How to Make the Best Baklava

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.

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 coarsley ground/ finely chopped. In a medium bowl, stir together: 4 cups finely chopped walnuts and 1 tsp cinnamon

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 brow

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.

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