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Homemade Baklava Recipe

Classic baklava is actually a lot easier to make than it looks (it has a few steps involved, so it just needs some patience)! It features crispy layers of phyllo dough, butter, and your choice of nuts. And it's ALL topped off with a deliciously sticky syrup!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Bake Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 24 pieces (approx.)

Ingredients

For the baklava:

  • 3 cups chopped nuts * see notes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 (16 ounce) package of phyllo dough, thawed

For the syrup:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F.
    In a large bowl, combine chopped nuts, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine, and set aside.
  • Prep a 9x13 inch baking dish by buttering the bottom and sides with about 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Unroll your phyllo dough, and keep the sheets that you're not working with covered with a damp kitchen towel to keep it from drying and breaking!
  • Take one large sheet and fold it in half to fit the pan. Place the folded sheet in your baking dish, and brush the top lightly with some melted butter (about 1 teaspoon). Fold another sheet in half and layer it on top of the previous buttered sheet. Lightly butter the top again. Continue layering a folded sheet of phyllo with a layer of butter until you have about 8 or 9 folded sheets stacked.
  • Sprinkle half of your nut mixture evenly on top of the last sheet. Place another folded sheet on top of the nut mixture, then top with the remaining 1/2 of the nuts. Continue the layering process again (alternating between a folded sheet of phyllo dough and butter) until all the phyllo dough is used up.
  • Generously brush the top layer with butter. Using a sharp knife, cut your baklava into individual portions. I cut mine into diamonds by making 3 cuts down the phyllo dough lengthwise, and then smaller diagonal cuts. You can also cut them into squares if you prefer.
  • Bake the baklava in the center of your preheated 325°F oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a deep golden brown on top. While it bakes, start preparing the syrup.
  • To make the syrup, combine sugar, water, honey, and lemon juice in a medium sized saucepan. Place the pan on a burner set to high heat and bring to a boil. Once the syrup starts boiling, boil for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, turn the heat off and set the saucepan aside to cool slightly while the baklava finishes baking.
  • Once the baklava is baked, take it out of the oven and set it aside to cool for 5 minutes. Afterwards, slowly pour the syrup over the hot baklava. Set aside the baklava to cool completely to room temperature before serving!

Notes

* For the nuts, you can use whichever is your favorite, or you can mix and match to create your own flavors! My absolute favorite combination is 2 cups almonds and 1 cup walnuts. But there are tons of recipes that use pistachios, hazelnuts, peanuts, or any combination of them all.