This easy baklava recipe gives you a decadent dessert that delicately balances sweetness with spice. Simple to make with just 7 ingredients, each bite luxuriates in syrup with rich, buttery nuts wrapped in layers and layers of crispy pastry that shatters and melt-in-the-mouth.
This easy baklava is my magnum opus. It's been on my list for years, and I finally got around to making it. I needlessly worried. It's an easy holiday dessert. Time-consuming but not complicated. And you can get the family involved in the recipe, and that's what festivities are about, right? Spending time together and when sweets and desserts are at the center, it's even better!
WHAT IS BAKLAVA?
Who made the first baklava recipe is forever in dispute. Türkiye says it's them. So do Greece and Cyprus. I leave the debate to the masters and just enjoy the crunchy, nutty dessert drenched in delicious syrup.
So, what is in baklava? Syrup, phyllo dough, and nuts. The original recipe used pistachios without any other flavors. But that's the beauty of this recipe of baklava: you can customize it any which way, taking it in just about any direction your tastebuds desire.
WHY TRY THIS EASY BAKLAVA?
You'll never reach for a store-bought baklava again
A perfect treat to impress your guests when hosting a gathering
The sweetest gesture and the most heartfelt homemade gift for Diwali and for the Holiday season
Endless variety: Round baklava, square baklava, diamond baklava. Pick any shape, size & flavor you love
HOW TO MAKE BAKLAVA?
Step 1: In a saucepan, heat water, sugar, honey, a cinnamon stick, and some lemon juice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue simmering for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Step 2: While the syrup for the baklava recipe cools (it'll also thicken a little), finely chop the walnuts and pistachios in your food processor.
Step 3: Combine the nuts with cinnamon powder.
Step 4: Set your oven to preheat and prep your pan. Grease the bottom and sides generously (and I really meant that).
Step 5: Assemble your baklava by layering the phyllo sheets (cut to the size of your pan) and nuts. This is the stack I created- 8,6,6,8.
- Layer 8 leaves of phyllo pastry, brushing each sheet with melted butter before you add the next
- Spread 1/3rd of the nut mixture
- Layer 6 phyllo leaves, again buttering each one
- Spread 1/3rd of the nuts
- Stack 6 more buttered phyllo leaves
- Sprinkle the rest of the nut mixture
- Place the final 8 layers of buttered phyllo leaves
Step 6: Brush the top with more butter and cut the baklava. Starting vertically, make long parallel lines. I managed to get 1.5- to 1.75-inch-wide strips, but that will change depending on your pan size. Then, cut diagonally to get diamond-shaped baklava.
Step 7: Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
Step 8: Pour the cooled syrup over the baklava the minute you take it out of the oven.
Step 9: Let the baklava steep in syrup at room temperature (no need to refrigerate) for at least 4 to 6 hours. I like to keep it overnight so the syrup permeates every layer and the flavor is at its best.
Final step: Garnish with dried rose petals and finely chopped pistachios. Serve!
NOTES ON MAKING THE BEST BAKLAVA
- The process feels challenging, but while testing different recipes, I realized that getting the phyllo-to-pan size ratio right is the only tedious part.
- If you have all the baklava ingredients – melted butter, pastry brush, phyllo, and nuts mixture – ready and conveniently placed by your side, assembly is super-fast. And you're not scrambling here and there to make the dessert of your dreams.
- A 9 by 13" pan is a popular size for baklava. I didn't have one, so I baked it in 2 separate pans. You can use a 9 by 9 square or even a round tin.
- To thaw, transfer the phyllo sheets to the fridge the night before or leave them on the countertop for 3 to 4 hours.
- Phyllo dries in a snap, and then they tear, so keep the sheets under a damp towel when layering the baklava.
- Be generous with the butter because dry phyllo equals burnt baklava.
HOW LONG TO BAKE BAKLAVA?
All ovens are different, so the exact time will vary. And you don't want all the hard work to burn. Keep an eye on the pistachio baklava after the 30-to-35-minute mark. When the top is richly golden brown, they're done. Mine took 45 minutes.
WHY IS YOUR BAKLAVA SOGGY?
The secret to crispy and flaky crust and moist inside is cool syrup on hot baklava. If you pour the syrup on cold baklava, it'll just puddle on at the bottom, and you'll end up with soggy layers. If you hear the syrup sizzle when you drizzle it, you know you got it right!
HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE BAKLAVA?
Cover the baklavas with a napkin and keep on the countertop. Since it's cooler now, you don't need to refrigerate them. They'll keep well for 10-12 days.
SWAPS & SUBS FOR BAKLAVA INGREDIENTS
Phyllo Pastry: This is not a baklava recipe from scratch. I bought readymade phyllo sheets, which are readily available in the frozen section of a supermarket or online.
Butter: My pantry had regular, salted butter, which I used. Unsalted will work, too.
Nuts: Making baklava with pistachios was a personal choice. You can swap them with walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts or use a mixture! Play around with the quantities. Add more of a nut you love and less of the one that doesn't sing to you.
Spices: Cinnamon is an absolute essential as it brings a depth of flavor to honey baklava. Clove powder would give the Middle Eastern dessert a bracing punch.
Best Baklava Syrup Recipe: You can taste the lemon in the syrup. It cuts through the sweetness and richness. So don't skip it. As long as you follow the exact measurements I've given, you'll get the flawless balance of sweetness and tang.
Although there's no need (the baklava tastes out of this world already), you can add orange oil or extract. The floral flavoring compliments the baklava beautifully. Orange blossom water or rose water is another option.
BAKLAVA DESSERT RECIPES
Half the joy of cooking is sharing it with others. That's why I'm always eager to hear from you. So go right ahead and drop a comment or reach out on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or Facebook. I hope you love this easy baklava as much as we do!
Easy Homemade Baklava Recipe
- 16 oz / 450 gms Phyllo pastry package, thawed
- 1/2 cup / 115 gms Butter, melted
- 1.5 cups / 200 gms Pistachios
- 2 cups / 200 gms Walnuts
- 2 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1 cup / 240 gms Water
- 3/4 cup / 150 gms Sugar
- 1/2 cup / 170 gms Honey
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 small Cinnamon stick
- Dried rose petals and Finely chopped pistachios
- In a saucepan, heat water, sugar, honey, a cinnamon stick, and some lemon juice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue simmering for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
- Finely chop the pistachios and walnuts in your food processor.
- Combine both the nuts in a bowl and mix in the cinnamon powder.
- Preheat your oven to 180 C. Butter your baking dish well with butter.
- Trim your phyllo sheets to fit the size of your pan. I used 2 pans - 7"x10" and 5" x7".9"x 13" is a good size for making baklava, but you can use any size pans you want.
- Keep the phyllo sheets covered with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Layer 8 leaves of phyllo pastry, brushing each sheet with melted butter before you add the next.
- Spread 1/3rd of the nut mixture evenly on top.
- Layer 6 phyllo sheets, again buttering each one.
- Spread 1/3rd of the nuts mixture.
- Stack 6 more buttered phyllo sheets. Spread the remaining 1/3rd of the nuts mixture on top.
- Place the final 8 layers of buttered phyllo pastry sheets on top.
- Brush the top with more butter and cut the baklava. Starting vertically, make long parallel lines. Then, cut diagonally to get diamond-shaped baklava.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the baklava is golden and crisp on top.
- Pour the cooled syrup over the baklava the minute you take it out of the oven.
- Let the baklava steep in syrup at room temperature (no need to refrigerate) for at least 4 to 6 hours. I like to keep it overnight so the syrup permeates every layer and the flavor is at its best.
- Garnish with dried rose petals and finely chopped pistachios. Serve and enjoy!