This honey baklava is flaky, crisp and tender and I love that it isn’t overly sweet. It’s basically a party in your mouth. I am a huge fan of baklava and this is the BEST baklava recipe I have ever tried. Hands down.

Baklava pieces loaded with nuts and honey lemon syrup with chocolate garnish - A center cut view of this homemade baklava recipe showing flaky, crisp, tender layers.

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You will love the hint of mellow lemony flavor which offsets the sweetness and compliments the cinnamon. It’s truly delicious.

Store-bought baklava has nothing on this and trust me, I’ve been around the block when shopping for baklava. This baklava recipe is well loved wherever it goes and it is definitely a reader and family favorite!

How to Make the Best Baklava (See Video Below):

Slice of baklava coming out of serving pan for baklava and how to cut baklava

Ingredients for Baklava Recipe:

You will need 1 (16 oz) package of phyllo (fillo) dough*; thawed according to package instructions *Fillo dough should be paper thin – even thinner than paper. Each package has 2 rolls with a total of 40 sheets. Do not use thick sheets of fillo dough for this recipe.

Also, don’t skimp on the butter or any part of the syrup (lemon juice, water and honey) since the recipe needs it to moisten and soften the sheets. Otherwise the baklava layers can end up dry and won’t stay together easily.

The chocolate is optional but a nice touch to fancy up a tray of baklava.

Baklava Recipe ingredients

How To Make Baklava:

1. Thaw phyllo dough according to package instructions (this is best done overnight in the fridge, then place it on the counter for 1 hour before starting your recipe to bring it to room temp).

2. Trim phyllo dough to fit your baking sheet. My phyllo dough package had 2 rolls with a total of 40 sheets that measured 9×14 so I had to trim them slightly. You can trim one stack at a time then cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out.

3. Butter the bottom and sides of a 13×9 non-stick baking pan.

How to Prepare Fillo (phyllo) Dough for Baklava Recipe

Start with your honey sauce (which will need time to cool as your baklava bakes).

1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup honey, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil over med/high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat to med/low and boil an additional 4 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and let syrup cool while preparing baklava

How to Make Syrup for Baklava Recipe

How to Assemble Baklava:

Preheat Oven to 325˚F.

1. Pulse walnuts about 10 times in a food processor until coarsely ground/ finely chopped. In a medium bowl, stir together: 4 cups finely chopped walnuts and 1 tsp cinnamon

How to Make filling for baklava recipeHow to make nut filling for Baklava Recipe

2. Place 10 phyllo sheets into baking pan one at a time, brushing each sheet with butter once it’s in the pan before adding the next (i.e. place phyllo sheet into pan, brush the top with butter, place next phyllo sheet in pan, butter the top, etc. etc.).

Keep remaining phyllo covered with a damp towel at all times. Spread about 1/5 of nut mixture (about 3/4 cup) over phyllo dough.

How to layer baklava recipe

3. Add 5 buttered sheets of phyllo, then another layer of nuts. Repeat x 4. Finish off with 10 layers of buttered phyllo sheets. Brush the very top with butter.

Here’s the order:
10 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture
10 buttered phyllo sheets and butter the top.

4. Cut pastry into 1 1/2″ wide strips, then cut diagonally to form diamond shapes. Bake at 325˚F for 1 hour and 15 min or until tops are golden brown

How to Cut Baklava Recipe

5. Remove from oven and immediately spoon the cooled syrup evenly over the hot baklava (you’ll hear it sizzle). This will ensure that it stays crisp rather than soggy. Let baklava cool completely, uncovered and at room temperature

How to Apply Syrup to Baklava Recipe

Homemade baklava displayed sliced in baking sheet drizzled with hot honey lemon syrup for the best baklava recipe

Tip: For best results, let baklava sit 4-6 hours or overnight at room temperature for the syrup to penetrate and soften the layers. Garnish baklava with finely chopped nuts or drizzle with melted chocolate. Store at room temp, covered with a tea towel for 1 to 2 weeks.

Up close view of baklava recipe showing nut and syrup filling with flaky crisp crust.

So many juicy layers of flavor! This is hands down, our favorite baklava. Check out the glowing reviews below and add the ingredients to your grocery list. 🙂

Watch Baklava Video Tutorial:


Any baklava is a little tedious to make, but I’ve shared all of my best tips and advise to ensure you are successful in making yours. You will love that this recipe can be made several days in advance of your shindig and keeps beautifully at room temperature for at least a week.

Dessert Recipes to Explore:

Baklava Recipe

4.96 from 734 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
This baklava is flaky, crisp, tender and I love that it's not overly sweet. No store-bought baklava can touch this! | natashaskitchen.com
This baklava is flaky, crisp, tender and perfectly balanced with the honey-lemon syrup. This homemade baklava is so much better than any store-bought version. 
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 30 pieces
  • 16 oz phyllo dough, thawed by package instructions
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, 10 oz or 2 1/2 sticks, melted
  • 1 lb walnuts, finely chopped, (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice, juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Melted chocolate chips & chopped walnuts for garnish, optional

Instructions

Prep:

  • Thaw phyllo dough by package instructions (this is best done overnight in the fridge, then place it on the counter for 1 hr before starting your recipe to bring it to room temp).
  • Trim phyllo dough to fit your baking dish. My phyllo package had 2 rolls with a total of 40 sheets that measured 9x14 so I had to trim them slightly. You can trim one stack at a time then cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out.
  • Butter the bottom and sides of a 13x9 non-stick baking pan.

Start with your honey sauce (which needs time to cool as baklava bakes).

  • In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup honey, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil over med/high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat to med/low and boil additional 4 min without stirring. Remove from heat and let syrup cool while preparing baklava.

How to make Baklava: Preheat Oven to 325˚F.

  • Pulse walnuts 10 times in a food process or until coarsely ground/ finely chopped. In a medium bowl, stir together: 4 cups finely chopped walnuts and 1 tsp cinnamon.
  • Place 10 phyllo sheets into baking pan one at a time, brushing each sheet with butter once it's in the pan before adding the next (i.e. place phyllo sheet into pan, brush the top with butter, place next phyllo sheet in pan, butter the top, etc. etc.). Keep remaining phyllo covered with a damp towel at all times. Spread about 1/5 of nut mixture (about 3/4 cup) over phyllo dough.
  • Add 5 buttered sheets of phyllo, then another layer of nuts. Repeat x 4. Finish off with 10 layers of buttered phyllo sheets. Brush the very top with butter.
  • Cut pastry into 1 1/2" wide strips, then cut diagonally to form diamond shapes. Bake at 325˚F for 1 hour and 15 min or until tops are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and immediately spoon cooled syrup evenly over the hot baklava (you'll hear it sizzle). This will ensure that it stays crisp rather than soggy. Let baklava cool completely, uncovered and at room temp. For best results, let baklava sit 4-6 hours or overnight at room temperature for the syrup to penetrate and soften the layers. Garnish baklava with finely chopped nuts or drizzle with melted chocolate. Store at room temp, covered with a tea towel for 1 to 2 weeks.

Notes

Here's the order of the Baklava Layers:
10 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture
10 buttered phyllo sheets and butter the top.

Nutrition Per Serving

255kcal Calories21g Carbs3g Protein18g Fat6g Saturated Fat20mg Cholesterol74mg Sodium83mg Potassium1g Fiber11g Sugar240IU Vitamin A0.6mg Vitamin C20mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Baklava Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
255
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
18
g
28
%
Saturated Fat
 
6
g
38
%
Cholesterol
 
20
mg
7
%
Sodium
 
74
mg
3
%
Potassium
 
83
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
21
g
7
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
240
IU
5
%
Vitamin C
 
0.6
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
20
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Turkish
Keyword: Baklava
Skill Level: Medium/Advanced
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 255
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

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Shown in this post (Amazon affiliate links):
Cuisinart 9×13 non-stick cake pan (also great for cakes!)
Wusthof Cooks knife – an essential knife for any cook
Zwilling sauce pan distributes heat evenly & handle stays cool
* This Cuisinart 11-cup food processor cuts prep time in half

This baklava is flaky, crisp, tender and I love that it's not overly sweet. No store-bought baklava can touch this! | natashaskitchen.com

What are YOU cooking up for Christmas? 

If you’ve tried this already and are back for more, I’d love to hear from you in a comment below!

This baklava is flaky, crisp, tender and I love that it's not overly sweet. No store-bought baklava can touch this! | natashaskitchen.com

 

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

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Comments

  • Islenskur
    June 15, 2024

    I used pistachio instead of walnuts. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. The baklava turned out perfectly. Thank you for a fantastic recipe!

    Reply

  • Robert
    May 24, 2024

    I’ve made your Baklava recipe about 4-5 times. It’s a big hit with everyone. I’ve had someone tell me “How did you get my mother’s recipe “? It brought back fond memories for her. Now I’ve bought a 12 x 17 pan so that I don’t have to cut the phyllo dough. Thank you for this recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 24, 2024

      Aww, that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m all smiles

      Reply

  • Yvette Desveaux
    May 13, 2024

    Do you think I could use a sugar substitute like monk sugar?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 13, 2024

      Hi Yvette, while I haven’t tried it with a sugar substitute, here’s what one of my readers wrote: “THE BEST RECIPE EVER! But, because I have so many diabetics in the family I had to substitute 1/2 cup of Stevia for the 1 cup of sugar. I tried this with several other recipes with blah results. Your recipe has the right combination of everything to get the flavor I wanted. Thank you!” I hope this helps.

      Reply

  • Bloeve
    April 27, 2024

    I love this recipe! Made it for the first time last weekend. Packed it up and gave away as gifts. Making more to give away again this weekend. It’s a hit! Thank you!!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 27, 2024

      You’re so very welcome!

      Reply

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