Baklava (Step by Step Instructions!)

Phyllo pastry and walnuts are layered together then baked until the pastry is deliciously flaky. A sweet honey syrup is poured over the top which soaks into the baklava and makes every bite heavenly.

If you love sweet dessert bars, also try these Neiman Marcus Bars and these Lemon Coconut Bars. You’ll love them!

Baklava in a pan with a serving spoon.

Baklava Recipe

Baklava is one of the best desserts of all time! It’s made with flaky layers of buttered phyllo pastry stuffed with walnuts. Honey syrup is poured over the top so that every bit is deliciously sweet.

It’s a heavenly dessert recipe that is impossible to resist! And not only is it delicious, but it travels well and lasts a long time so you can share it with friends and family.

Where is Baklava From?

There is much debate about the origin of Baklava. Both Greece and Turkey claim to be the originators of the recipe. According to Wiki, the oldest known recipe that resembles baklava came from the Romans. You know that it’s a winning recipe if it’s remained popular for that many centuries!

Diamonds of baklava stopped with minced pistachios.

How to Make Greek Baklava

This is a fairly simple recipe that is made in 4 steps.

  1. The first thing you need to do is gather your ingredients. Phyllo pastry dries out quickly once it’s unwrapped so have everything ready to go before you open the package.
  2. Assembling the baklava is all about layers. Eight layers of phyllo and butter line the bottom of a baking dish. Then comes some walnuts, more phyllo, more butter, more walnuts, and on you go until your ingredients run out.
  3. Now you cut it into diamonds or rectangles then pop it into the oven.
  4. Making the syrup is as easy as mixing some water, sugar, honey, and lemon juice together. Easy! And when you pull the baking dish out of the oven, pour the syrup over the top and let it soak into every nook and cranny.

Step 1 in making baklava: assembling the ingredients.

Homemade Baklava Ingredients

  • Walnuts: processed or chopped fine
  • Cinnamon: yum!
  • Salted butter: salted gives the baklava the best flavor
  • Phyllo pastry: turns deliciously crisp when baked
  • Honey syrup:made with water, honey, sugar, and a little lemon juice

4 pictures of the baklava being layered in a dish.

How long Does Baklava Last?

This dessert will keep for up to 2 weeks at room temperature.

What’s The Best Way To Store It?

To keep this crispy, it is best stored uncovered in a container at room temperature. But if you prefer chewier baklava, then store it in your fridge.

Can I Freeze this Recipe?

Yes! Baklava freezes very well. Make sure that it is cooled completely then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Wrapping it once more in aluminum foil will help prevent any freezer burn.

Step 3 in making baklava: baking it and pouring the syrup over the top.

Baklava Recipe Variations

Feel free to switch up the nuts you use and the type of citrus that you add to the syrup!

  • Greek Baklava: made similar to this recipe with walnuts and honey
  • Turkish Baklava: made with pistachios and a sugar syrup
  • Persian Baklava: made with a rosewater syrup

Two diamonds of baklava on a small dessert plate.

Want More Delicious Dessert Recipes? Try One Of These!

Two diamonds of baklava on a small dessert plate.

Baklava Recipe

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Author Kristen Stevens
Servings 22 pieces

Phyllo pastry and walnuts are layered together then baked until the pastry is deliciously flaky. A sweet honey syrup is poured over the top which soaks into the baklava and makes every bite heavenly.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Keyword baklava, baklava recipe

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces walnuts halves or pieces
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 16 ounces phyllo pastry thawed

The Honey Syrup

  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the ingredients

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Place the walnuts and cinnamon in your food processor and pulse until chopped.

  3. Melt the butter in a pan or microwave.

  4. Cut the phyllo pastry in half so that you have 2 9" wide pieces

Step 2: Assemble the baklava

  1. Brush a layer of butter in the bottom of a 9x13” baking dish. Top with 2 sheets of phyllo pastry. Brush lightly with butter then add 2 more sheets of phyllo. Repeat this 2 more times so you have 8 sheets of phyllo pastry in the baking dish.

  2. Sprinkle 1/3 of the walnuts into the baking dish. Top with 2 sheets of phyllo. Brush the top of the phyllo with butter then repeat once more so that you have 4 sheets on top of the walnuts.

  3. Sprinkle another 1/3 of the walnuts into the baking dish. Top with 2 sheets of phyllo. Brush the top of the phyllo with butter then repeat once more so you have 4 sheets on top of the second layer of walnuts.

  4. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the walnuts into the baking dish.

  5. Add 2 more sheets of phyllo then brush the top with butter. Continue to add the phyllo and butter layers until you run out of phyllo pastry. Baste the top with any remaining butter.

Step 3: Cut and bake the baklava

  1. Cut the baklava into 4 long strips. Then make cuts diagonally so you have diamond-shaped pieces.

  2. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake, uncovered, for 25-35 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden on the top.

Step 4: Make the syrup

  1. While the baklava is baking, prepare the syrup. Warm the water and sugar in a small pot over high heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the honey and lemon juice. Set it aside to cool.

  2. When the baklava has finished baking, remove it from the oven and immediately pour the cool syrup over the top. Let it rest for at least two hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

Phyllo pastry needs to thaw before you can use it. Let it thaw for at least 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

To keep the baklava crispy, lightly dab the melted butter over the phyllo pastry. Too much butter can make the dessert soggy. Also, make sure that the syrup is cool before you pour it over the hot baklava. 

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 22

Calories265kcal (13%)Carbohydrates30g (10%)Protein4g (8%)Fat16g (25%)Saturated Fat4g (20%)Cholesterol11mg (4%)Sodium138mg (6%)Potassium91mg (3%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar18g (20%)Vitamin A132IU (3%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium21mg (2%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

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