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A layer of crunchy, flaky shortbread topped with crushed nuts soaked in honey-lemon syrup. The iconic baklava is my favorite pastry that I never get tired of.

Homemade baklava isn’t too sweet and you won’t believe you made it yourself.

Baklava – NomNomWow

Baklava recipe

You can walk past pastry shop windows without resisting the urge to stop by.

But if there’s one sweet thing that holds me back, it’s baklava.

A dessert for when you want to impress your family and friends. Everyone loves it. It makes loads. It’s amazing. It tastes even more amazing.

What goes in Baklava

What may surprise you is how few ingredients go into baklava: puff pastry, walnuts or pistachios (or other nuts, see recipe notes for regional variations), butter, honey, and sugar. , lemon, cinnamon and water.

Yes, really, that’s enough.

Phyllo pastry – tricks to handling

Phyllo pastry – also known as phyllo pastry – is a paper-thin pastry used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines to make spanakopita-like pastries and pies. It is sold frozen and fresh (in the refrigerated section of supermarkets).

The difference between phyllo and puff pastry is that puff pastry “puffs” when baked, revealing layers of puff pastry. Filo pastry is like a thin layer of puff pastry inside a puff pastry.

People seem to have a love-hate relationship with Philo. The “love” part is usually eating things made with phyllo.

The problem most people have is that the pastry dries out and crumbles when they try to use it.It’s frustrating and there’s no way to save it when that happens. Follow along and you’ll be the phyllo queen (or king) and can beat this baklava recipe and all other phyllo pastry recipes.

How to use phyllo pastry

  1. Thaw frozen phyllo pastry overnight in the fridge. Don’t try to rush the thawing by placing it in a warm place – makes the pastry brittle;
  2. Get refrigerated phyllo pastry if you can (fresh pasta and noodles section of supermarkets). No need to thaw, slightly easier to handle (more pliable);
  3. Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes beforehand;
  4. Keep the phyllo pastry covered with a slightly damp tea towel to ensure it doesn’t dry out; and
  5. Handle like tissue paper with fairy fingers. Don’t slap it around like a slice of ham!

How to make Baklava

It’s very easy: Chop the walnuts or pistachios into fine crumbs.Brush the puff pastry into alternating layers of butter and walnuts. It’s like making lasagna!

Cut into diamonds, bake and drizzle with honey-lemon syrup. Soak. Devour.

It doesn’t take many words to describe how to make baklava, but it takes time to actually put it together. It took me 30 minutes (from cutting the pie crust to putting it in the oven), so I practiced. In other words, don’t answer the phone call from chatty Aunt Cecilia in the middle of a baklava gathering. Let’s concentrate on the task in front of us here! However, you can keep the pie crust covered for up to 2 hours.

Nuts used in Baklava

Baklava is made from a variety of nuts from the Mediterranean and Middle East, with walnuts, pistachios and almonds being the most common. It can be one of them, or it can be a combination.

Here are some regional varieties.

  • Greece: there are versions made with just one nut – walnuts, pistachios or almonds – as well as a mix of walnuts and pistachios. I usually make it with just walnuts. 
  • Turkish – usually made with only pistachios, no cinnamon
  • Persian – 50/50 almonds and pistacchio with cardamom instead of cinnamon and a touch of rosewater in the syrup (start with 1 tsp, adjust to taste)
  • Middle Eastern – typically made with just walnuts, per recipe

Crackle and pop!

Needless to say the food part is the best, followed closely by the pouring of the syrup while the baklava is still hot. It sizzles and crackles and is an all-around satisfying experience!

You might think that pouring syrup into baklava would soak up the top layer, but that’s not the case. The pastry on the bottom also remains very crispy, even though it’s soaked in syrup at the end.

Losing count of the layers…..

“Don’t talk to me!” I say sternly as I assemble the baklava. “I have to concentrate!!”

Losing shifts is terrifyingly easy. That’s true almost every time.

Don’t worry!!! First off, missing nuts is a good indicator that you’re on your last shift

Secondly, if you skip a sheet, use too many sheets in a layer, or run out of the top layer, that’s great! Variations of baklava can be found on the internet and each pastry layer The thickness of the is spread everywhere, and some use only two sheets.

Honestly, don’t worry. There’s a 90% chance I miscounted on the way into the baklava in these photos.

What to do with leftover phyllo pastry.

If you’re in Australia, you’ll need two 375g packs due to the sheer number of leaves in a pack, which means you’ll end up with a lot of leftover phyllo dough. Here are some ideas to make with – Spinach and Feta Scrunch Pie (no better name!) made from this recipe from Sukumie Lane (with extra crumpled dough on top) or spinach and ricotta. Spinach and ricotta triangles made from cheese roll stuffing.

The Final Word On Baklava!

If this alone doesn’t convince you that you should try this recipe, this might be the kicker – it stays 100% perfect for a week (and then back to 98%…) so ideal target. to a gathering. Even just waiting at least 6 hours for the syrup to fully absorb is great, but the next day is even better…and the next day…



A layer of crunchy, flaky shortbread topped with crushed nuts soaked in honey-lemon syrup. The iconic baklava is my favorite pastry that I never get tired of. Homemade baklava isn't too sweet and you won't believe you made it yourself.
prep time
45 mins
cooking time
1 hour 10 mins
total time
1 hour 55 mins



  • 40 sheets filo/phyllo pastry (2 x 375g or 1 x 1lb pack, Note 1 for pack sizes)

  • 500g / 1 lb walnuts (other nuts Note 2)

  • 285 g / 10 oz unsalted butter , melted and slightly cooled

  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder

  • SYRUP1 cup / 200g white sugar

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 3/4 cup / 185 ml water

  • 1/2 cup / 170 g honey


You will need a 23 x 33 cm / 9 x 13" baking pan.


For best results, thaw phyllo pastry overnight in the fridge (even if the pack says otherwise) then take out of the fridge 30 minutes prior.


Place nuts and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse 15 times or until fine crumbs - don't let it turn into powder.

Assemble Baklawa (see layers Visual Below):

Preheat oven to 160C / 325F.
Base: Brush base of pan with butter. Lay over one sheet of phyllo. Brush with butter. Repeat to use 10 sheets, brushing every single sheet with butter. Scatter over 3/4 cup walnuts.
Mid layers: Cover with 5 sheets of phyllo, brushing every sheet with butter. Top with 3/4 cup walnuts. Repeat 3 more times.
Top: Cover with 10 sheets of phyllo, brushing every sheet with butter, including the final layer.
Cut the baklava into 4 long strips, then cut on the diagonal to make diamonds. (Note 3)
Bake for 1 hour - 1 hr 15 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile, make syrup (needs time to cool)
Remove from oven and immediately pour over syrup.
Leave to soak for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
Check to ensure each piece is cut all the way through, then serve. Keeps for a week!


Place ingredients in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer, stir to dissolve sugar. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes, remove from heat and cool


Phyllo / Filo pastry: Comes in different pack sizes and sheet numbers depending on brand. Do not fret too if you are slightly short - just reduce sheets in each layer / use off cuts. Australia - I recommend Antoniou Fillo Pastry sold in the fridge section. You will need 2 x 375g packs which has 18 to 22 sheets in each pack, and you will have off cuts once trimmed to size, see below for usage ideas. If you use the frozen packs, you'll need 2 packs and they often only have 15 sheets so you'll need to do more layers using offcuts. US - You will need 1 x 1 lb packet. The standard is 40 sheets in those packs and the sheets are just a touch bigger than the pan so you'll have just a small amount of trimmings. Different Nut options - Baklava is made with a variety of nuts across regions and countries, the most common being walnuts, pistachios and almonds (alone or combination). See in post for more details of different nuts used in different countries. Cutting - See video and photos. Use small stabbing motions to cut through once, then run the knife through smoothly through the same cut. I cut 4 long straight strips in the pan, then cut across diagonally. Storage - I've kept it for up to a week with no change in quality, in fact it gets better with time! Beyond a week I found the pastry starting to its crispiness a bit because the surface tends to go flaky - but not by much, still 100% tasty. Store in an airtight container in the pantry. Leftover Phyllo Pastry - If you're in Australia, you'll end up with plenty of scraps because of the size of the pastry sold in packs. I used the offcuts to make this Scrunchy Top Spinach Feta Pie by Scrummy Lane (I added loads more scrunched up pastry on the top) and Spinach Ricotta Triangles made using the filling from my Spinach Ricotta Rolls (brush with butter and bake 25 minutes at 180C/350F). If you have a full stash available, make this delicious Greek spinach pie, Spanakopita! Source - This recipe is courtesy of Natasha's Kitchen. It is rare that I share a recipe without making any amendments because I do love to tinker. But this recipe is perfect as it is. More layers used than most baklava recipes as well as buttering every single layer, and that's what makes all the difference. Nutrition per piece. It's conservative because it doesn't take into account all the partial pieces all around the edges - my adjusted estimate is about 285 cal per slice
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