Overhead photo of Baklava in a white pan
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5 from 20 votes

Baklava

Recipe video above. Layers upon layers of flaky pastry with a syrup soaked walnut or pistachio filling! Just like store bought - except it's not overly sweet, and you will love the hint of lemon. Makes 24 whole pieces plus a bunch of half pieces (cooks' treat!). Keeps for a WEEK!! This recipe is best started the night before and needs 6+hours resting time.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course: Sweet
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Baklava
Servings: 24 pieces
Calories: 319kcal
Author: Nagi

Ingredients

  • 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

Syrup:

  • 1 cup / 200g white sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup / 185 ml water
  • 1/2 cup / 170 g honey

Instructions

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

Phyllo:

  • 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.
  • Cut phyllo to the size of the baking pan.
  • Keep pastry covered with a damp tea towel at all times.

Nuts:

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

Assemble Baklava (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!

Syrup:

  • 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.

Notes

Layers in Baklava
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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)
6. 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.
7. 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.
Nutrition Facts
Baklava
Amount Per Serving
Calories 319 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 25mg8%
Sodium 93mg4%
Potassium 103mg3%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 300IU6%
Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition

Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 93mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.2mg