your local grocery store, you can always substitute it for shredded phyllo dough. The texture may be a bit different, but the taste will still be delicious.

For those who have a sweet tooth but want to cut back on sugar, try using honey instead of sugar syrup for the sweetener. You may need to adjust the amount based on your desired level of sweetness.

If you prefer savory over sweet, consider adding ground pistachios or almonds as a topping along with the ground walnuts. Or, try filling the layers with different types of cheese such as ricotta or feta for a cheese-filled shredded wheat dessert.

For an extra zing of flavor, try adding a splash of lemon juice to the sugar water mixture that’s poured over the dessert before baking.

Finally, if you want to put a modern spin on this traditional dessert, try garnishing it with fresh fruit like berries or drizzle some melted chocolate over it.

So go ahead and experiment with these substitutions and variations while making your own version of Turkish tel kadayif. Just remember that whatever tweaks you make, this dessert is sure to impress anyone who tries it.

Serving and Pairing

 Layers of nutty and sweet flavor wrapped in Tel Kadayif
Layers of nutty and sweet flavor wrapped in Tel Kadayif

If you’re looking for a unique dessert to impress your guests, Turkish Tel Kadayif is definitely a must-try. This shredded wheat dessert is a showstopper on its own, but it’s also versatile enough to serve with various toppings and sides.

When serving Tel Kadayif, I recommend pairing it with some unsweetened whipped cream or creamy vanilla ice cream. The coolness of the dairy will complement the warmth of the syrup-soaked cheese-filled shredded wheat in each bite.

If you prefer something more decadent, try topping your Tel Kadayif with some chopped pistachios or hazelnuts for added crunch and texture. The nuts also add a savory balance to the overall sweetness of the dessert.

For a fruitier twist, consider serving your Tel Kadayif alongside some fresh berries like strawberries or raspberries. The tartness of the fruit will contrast with the sweetness of the sugar syrup beautifully.

Tel Kadayif can be served warm or at room temperature and can be made ahead and reheated before serving. Dust powdered sugar on top for an elegant touch.

Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply treating yourself to a special indulgence, Turkish Tel Kadayif is sure to impress your taste buds and your guests.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A sticky and sweet indulgence you won't want to miss
A sticky and sweet indulgence you won’t want to miss

One great thing about this Turkish Tel Kadayif dessert is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later. Once the dessert is prepared, allow it to cool to room temperature, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating the dessert is also easy. Simply remove the plastic wrap and place it in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. You could also use a microwave if you’re looking for quick results, although this method may result in the pastry texture becoming slightly softer.

If you want to keep the pastry texture similar to how it is when freshly made, reheating in the oven is your best option. Additionally, if you wish to have a more gooey texture, you could pour some sugar syrup on the top before reheating. This will make sure every part of the dessert is soaked in delicious syrup!

To serve leftover kadayif dessert that has already been soaked with sugar syrup, serve it cold or at room temperature so that the sugar mixture solidifies adequately.

In conclusion, making this Turkish Tel Kadayif dessert ahead of time not only saves a lot of time during busy evenings but also creates an opportunity to embrace leftovers in indulgent sweet form. Remember to store this sweet pastry tightly covered and handle it carefully while reheating, as it will retain its unique and delicate structure with precise attention!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect dessert to share with the ones you love
The perfect dessert to share with the ones you love

To achieve the best-shredded wheat dessert using this recipe, here are some tips for perfect results:

1. Handle Shredded Wheat Carefully:

Shredded wheat is a delicate pastry that requires careful handling. It is crucial to keep it moist and ensure not to over-bake it; otherwise, it will become crispy and lose its soft texture.

2. Use Freshly Ground Walnuts:

Using freshly ground walnuts will give the dessert a rich flavor and aroma. If you cannot grind your own walnuts, try to purchase them from a trusted source.

3. Melt Butter Slowly:

Melt your butter slowly to prevent burning it, which can give your dessert an unpleasant taste. You can use a microwave or melt butter on low heat directly in a pot.

4. Add Lemon Juice to Sugar Syrup:

Lemon juice helps to balance the sweetness of sugar syrup—add one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice for a zesty flavor.

5. Soak the Shredded Wheat in Sugar Water:

Soak the shredded wheat pastry in sugar water for at least 10 minutes before baking. This step will allow the shredded wheat to absorb the moisture, keeping it soft throughout baking.

6. Serve Warm:

Eat your tel kadayif when it is still warm as this brings out the flavors even more and gives an enjoyable experience.

7. Store Properly:

To store your leftover kadayif, allow it to cool first, then cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store in a refrigerator for up to three days.

8. Reheat Gently:

When reheating kadayif, do so gently using an oven or air fryer. Avoid microwaving as this could dry out and dehydrate your dessert’s moisture.

By following these tips, you can produce perfect Turkish Tel Kadayif (Shredded Wheat Dessert) every time!


As you pursue making this delicious Turkish Tel Kadayif, you may encounter some questions that come to mind such as the possibility of substituting some ingredients, making adjustments or dealing with unexpected outcomes. To equip you with helpful information and solutions, we have compiled some frequently asked questions with their respective answers. Let’s dive into it!

What is the famous sweet in Istanbul?

Turkish sweets have so much more to offer than just baklava. During my visit to Istanbul, I discovered a wide variety of desserts that captured my heart. Here are some of the most well-liked Turkish sweets that you can enjoy.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I hope this recipe for Turkish Tel Kadayif has left you feeling inspired and empowered to explore the world of Turkish desserts. Not only is this shredded wheat dessert a delicious and unique treat, but it also represents a rich cultural tradition that dates back centuries. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you’ll be able to create a dish that is sticky-sweet and nutty, with a pastry texture similar to baklava.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with substitutions and variations based on your personal taste preferences. And remember, the key to perfect results is patience and attention to detail. With practice, you’ll be able to master the art of making Tel Kadayif and share this sweet indulgence with your loved ones.

So whether you’re serving Tel Kadayif as a dainty dessert at a fancy dinner party or enjoying it as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea, I’m confident that your taste buds will thank you for trying out this recipe. So go ahead, channel your inner Ottoman chef and enjoy the deliciousness of traditional Turkish cuisine!

Turkish Tel Kadayif (Shredded Wheat Dessert)

Turkish Tel Kadayif (Shredded Wheat Dessert) Recipe

No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Turkish
Calories 228.9 kcal


  • 2 cups Wheat Chex, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

For Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Butter a 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan.
  • Layer 1 cup of the shredded wheat on the bottom of the pan. Cover with walnuts.
  • Layer on the remaining shredded wheat. Pour the melted butter over it all.
  • Bake at 350° until light brown (about 20 to 25 minutes).
  • Cook the ingredients for syrup over medium heat until sugar melts. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
  • Pour syrup over hot browned mixture. Cover and allow to cool.
  • Cut into squares.
  • May be served with whipped cream on top.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 77gCalories: 228.9kcalCarbohydrates: 28.4gProtein: 1.5gFat: 13.3gSaturated Fat: 6.8gCholesterol: 27.1mgSodium: 132.7mgFiber: 1gSugar: 23g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Bars, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, Low Protein
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