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The BEST Homemade Baklava

  • Author: Laura
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: Approximately 36 pieces 1x




1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 cup honey

3 cinnamon sticks

2 pieces of orange rind

2 pieces of lemon rind


2 cups walnuts

2 cups shelled unsalted pistachios

1 tablespoon cinnamon

16 ounce package phyllo dough, thawed

3 sticks unsalted butter


Make the syrup.  In a medium saucepan, stir together water, sugar, honey, cinnamon sticks, and citrus rind.  For the rind, carefully use a vegetable peeler to make a long, wide, thin strip, trying to get only the rind and not the white pith.

Bring syrup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.  Cool to room temperature before removing the cinnamon sticks and citrus rind.

Make the baklava.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Chop the nuts.  You may do so in a food processor, with a chef’s knife, or my aunt said a Greek lady taught her to do it by placing the nuts in a bag and whacking them with a mallet or skillet.  Your call!  Stir the cinnamon into the chopped nut mixture.

Melt the butter in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl.  Brush some butter into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 by 13 inch pan.  Lay one sheet of phyllo into the bottom of the pan, brush with butter, coating it pretty thoroughly.  Top with another sheet of phyllo and more butter.  Repeat this pattern until you have 8 sheets of phyllo.

Sprinkle with about ¼ of the nut mixture, then begin layering phyllo and butter until there are six layered sheets.  Another ¼ of the nuts goes on top, followed by six layers of phyllo and butter.  Nuts, phyllo, the final ¼ of the nuts, and then layer 8 or 9 layers of butter and phyllo.  I always have some phyllo left.

Brush the remaining butter (if there is any) over the top, concentrating around the sides and corners.  Nowhere should be dry.

Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into a pattern.  I cut big and small logs and triangles.  This is really where you can get creative and cut it however you would like.  Bake about 50 minutes until golden brown, crispy, and flaky.

Pour the cooled syrup evenly over the hot baklava.  Allow to cool completely, at least 4 hours, though overnight is better.  Baklava may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, but let’s be honest, it won’t last that long.  If you want to freeze it, wrap pieces in plastic and foil and place in a zipper bag.  Thaw at room temperature about an hour.


Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes

Keywords: dessert, nuts, baklava