Baklava holds a special place in my heart for my husband and I traveled through Europe prior to kids and enjoyed this sweet and delicious dessert together. With crispy phyllo soaked in honey and an aroma that smells like heaven, this Baklava recipe is one of my favorite desserts to make the day before any gathering because it keeps well and impresses everyone.
Best Baklava Recipe
Please stop buying baklava from the bakery. In fact, if you’ve never really seen the big deal with baklava, it’s probably because you’ve only had a subpar version. This is the best baklava recipe, and I assure you, it is incredibly simple to make.
Homemade Baklava Ingredients
- Phyllo dough – Get one pack of this and thaw it out.
- Nuts – You will need to roughly chop walnuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios for this recipe.
- Sugar – For a sweet taste.
- Cinnamon and cloves – For that signature spice.
- Salted butter – You’ll need to melt this first.
- Syrup – You will make this yourself with water, sugar, honey, orange extract, cloves, and lemon juice.
Easy Baklava Recipe
Baklava only seems intimidating because it’s from a different land. But it really is easy to make even if you’ve never done it before. Any time I have to make a dessert to bring, I love to make this baklava recipe because it’s only 1 hour and 20 minutes from start to finish.
Can’t remember my name? Just shout ‘baklava’ and I’ll turn around.
How do you Make Baklava from Scratch?
To make this delicious baklava dessert, start by preheating your oven heated to 350F, and while it heats, make the syrup in a large saucepan on your stove. You’ll add the water and sugar on medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Then add the honey, orange extract, and cloves, stirring together. Let it boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Let it cool before you add the lemon juice and pull out the cloves. You’ll then make the nut mixture in your food processor. Assemble the baklava by placing a sheet of phyllo dough in your prepared baking dish. Brush it with melted butter until you’ve done 1/3 of the sheets, then add even layers of nuts on top, followed by 1/3 phyllo dough, brushing each sheet with butter. Before baking, cut them into pieces shaped like diamonds (you should have 24 or 36, depending on the cut). Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until golden. The immediately pour the cooled syrup on top, let it cool, and top with remaining nuts before serving.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Baklava Every Time
- Make sure you start by thawing the phyllo dough. You should put it in the fridge about 12 hours before you plan to use it. Keep it in the package though!
- Be sure you make the honey syrup well in advance to cool. The syrup needs to cool so that those hot layers can soak it all up.
- Watch how you chop the nuts. You want them to be some what chunky, yet not too chunky, and you do not want them to be a fine powder or paste.
What is baklava?
It’s a sweet layered phyllo pastry dessert that has crushed nuts and a sweet honey syrup soaked into all the layers.
What country is baklava from?
Many countries argue over the baklava origin, though it is believed that it came from the ancient times and then rooted into Turkey’s Ottoman Empire. Others say it’s from Persia.
What is traditional baklava made of?
Traditional baklava is made of a blend of nuts (pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts, with phyllo dough, butter, sugar, and a simple syrup made with honey, citrus, and spices.
What is the difference between Turkish and Greek baklava?
Turkish baklava doesn’t rely on spices but uses walnuts and pistachios on a thinner, crispier format. Greek baklava tends to be thicker and also uses cinnamon and cloves to flavor it.
What is the difference between Greek baklava and Lebanese baklava?
With the Greek version, they use a honey-based syrup with spices and it has a sweet taste. The Lebanese version uses orange blossom and rose water in the syrup, giving it a more floral and exotic flavor.
Is baklava healthy to eat?
As far as desserts go, baklava is a healthy choice with all those nuts. It can help you feel full while the honey satisfies your need for sweetness.
What is the Greek dessert baklava made of?
It’s made with layers of phyllo dough that are baked crispy with chopped nuts inside and a honey syrup that soaks into all those layers for a sweet and delicious dessert.
Is baklava made from puff pastry?
No, it is made from phyllo dough, but you can sub in puff pastry if you need to, should you be unable to find phyllo dough at the store.
What makes baklava crunchy?
You have to brush the phyllo layers with butter before baking. This helps them get crunchy.
How do you keep baklava crispy?
Just follow the instructions in this recipe for coating the phyllo dough in butter and baking until it’s golden. This will keep your baklava crispy.
How to Cook Baklava?
The syrup for baklava is cooked on your stovetop while the entire baklava is made in your oven.
How Long to Bake Baklava?
At 350F, you’ll need to bake the baklava for 35 to 45 minutes. Check it at 35 minutes for that golden color.
What goes well with Baklava?
You could serve it with black tea, ice wine, or some pistachio ice cream. Of course, it can just be added to any dessert table, or be the iconic dessert after a fabulous Mediterranean feast!
How to Store Baklava?
Baklava should be kept in an airtight container for freshness. You can keep it on the counter or in the fridge.
How Long Does Baklava Last?
After a few days, it’s best to put this in the fridge. Either on the counter or in your fridge, it will last as long as 2 weeks, but I recommend using it up well before then. I certainly wouldn’t make it THAT far ahead of any event.
Can You Freeze Baklava?
Yes, baklava is great for freezing. You can keep it for up to 4 months in the freezer.
How to Thaw Baklava?
Baklava is easy to thaw. Simply move it to the fridge overnight, or let it sit out for a few hours on the counter until it comes to room temperature.
Watch How To Make Baklava (Video)
Classic Baklava Recipe
- 8 oz walnuts (roughly chopped)
- 8 oz hazelnuts (roughly chopped)
- 8 oz pistachios (roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cloves
- 2 sticks salted butter (melted)
- 1 16oz pack of phyllo dough (thawed)
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 6 cloves
- lemon juice (from one whole lemon)
- First, preheat your oven to 350F.
- While the oven preheats, prepare the honey syrup. In a large saucepan, combine the water and sugar on medium-heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the honey, orange extract, cloves and stir. Bring this mixture to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool before adding in the lemon juice and removing the cloves.
- Next, make the nut mixture. In a food processor, add the chopped walnuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts. Pulse a few times until they become slightly minced and then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves to the bowl with your nut mixture and thoroughly combine.
- Assemble the baklava. Make sure to prepare a 9x13x2 baking pan with a nonstick spray or brushing with melted butter. Place a sheet of phyllo dough in the baking dish. You can either fold the sheet in half or trim to size with kitchen shears. Brush the sheet with melted butter. Repeat this process until you have used about 1/3 of the pastry sheets. Make sure each sheet has been individually brushed with the melted butter.
- Once you have completed your phyllo layers, distribute an even layer of the nut mixture on top. Use another 1/3 of the phyllo dough, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Spread the remaining ½ of the nut mixture on top. Finish the baklava with the final 1/3 of phyllo pastry using the same method of brushing each individual sheet with melted butter.
- Before baking, make sure to the cut the baklava into individual pieces. Take a sharp knife and cut the pastry into either 24 or 36 diamond-shaped pieces. Once the pastry is cut, bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. Remove the pastry when the baklava reaches a golden color and a skewer comes out clean. Immediately pour the cooled syrup over the baklava when it is removed from the oven. Allow the baklava to cool completely before serving. Garnish with additional chopped pistachios.
More baklava recipes:
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