Classic Baklava

Products Used



  • 1 package (16 oz) phyllo dough, defrosted overnight
  • 1 pound (16 oz) walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon, no white bitter pith
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter



  1. Place walnuts, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until nuts are about size of 2 grains of rice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F
  3. Melt butter and brush a thin coat of butter on bottom of a 9 x 13-inch-deep pan.
  4. Unpack one roll of phyllo dough and roll flat. Place a phyllo sheet on bottom of pan and brush with a very thin layer of butter. Place another sheet on top and repeat with a thin coat of butter. Repeat layering and buttering until 10 sheets have been stacked.
  5. Scatter 1/4 of chopped walnut mixture onto layered phyllo.
  6. Cover with a sheet of phyllo and lightly butter it. Add 4 more sheets, buttering in between.
  7. Scatter with another 1/4 of chopped nuts.
  8. Layer another stack of 5 phyllo sheets and butter in between sheets.
  9. Scatter with another 1/4 of nuts and layer another 5 sheets on top.
  10. Scatter remaining nuts on top.
  11. Stack remaining phyllo sheets (about 10) on top, buttering in between.
  12. Baklava must be cut before it is baked. Lengthwise cut into 6 equal strips (1.25-inch wide).
  13. Cut diagonally to obtain a diamond shape. Place in oven and bake until surface is golden brown, about 60-70 minutes. Prepare syrup while baking.
  14. Bring water and sugar to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Add honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and place in an ice bath. When cold add vanilla.
  15. Once baklava is removed from oven spoon cooled syrup over entire surface.
  16. Baklava stays delicious for days. Store at room temperature in an airtight container. 
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