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Baklava is a delicious Greek dessert made up of layers of crispy phyllo dough, honey and nuts that's sooo easy to make. A Greek friend showed me how to make this fabulous recipe. 

Recipe Summary

Servings:
18
Yield:
3 dozen
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Believe it or not, you can make Greek restaurant-worthy baklava in the comfort of your own kitchen — and it's actually not that hard! This top-rated baklava recipe, which is surprisingly approachable for beginner bakers, has racked up almost 2,000 rave reviews from the Allrecipes community. 

What Is Baklava? 

Baklava is a traditional pastry known for its sweet, rich flavor and flaky texture. It consists of phyllo (or filo) dough, nuts, spices, and a sugary syrup. 

Baklava Pronunciation

Pronounce "baklava" like "bah-klah-vah." The stress is placed on the first syllable. 

Where Is Baklava From? 

Though baklava is often associated with Greek restaurants now, its exact origins are unclear. 

Food historians think modern baklava may have been invented in Turkey during the Ottoman Empire, then modified in Greece. However, the technique of layering unleavened bread with nuts and honey can be traced back as far as the 8th century B.C.E. during the Assyrian Empire.

Baklava Ingredients

Here's what you need to make the best baklava of your life: 

Phyllo Dough
Make your own phyllo pastry dough or buy frozen phyllo dough at the store. 

Nuts
Chopped walnuts, pistachios, or a mixture of both are traditionally used. Hazelnuts and/or pecans would also work. 

Butter
Not only does butter add richness and flavor, it keeps the phyllo sheets moist and soft. It also helps the sheets stay together. 

Cinnamon
Cinnamon is responsible for baklava's signature warmth.

Water, Sugar, Vanilla, and Honey
A sweet syrup — made from water, sugar, vanilla extract, and honey — is poured over the baked baklava layers, bringing the delicious dessert together. 

How to Make Baklava

a close up view of a single piece of baklava and it's super flaky layers
Credit: s tuttle

Even though making baklava can be a bit time-consuming, it's probably not as hard as you think. You'll find the full recipe below, but here's a brief overview of what you can expect. 

Layer Phyllo with Nuts

Stack eight sheets of phyllo dough, brushing with butter between each layer, to create a sturdy base. Sprinkle it with a mixture of chopped nuts and cinnamon. Top with two sheets of phyllo dough and follow with the nut mixture. Repeat this process a few more times, until the nut mixture is gone. Top with about eight more layers of phyllo, buttering each layer. 

Cut and Bake

Cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes. Be sure to cut all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden and crisp. 

Finish With Syrup

Boil water and sugar until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately pour syrup over it. Let cool before serving. 

How to Store Baklava

Baklava is super sugary, so it has a relatively long shelf-life. It will last for about two weeks stored in an airtight container. Keep it in the pantry if you like your baklava crispy. If you like it chewy, opt for the fridge. 

Can You Freeze Baklava? 

Yes, you can definitely freeze baklava. Just let it cool completely, wrap it in a layer of storage wrap, and then a layer of aluminum foil. Follow with another layer of aluminum foil for added protection. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. 

Nicole's Top Baklava Tips

When culinary producer Nicole McLaughlin (a.k.a. Nicole McMom) tried this top-rated baklava recipe, she declared it the "perfect make-ahead dessert." Here are a few of the best tips and tricks she learned along the way:

· Chop the nuts in a food processor to save time.
· Ensure the phyllo sheets stay moist during the layering process by keeping the stack covered with a damp paper towel or cloth.
· Worried about tearing the dough when you brush it with butter? Don't be! If you're concerned, Nicole suggests spraying melted butter onto the phyllo dough between layers instead of brushing it.
· If the phyllo dough sticks to your hands while you work with it, place a bowl of water next to your prep station. Keeping your fingertips moist will prevent sticking.
· When it's time to eat, consider serving (and storing) the baklava pieces in cupcake liners to nip sticky fingers in the bud.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Definitely use a spritzer bottle for the melted butter, it cuts down on the time," says Dionne Sharp Ukleja. " It made the assembly easy and effortless!"

"My husband and I have tried making homemade baklava a couple of times, and this is by FAR the BEST recipe we have used," raves jlgarnet. "We followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out perfectly!"

"This is an amazing recipe," raves cookingmom. "I added more cinnamon, but other than that I don't think any changes need to be made! The result has the perfect crispness and flavor! Excellent recipe!"

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams

Ingredients

18
Original recipe yields 18 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.

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  • Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.

  • Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.

  • Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

  • Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

Editor's Note:

Please note the addition of lemon zest when following the magazine version of this recipe.

Nutrition Facts

393 calories; protein 6.1g; carbohydrates 37.5g; fat 25.9g; cholesterol 27.1mg; sodium 196.4mg. Full Nutrition
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