We’re excited to share our own twist on the classic Greek baklava recipe! This easy version brings together layers of flaky phyllo dough, a crunchy nut filling, and a sweet topping to create a dessert that will absolutely knock your socks off.

For this simple recipe, delicate layers of phyllo dough are brushed with melted ghee and then stacked with a generous filling of crunchy nuts with sugar and cinnamon. Once baked to golden perfection, the baklava is drizzled with a simple syrup that seeps into every nook and cranny, adding moisture and sweetness that complements the nutty crunch perfectly!

We love to keep this decadent dessert on hand to satisfy our sweet cravings but we guarantee you’ll find that it’s a hit at any gathering, too!

A slice of baklava being lifted from a baking dish full of the dessert.

What Is Baklava? 

Baklava is a type of sweet, flaky pastry made with phyllo (or filo) dough and nuts soaked in syrup or honey. It is a popular dessert enjoyed throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean regions of the world and is often enjoyed for special celebrations like weddings and graduation parties. 

What Is Authentic Baklava Made Of?

Traditional Turkish baklava, also sometimes known as fistikli baklava or pistachio baklava, is made with phyllo dough, pistachios, butter, and simple syrup. 

That said, there are many variations of the dish with some versions adding rosewater for flavoring and others, like Greek baklava which typically uses walnuts and cinnamon. 

This recipe resembles Greek baklava most closely but features our own twists, just like Momma used to make! 

Baklava diamonds in a baking dish.

How to Make Baklava

As mentioned, this baklava recipe is not completely traditional or authentic, but it is how we grew up eating it and how we still make it to this day! 


  • Granulated Sugar – Used to sweeten the syrup. 
  • Water – Forms the base of the liquid, combining the ingredients. 
  • Corn Syrup – A sweet thickener that creates the thick consistency and sticky texture of the syrup, taking the place of honey in traditional recipes. 
  • Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed is best. 
  • Sea Salt – Adjust to taste. 
  • Walnuts – Feel free to use pistachios instead. 
  • Phyllo Dough – Find this in the frozen or refrigerated section of your local grocery store. 
  • Melted Ghee – Use unsalted butter, and clarify it yourself, if preferred. 


  1. Prepare the simple syrup. Combine all the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then, bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer until it thickens. Remove the mixture from the heat, and set it aside to cool slightly. 
  2. Chop. Use a sharp knife to cut the nuts into fine pieces, or pulse them in the food processor a few times. 
  3. Prepare. Preheat the oven, and coat a baking dish with the ghee. 
  4. Layer the phyllo. Place a sheet of phyllo dough in the bottom of the prepared baking dish, and coat it with the melted ghee. Repeat this process, layering ten sheets. 
  5. Add the filling. Sprinkle part of the chopped nuts on top. Then, add the remaining phyllo sheets, buttering each piece in between. 
  6. Slice. Carefully cut the baklava into diamond shapes or squares. 
  7. Bake. Transfer the baking dish to the preheated oven, and bake just until the dough is golden brown and crisp. 
  8. Coat. Immediately pour the simple syrup on top, coating the baklava recipe evenly. 
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Baklava in a baking dish with one piece on its side exposing the walnut filling.

Tips for Success

  • Thaw the dough. If your dough is frozen, transfer it to the fridge a day in advance. Otherwise, it’s nearly impossible to work with. 
  • Keep the dough covered. Prevent the dough from drying out by storing the sheets between damp paper towels while you work. 
  • Don’t chop the nuts too finely. You want the nuts to be finely chopped but still have some texture and crunch. They should not be fine like flour or sand! 
  • Wet your hands. If your dough starts sticking to your fingers while you work, keep a bowl of water next to your workstation, and dip your fingertips in after layering each piece. 
  • Be sure to slice the baklava dessert before baking! This is crucial for serving because the dough becomes flakey and not very pliable once baked. As a result, trying to slice your baklava recipe after removing it from the oven will cause it to fall apart. 
A baking dish of baklava pieces with a few pieces missing.

Common Questions About This Baklava Recipe

What is the difference between Turkish and Greek baklava? 

Although the differences vary based on who’s baking, Turkish baklava typically uses a light cooking oil and pistachios whereas Greek baklava uses melted butter and walnuts. 

How should I store baklava? 

Once cooled, baklava can be transferred to an airtight container and stored at room temperature or in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

Can I freeze this baklava recipe? 

Yes! Wrap it in plastic wrap and two layers of aluminum foil, or transfer it to a freezer-safe container. It can be frozen for up to three months. Then, just thaw leftovers in the fridge overnight before serving. 

More Baklava-Inspired Recipes

If you’re as in love with the flavors of baklava as we are, you’ll want to check out our other recipes that channel the flavors of this decadent dessert!

A slice of baklava dessert.

Baklava Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 24 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Learn how to make baklava with this easy Greek-inspired baklava recipe featuring layers of phyllo dough, walnuts, and a simple syrup topping!


For the Sugar Syrup:

  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • teaspoon sea salt

For the Nut Filling:

  • 3 cups shelled raw walnuts, plus more for garnish

For the Pastry:

  • 1 1/4 cup melted ghee or 1 3/4 cups unsalted butter, clarified per instructions below, melted, and cooled slightly
  • 2 8 ounces each packages phyllo dough, a total of 30 sheets, thawed


For the Sugar Syrup:

  • In a saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, water, corn syrup, lemon juice, and sea salt.
    1¾ cups granulated sugar, 1 cup water, 2 Tablespoons corn syrup, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • Stir the mixture to combine and dissolve the sugar.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until it slightly thickens.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature.

For the Nut Filling:

  • Finely chop the shelled, raw walnuts.
    3 cups shelled

For the Pastry:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).


  • Brush a 9×13-inch (23×33 cm) baking dish with some of the melted ghee or clarified butter.
    1 1/4 cup melted ghee
  • Place one sheet of phyllo dough into the baking dish, and brush it generously with the melted ghee or clarified butter. Repeat this process for 10 sheets, making sure to brush each sheet with butter.
    2 8 ounces each packages phyllo dough, a total of 30 sheets, thawed
  • Sprinkle a portion of the chopped walnuts evenly over the 10th phyllo sheet.
  • Continue layering the phyllo sheets and walnuts all the walnuts are used, finishing with a top layer of 10 buttered phyllo sheets.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes.


  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake for about 45-55 minutes or until the baklava is golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove the baklava from the oven, and immediately pour the cooled sugar syrup evenly over the hot baklava.
  • Allow the baklava to cool completely before serving, which will allow it to absorb the syrup.


Recipe adapted from our friend: https://cleobuttera.com/middle-eastern/pistachio-baklava.
How to make clarified butter:
  • 1 3/4 cups of unsalted butter
  1. Cut the unsalted butter into smaller pieces. This can be done by cubing or slicing it. This step makes the melting process more even.
  2. Place the cut butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Use a saucepan large enough to accommodate the butter without overflowing.
  3. Heat the butter over low to medium heat. Use a gentle heat setting to prevent the butter from boiling or splattering.
  4. As the butter melts, you’ll notice the three layers forming: foam on top, clarified butter in the middle, and milk solids at the bottom.
  5. Continue simmering the butter, and you’ll see the foam rise to the top. This is the water evaporating and the milk solids separating.
  6. Skim off the foam using a spoon or fine mesh skimmer. Discard the foam or save it for other recipes if desired.
  7. Monitor the butter as it clarifies, watching for it to become clear with sediment at the bottom (the milk solids). This should take around 20-30 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
  9. Place a fine mesh strainer or a piece of cheesecloth over a clean, dry glass jar or container. Carefully pour the clarified butter through the strainer to separate the milk solids. The clear liquid that passes through is your clarified butter.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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