Baklava Recipe

baklava slices on sliver plates

This baklava recipe combines crispy, flaky layers of cinnamon-scented honey-soaked phyllo dough stuffed with warm spiced walnuts and pistachios.

Baklava Recipe

baklava in a baking pan

I’ve been intimated by homemade baklava for years. I finally decided to just jump in and start testing. Same as I did with our Panettone Recipe. Two of my favorite sweet treats but I store-bought for years!

Let me tell you, nothing store-bought compares to homemade once you find the perfect recipe! I will never purchase baklava or panettone again.

baklava on sliver plates

Can You Freeze Baklava

Yes, I have frozen it with success. But I only recommend freezing for about one month. Much longer than that it loses that signature crispiness.

I layer it in an air-tight container between parchment paper or wax paper, wrap the container tightly with freezer paper, and then place it in a zip-lock freezer bag.

Baklava Ingredients Needed

  • Phyllo pastry dough – thawed according to package instructions
  • Unsalted butter, melted – high quality European such as Plugra, Kerry Gold, or Danish
  • Walnuts – raw
  • Pistachios – roasted and salted
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg – fresh grated is best in our opinion
  • Granulated sugar

Honey Syrup Ingredients Needed

  • Water
  • Granulated sugar
  • Honey – We use 100% raw unfiltered
  • Orange
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves

During my testing, the key for me was to reduce the honey syrup and infuse the orange, cinnamon, and cloves flavors during the process.

When not reducing the syrup, I found that it would be too thin tasting and very runny even after setting up overnight.

How to Make Baklava

Thaw the phyllo dough according to package instructions. Overnight in the refrigerator is best. Then remove from the fridge one hour before starting to come to room temperature.

honey syrup reduced in a saucepan

In a medium saucepan heat the sugar and water stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Add the honey, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a measuring cup. Yields about 1 3/4 cups.

nut mixture in a metal bowl

Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped or coarsely ground. Not too fine. Pour into a medium-size bowl.

Pulse the pistachios in the food processor until finely chopped or coarsely ground. Not too fine. Add to the bowl with the walnuts. Stir in the sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan by brushing some of the melted butter over the bottom.

phyllo dough trimmed

Trim the phyllo dough to fit the baking pan as best as you can. I use Athenos brand and each package has 2 rolls of 40 sheets measuring 9×14 inches. So I trim them slightly, by about 1-inch.

How to Assemble Baklava

First Layer – Lay 10 sheets of phyllo dough into the pan one at a time, brushing each sheet with the melted butter before placing the next sheet. Sprinkle about 3/4 cup of the nut mixture evenly over the layers of phyllo dough.

Keep your remaining phyllo dough covered with a damp towel while not in use. You don’t want it to dry out and start breaking.

I found it easier to place the sheets of dough by starting with the side closest to you and laying away from you to the other side of the pan.

baklava pastry and nut mixture layer

The second layer – Place 5 sheets of phyllo dough brushing each one with butter. Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of nut mixture.

The third layer – Place 5 sheets of phyllo dough brushing each one with butter. Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of nut mixture.

The fourth layer – Place 5 sheets of phyllo dough brushing each one with butter. Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of nut mixture.

The fifth layer – Place 5 sheets of phyllo dough brushing each one with butter. Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of nut mixture.

Final layer – Lay 10 sheets of dough buttering each one. Brush the very top layer with the butter again.

three cuts into the pastry

To cut the baklava into diamonds, using a sharp knife cut into about 1 1/2″ wide strips (three cuts).

diamond cuts into the pastry in a baking pan

Then cut diagonally into diamond shapes.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and immediately pour or spoon the cooled syrup over the hot baklava. Garnish with finely chopped pistachios or walnuts if desired.

I found that reserving a little of the syrup and spooning a few drops on the center of each piece, then placing a pinch or so of the garnish on helped it stick in place better.

baklava on sliver plates

Let the baklava cool completely on a wire rack, uncovered at room temperature. For the best results cover once it is completely cooled and let it sit overnight.

That means slap all hands that try to swipe a piece during this process!

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baklava on sliver plates
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Baklava Recipe

Crispy, flaky layers of cinnamon-scented honey-soaked phyllo pastry stuffed with warm spiced walnuts and pistachios.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek, Turkish
Keyword: baklava, phyllo dough, pistachio, walnut
Servings: 30
Calories: 280kcal
Author: DSTR

Ingredients

Baklava and Nut Filling

  • 16 oz Phyllo dough thawed according to package instructions
  • 1 1/2 cups Unsalted butter up to 2 cups, melted
  • 8 oz Walnuts, raw finely chopped
  • 8 oz Pistachios, roasted and salted finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg

Honey Syrup

  • 1 cup Water
  • 3/4 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Honey 100% raw unfiltered is recommended
  • 2 slices Fresh Orange
  • 3 sticks Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Whole cloves

Instructions

Prep

  • Thaw the phyllo dough according to package instructions. Overnight in the refrigerator is best. Then remove from the fridge one hour before starting to come to room temperature.

Honey Syrup

  • In a medium saucepan heat the sugar and water stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Add the honey, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a measuring cup. Yields about 1 3/4 cups.

How to Assemble Baklava

  • Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped or coarsely ground. Pour into a medium-size bowl.
  • Pulse the pistachios in the food processor until finely chopped or coarsely ground. Add to the bowl with the walnuts. Stir in the sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan by brushing some of the melted butter over the bottom.
  • Trim the phyllo dough to fit the baking pan as best as you can. I use Athenos brand and each package has 2 rolls of 40 sheets measuring 9×14 inches. So I trim them slightly, by about 1-inch.
  • Keep the phyllo dough covered with a damp towel while not in use. You don’t want it to dry out and start breaking.
  • First Layer – Lay 10 sheets of phyllo dough into the pan one at a time, brushing each sheet with the melted butter before placing the next sheet. Sprinkle about 3/4 cup of the nut mixture evenly over the layers of phyllo dough.
  • Second layer – Place 5 sheets of phyllo dough brushing each one with butter. Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of nut mixture.
  • Third layer – Place 5 sheets of phyllo dough brushing each one with butter. Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of nut mixture.
  • Fourth layer – Place 5 sheets of phyllo dough brushing each one with butter. Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of nut mixture.
  • Fifth layer – Place 5 sheets of phyllo dough brushing each one with butter. Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of nut mixture.
  • Final layer – Lay 10 sheets of dough buttering each one. Brush the very top layer with the butter again.
  • To cut the baklava into diamonds, using a sharp knife cut into about 1 1/2″ wide strips (three cuts). Then cut diagonally into diamond shapes.
  • Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately pour or spoon the cooled syrup over the hot baklava. Garnish with finely chopped pistachios or walnuts if desired.
  • Let the baklava cool completely on a wire rack, uncovered at room temperature. For the best results cover once it is completely cooled and let it sit overnight.

Nutrition

Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

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