Greek Baklava with walnuts and honey is a sweet dessert from Greece, deliciously filled with nuts and spices. The crispy filo pastry layers, interspersed with layers of nut mix, are infused with a spicy honey syrup. This gives baklava its well-known taste. And makes it super tasty. It is not for nothing that this is one of the most famous desserts in Greece; it is always delicious!
Greek Baklava with Walnuts and Honey
Is baklava a Greek dessert? Opinions are divided on this. Most historians attribute this dessert to Greece because it was first described in 160 BC as a dish prepared in Greece. On the other hand, the Turks claim that this dessert came to Greece through Ottoman rule in Greece and that the recipe is originally Turkish. In any case, it is a very popular recipe from the Balkans to the Middle East. And that is not for nothing!
Did you know that the word baklava is Ottoman and Persian and literally means to pile up?
And baklava is a pile-up. The finely ground nut mix between the filo pastry sheets. Repeated several times. After baking, the baklava is flavored with a spiced honey syrup with cinnamon, lemon, and cloves.
This recipe has been adapted from a version from Erika's Edibles that shared the recipe with us as part of a Daring Baker's challenge.
The original recipe has undergone minor adjustments in 2022, whereby the filo dough is now ready-made. This is to make the recipe even more effortless.
What do you need for Honey Baklava with Walnuts?
To prepare this Greek Baklava with Walnuts and Honey, you need the following ingredients. You can find the correct amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the blog:
- Phyllo dough - Phyllo dough are thin sheets of dough made with flour, water, oil, and salt. They are available frozen at the supermarket. When preparing, ensure you use the sheets quickly and keep them covered because they dry out fast and break easily.
- Butter - Use unsalted butter. The butter is melted, and each sheet of filo dough is coated with it, making the sheets crispy after baking. Phyllo dough sheets are used per five layers, making the layers airy.
- Pistachios, Almonds, and Walnuts - The nuts used between the layers of filo pastry. By grinding them finely, you can use an even layer. You can also opt for one of the varieties (walnut baklava and pistachio baklava are well known).
- Sugar, Honey, and Water - These are heated into a syrup to give it more flavor, which is poured over the hot baklava. The trick with baklava is that the syrup is piping hot or the baklava itself. You run the syrup on the baklava immediately after baking in this recipe. So the syrup doesn't have to be hot, and you can make it early.
- Cloves, Lemon Peel, Cinnamon, and Allspice - The flavorings of the syrup make it even more delicious.
How to prepare Phyllo Dough Baklava Greece Style?
You can find a printable recipe with a step-by-step description at the bottom of this blog.
- Place the ingredients for the syrup: sugar, water, honey, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon zest in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for 10 minutes and strain the syrup.
- Place the nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and allspice in the food processor and grind fine. If you don't have a food processor, try cutting everything as finely as possible with a knife.
- Spread the bottom of the baking tin with melted butter. Place a piece of filo pastry on the bottom. Brush with melted butter and cover with a layer of filo pastry. Repeat five times.
- Sprinkle ⅓ of the nut mixture on the filo dough. Cover it again with five layers of filo dough that you brush with melted butter. Repeat three times.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava horizontally three times and then vertically three times. Place in the oven at 350 °F (180 °C) for 30 minutes. Remove, cut through the cut seams again, and put back in the oven for 30 minutes until the baklava is golden brown.
- Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately pour the warm syrup all over the top. Even though it seems like a lot of liquid, the baklava completely absorbs the syrup. Leave the baklava overnight. Serve at room temperature.
Did you make this recipe? Tag #byandreajanssen via Instagram. I enjoy seeing what your creation looks like. Video recipes can be found on my YouTube channel. And don't forget to save the recipes on Pinterest so you can easily find them next time!
- Pastry brush
- baking form 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm)
- A conventional oven is used. When using a convection oven (with air fan) decrease the temperature with 30 °F / 20 °C
- Food processor with knife
Spicy Honey Syrup
- 1¼ cup honey
- 1¼ cup water
- 1⅓ cup sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 inch lemon zest
- 3 cloves
- 1¾ cup walnuts
- 1¼ cup almonds blanched
- ⅗ cup pistachios
- 1 stick cinnamon broken in three pieces
- 1 teaspoon allspice ground
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 stick butter melted
- 20 sheets phyllo dough thawed (9 x 9 inch / 23 x 23 cm)
Ingredients you need per step are listed below the step in Italic
Spicy Honey Syrup
- When you put your baklava in the oven, start making your syrup. When you combine the syrup with the baklava, one of the two should be hot.
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.1¼ cup honey, 1¼ cup water, 1⅓ cup sugar, 1 stick cinnamon, 2 inch lemon zest, 3 cloves
- Stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
- Once boiled for 10 minutes, remove the syrup from the heat. Strain the syrup; allow cooling as the baklava bakes.
- Preheat the oven to moderate or 350 °F (180 °C).
- Combine nuts, sugar, and spices in a food processor and pulse on high until fine and smooth. If you don't have a food processor, chop with a sharp knife as fine as you can. Set aside.1¾ cup walnuts, 1¼ cup almonds, ⅗ cup pistachios, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice ground, ¾ cup sugar
- Brush bottom of pan with butter and place first phyllo dough.1 stick butter, 20 sheets phyllo dough
- Brush the first phyllo sheet with butter and repeat five times. Sprinkle ⅓ of the nut mixture on top. Continue layering phyllo dough and buttering, repeating three times.
- Sprinkle ⅓ of the nut mixture on top. Continue layering phyllo sheets and buttering, repeating four times, and sprinkle ⅓ of the nut mixture on top.
- Continue layering and buttering the phyllo dough five more times. When you have applied the top layer, tuck in all the edges to give a nice appearance.
- With a sharp knife, cut your baklava into desired shapes and pieces.
- Brush with a generous layer of butter, covering every area and edge.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, remove from oven and cut again, this time all the way through.
- Continue baking for another 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and pour the cooled syrup evenly over the top, covering all surfaces when pouring. It seems like a lot, but overnight the syrup will soak into the baklava, creating a beautifully sweet and wonderfully textured baklava.
- Let it stand overnight until the following day, and all syrup is absorbed. Allow cooling to room temperature. Serve.
- Room temperature: Store the baklava in an airtight container. This keeps it good for up to 5 days.
- Refrigerator - The fridge's moisture will change the baklava's structure. So not recommended!
- Frozen - Unbaked - Wrap the baking tin with plastic foil and store the unbaked baklava in the freezer for up to 1 month. Let it thaw (covered) at room temperature for 1 hour and then bake.
- Frozen - Baked - Put a piece of baklava in a freezer box and cover the top and side with baking paper. Then place a second piece on / next to it. Repeat until you have packed all the baklava in the box and seal it airtight. This way, you can store the baklava for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator.