Old-Fashioned Baklava


Embark on a nostalgic culinary adventure with old-fashioned baklava, a timeless dessert that evokes memories of rich heritage and exquisite flavors. Featuring layers of flaky phyllo pastry, fragrant nuts, and aromatic syrup, baklava transports you to a world of tradition and indulgence. Join us as we explore the origins, recipe, and irresistible charm of this beloved treat.

Honoring Tradition: Old-fashioned baklava is a revered symbol of culinary craftsmanship, steeped in centuries-old traditions. Originating from the opulent kitchens of the Ottoman Empire, this delicacy has traversed continents, captivating palates with its unparalleled taste and elegance. Today, the art of making baklava endures as a cherished tradition, passed down through generations and celebrated for its exquisite flavor and artistry.


  • 1 package of phyllo pastry sheets (16 ounces), thawed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves

Crafting the Recipe:

  1. Prepare the Nut Filling:
    • In a bowl, combine the finely chopped nuts, granulated sugar, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Layer the Phyllo Pastry:
    • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a baking dish with butter.
    • Layer phyllo pastry sheets in the baking dish, brushing each layer with melted butter.
  3. Add the Nut Filling:
    • Sprinkle the nut mixture evenly over the phyllo pastry layers.
  4. Continue Layering:
    • Repeat the process of layering phyllo pastry and nuts until all ingredients are used, ensuring to brush each layer with butter.
  5. Finish and Score:
    • Brush the top layer of phyllo pastry with melted butter. Using a sharp knife, score the baklava into diamond-shaped pieces.
  6. Bake and Prepare the Syrup:
    • Bake the baklava for 45-50 minutes until golden brown.
    • Meanwhile, prepare the syrup by simmering water, sugar, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, and cloves until slightly thickened.
  7. Pour and Cool:
    • Once baked, pour the hot syrup over the baklava, allowing it to soak in. Let the baklava cool completely in the baking dish.
  8. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Once cooled, cut along the scored lines and serve the baklava on a platter. Garnish with additional chopped nuts if desired. Enjoy the delectable flavors and embrace the rich heritage of old-fashioned baklava.

Serving and Storage Tips for Old-Fashioned Baklava:


  1. Allow the baklava to cool completely in the baking dish before serving to ensure the syrup has fully soaked into the pastry.
  2. Once cooled, carefully cut along the scored lines to separate the pieces of baklava.
  3. Serve the baklava on a platter or individual plates, garnished with additional chopped nuts if desired.
  4. Baklava pairs beautifully with a cup of Turkish coffee or a glass of sweet tea, enhancing the indulgent experience.


  1. To maintain freshness, store leftover baklava in an airtight container at room temperature.
  2. Alternatively, wrap individual pieces of baklava in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store them in the refrigerator for extended freshness.
  3. Properly stored baklava can last for up to one week at room temperature or up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
  4. If freezing baklava, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Frozen baklava can be stored for up to two months.
  5. Before serving frozen baklava, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in the oven at a low temperature to restore crispness, if desired.
  6. Enjoy leftover baklava as a delightful snack or dessert, straight from the fridge or gently warmed in the microwave for a few seconds to restore its texture and flavor.

Variations of Old-Fashioned Baklava:

  1. Chocolate Lover’s Dream:
    • Incorporate layers of chocolate ganache or Nutella between the phyllo pastry and nut filling for a decadent twist on traditional baklava. Sprinkle cocoa powder or chocolate shavings on top for an extra indulgence.
  2. Fruity Fusion:
    • Add a layer of thinly sliced fruits, such as apples, pears, or figs, between the nut filling and phyllo pastry for a refreshing and fruity variation. Drizzle with honey or fruit syrup for added sweetness.
  3. Coconut Delight:
    • Mix shredded coconut with the nut filling for a tropical twist on classic baklava. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top for added flavor and texture.
  4. Spiced Sensation:
    • Infuse the syrup with warm spices like ginger, nutmeg, and allspice for a spiced variation of baklava. Add a dash of ground cloves or cardamom to the nut filling for an extra layer of flavor complexity.
  5. Citrus Burst:
    • Add a burst of citrus flavor by incorporating lemon or orange zest into the nut filling or syrup. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of citrus sorbet for a refreshing finish.

Frequently Asked Questions about Old-Fashioned Baklava:

  1. What is baklava?
    • Baklava is a traditional dessert made from layers of phyllo pastry, nuts, and sweet syrup. It is popular in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries.
  2. What nuts are typically used in baklava?
    • Walnuts, pistachios, and almonds are commonly used in baklava. However, other nuts like pecans or hazelnuts can also be used for variation.
  3. Is baklava difficult to make?
    • While baklava requires some skill and patience, it is not overly difficult to make. Following a good recipe and handling the phyllo pastry with care are key to success.
  4. Can I make baklava ahead of time?
    • Yes, baklava can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. It can also be frozen for longer storage.
  5. How should I store leftover baklava?
    • Leftover baklava should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness.
  6. Can I customize the flavors of baklava?
    • Yes, baklava can be customized by adding different spices, fruits, or even chocolate to the nut filling. The syrup can also be flavored with various extracts or spices.
  7. Can baklava be made without nuts?
    • While nuts are a traditional component of baklava, you can make nut-free versions using alternatives like shredded coconut or seeds such as sesame or pumpkin seeds.
  8. Is baklava suitable for special dietary needs?
    • Baklava is not suitable for those with nut allergies or gluten intolerance, as it contains nuts and phyllo pastry made from wheat flour.
  9. Can I reheat baklava?
    • Yes, you can reheat baklava in the oven at a low temperature to restore its crispiness. Alternatively, you can microwave individual pieces for a few seconds until warm.
  10. Is baklava a healthy dessert option?
    • While baklava is delicious, it is also high in sugar and calories due to the syrup and pastry. Enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


With its timeless recipe and exquisite flavors, old-fashioned baklava continues to captivate hearts and palates around the world. From its ancient origins to its modern-day allure, baklava remains a testament to the enduring power of tradition and taste. Indulge in a slice of history and savor the magic of old-fashioned baklava today.

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