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Kunafa Inspired Coffee Drink

posted on: May 4, 2022

By: Menal Elmaliki / Arab America Contributing Writer

I had just come home from work, having fasted for the day, and was in the mood for something delicious, sweet, and satisfying. It was the feeling of restlessness that had lured me into my vault of creativity.

I had a strong craving for my favorite dessert, but to my dismay, I didn’t have much time. It was half an hour until iftar.  I can feel the clock’s eyes upon me, its daunting presence egging me on. The ticking sound, a reminder that time stops for no one. 

It was while I was making my iftar coffee that I realized, why not combine my two favorite things, coffee, and kunafa. There was the possibility that this brew might be terrible, but the possibility of it being great lingered.

How will I know?

I quickly put together an array of items. How can I recreate this cheese flavor that is in kunafa. I opened my fridge and looked over its contents. I can feel the daunting presence of the clock, its hands like bugling veins ticking away. 

My eyes laid on the cream cheese and a light bulb lit up. I grabbed the oat milk, the cream cheese, my pistachio, and cardamon coffee syrups and whipped this potion. I was going to break my fast with this delicacy, this newly formed creation.

It was when I took the first sip that I realized… I’d created a monster. 

“There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand.”

Items you’ll need 

  • Pistachio syrup
  • Cardamon syrup 
  • Black coffee/ espresso (or black tea)
  • 2 oz Cream Cheese 
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used extra creamy oat) 
  • ICE
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

***Side Note: You can make your own syrups. Instead of cardamon syrup, you can crush or blend a bunch of cardamon and add it in. ***


Cheese Foam

  1. Make your cheese foam. Simply whisk together 2 oz of cream cheese, and 2 tablespoons of milk.
  2. Add cream cheese, milk, and sugar to a bowl until it is fully incorporated and smooth.
  3. Next, beat the whipping cream until fluffy.
  4. Now, add the whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture and beat until blended and foamy.


**The cheese foam recipe is adapted from Honest Food Talks.**


  1. Make your coffee any way you prefer.
  2. Add the pistachio and cardamon syrups and give it a good stir.
  3. Add ice and then the cheese foam mixture.
  4. Finally, embellish with pistachio crumbles and dried flowers.
  5. **Optional** Sprinkle with some sea salt.

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