Making Baklava At Home? 6 Tips And A Classic Recipe For Help

Making baklava at home may sound daunting; the delicious Turkish layered dessert which is made by layering phyllo pastry sheets and chopped nuts may be quite delicate but there’s no reason why you can’t make it at home. If you’ve already used phyllo sheets for baking, it’d be quite easy for you to try a baklava. The paper-thin phyllo pastry is soft and tender and needs a tender touch. But once you’ve successfully layered the pastry sheets and nuts, the rest is pretty easy!

Some pointers may help you make your first baklava at home. For instance, the syrup should be poured while the baklava is still hot from the oven, allowing it to seep into the layers. The syrup will add sweetness and moisture to the pastry, making it irresistibly moist and flavourful. Here are some other tips that will help you ace your baklava recipe.

Choose Fresh Ingredients

To ensure the best flavour and texture, start with high-quality ingredients. Opt for fresh phyllo dough, which you can find in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Look for nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, or almonds that are fresh and aromatic. Use real butter for richness and flavour, and select high-quality honey for the syrup.

Thaw Phyllo Dough Properly

Phyllo dough is delicate and prone to tearing if mishandled. To prevent this, thaw the dough properly before using it. Place it in the refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a few hours until it becomes pliable. Keep it covered with a damp towel while working to prevent it from drying out.

Take Time With The Layering Technique

Layering the phyllo dough is a crucial step in baklava making. Start by brushing melted butter on the bottom of the baking dish to prevent sticking. Place a sheet of phyllo dough in the dish and brush it with butter. Repeat this process, layering multiple sheets of phyllo and buttering each layer until you have the desired thickness for the base.

Always Go For Toasted Nuts

The filling is what gives baklava its signature flavour and texture. A traditional filling consists of chopped nuts mixed with sugar and spices such as cinnamon or cardamom. Toast the nuts before chopping them to enhance their flavour. Spread the nut mixture evenly over the layered phyllo dough, pressing it down gently to compact the layers.

Cut Before Baking

Before baking, it's essential to score the baklava into individual pieces. Use a sharp knife to make diagonal cuts across the pastry, creating diamond-shaped or rectangular pieces. Be careful not to cut through to the bottom of the dish. This will make it easier to serve the baklava later without breaking the layers apart.

Bake Until Golden

Baklava should be baked until it is golden brown and crisp on top. This usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour in a preheated oven. Keep an eye on the baklava as it bakes to prevent it from burning. If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover it loosely with foil and continue baking until done. Want to try making baklava this week? Here’s a classic baklava recipe you can start with.


1 package (16 ounces) phyllo dough, thawed according to package instructions

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 cups nuts (such as walnuts, pistachios, or almonds), finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cinnamon stick (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the chopped nuts with cinnamon (if using) and sugar. Mix well and set aside.

Unroll the thawed phyllo dough and cover it with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out. Place one sheet of phyllo dough into the prepared baking dish and brush it with melted butter. Repeat this process, layering about 8-10 sheets of phyllo dough, and brushing each layer with butter.

Sprinkle a generous amount of the nut mixture evenly over the layered phyllo dough. Continue layering the remaining sheets of phyllo dough on top of the nut mixture, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Be sure to brush the top layer generously with butter as well.

Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes, making sure to cut all the way through to the bottom. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the baklava is golden brown and crisp.

While the baklava is baking, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick (if using). Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Discard the cinnamon stick.

Once the baklava is done baking, remove it from the oven and immediately pour the hot syrup evenly over the hot baklava, allowing it to soak in completely. Let the baklava cool completely in the baking dish before serving.