Hye Thyme Cafe: Cream Kadayif

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cream Kadayif

Cream Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

This is my all time favorite dessert! It's actually very easy to make and always manages to impress. You can eat it hot, cold, or at room temp. I usually eat it just like it is, but sometimes we'll macerate some berries and serve those over the top. If nothing else, it always turns into a source of conversation since people usually think it's either shredded wheat or coconut. In reality, it's a shredded dough.

2 lb kadayif dough
3/4 lb melted butter
1 qt heavy cream
1/2 pt light cream
3/4 c milk
4 heaping T cornstarch
3 T sugar
2 t vanilla
3 c sugar
1 1/2 c water
fresh lemon juice

Depending on where you live (if you have a large Greek, Armenian, Lebanese, etc. community in your area), you might be able to find the dough in the freezer section of your local market, along with the phyllo dough. Otherwise, you should be able to get it from a Middle Eastern bakery, market, or maybe even a restaurant. Lucky for me, I have a Lebanese restaurant one town over where I can get the kadayif dough. Even better than that, they have beautiful phyllo. Because they go through so much of it, I can always get it fresh.

OK, look around your kitchen and decide what pan you want to use. If you are serving a larger group, you might want to make it in a jellyroll or other sheet pan. If you're serving a smaller group and want a thicker filling, you can use a casserole dish. The shape doesn't matter - maybe you have an oval casserole you want to bake it in. That's totally fine.

Open your dough and pull it apart, shredding it into a large bowl.

Melt the butter and pour it over the dough, rubbing it in to distribute.

Press half of the dough into the bottom of your pan and set aside.

Stir the cornstarch into the milk to dissolve; set aside.

Bring the 3T sugar, heavy cream, and light cream to a boil.

Add the milk/starch, and vanilla, stirring constantly until thickened.

Spoon the filling over the dough in the pan.

Top with remaining dough and bake at 375 until golden, about 30".
Cream Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

See, that wasn't hard at all! Either about 10" before it's due to come out, or right after it comes out of the oven, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Squeeze in the juice from half a lemon and continue to boil for about 2". You don't want to let it boil for too long, or it will turn into candy!

When the Kadayif comes out of the oven, I usually poke some holes in the top, then pour the syrup all over it. Maybe you don't need the holes, but it makes me feel better about the syrup making its way all the way through to the bottom. If you opted for a smaller pan, you might not want to use all of the syrup. You want it saturated, but not floating!

If I'm just making it for the family, I'll serve it up right out of the pan. I made this batch over the weekend for a baby shower, so I was going to cut it and and transfer the servings to pastry liners. For some reason, I decided to try cutting it into rounds and using cupcake liners. Turns out the cutter worked just fine. I used a 2 1/2" round to cut, then slid under it with a small spatula and transferred it into the liners ...

BONUS - I got to eat all the little corners!  :)

Cream Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

Cream Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe



  1. My husband is Armenian-so his mum makes this all the time.

  2. It's funny, I've only ever seen it in Armenian homes, but EVERYONE loves it, so I'm surprised it hasn't spread more. I did actually have a friend from Algeria whose Grandmother used to make it when he was little. :)

  3. My family is from Egypt, and this is a huge dessert there! The inside filling is sometimes made like this, but is usually made with crushed nuts, raisins, coconuts, and sprinkles of sugar, and the whole thing is topped with a syrup.

  4. I know people who make it with walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar, like Paklava, but I've never known anyone to use coconut and raisins. Seems funny since so many people look at it and think the dough IS coconut. I would probably love that. I'll keep it in mind to try. Thanks!! :)

  5. I love how rich your filling is, it must taste super creamy and velvity :)

    1. Thank you. I remember this particular day - I had been asked to make it for a baby shower. I also made them a batch of Almond/Chocolate/Toffee Paklava. They were both a big hit! :)

  6. Cream kadayif is divine and so is this recipe! I might make this for Christmas this year, but I'm not telling anyone how much cream or butter is in it! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. I tried making a Peaches & Cream version for Thanksgiving this year, but it didn't set up right for some reason. I always have a problem halving (baking) recipes. I didn't want to make it full-sized because of other things on the menu. :(

  7. I'm glad you're not my neighbor but I also wish you were! 50/50 TALU


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