Very excited to share this easy baklava today. Baklava is a Greek dessert pastry consisting of layered phyllo dough and chopped nuts that have been soaked in a sweet syrup to hold everything together and add amazing flavor. Traditionally this is a very rich and time consuming dessert to make. So I lightened it up and greatly reduced the amount of work, creating a baklava that’s a much more approachable, everyday kind of dessert. Oh, and it’s DELICIOUS too!
The theme of the week has clearly been all things Mother’s Day and each recipe (with the exception of Wednesday’s salmon) has been one my mom would personally love. I decided to end the week with a recipe that’s a little different and off the beaten path, but one that my mom has always loved, baklava.
As mentioned, baklava is a flaky Greek pastry consisting of phyllo dough, chopped nuts, and a sweet syrup that the nuts are soaked in.
Usually, I might make baklava around the holidays, but I really wanted to create a lighter version for spring and summer days, because baklava is just too delicious of a pastry to not eat year-round. Plus, when I was wracking my brain for new spring dessert ideas, I really just could not get baklava out of my head.
Like I needed to make it.
So I did. And I am pretty excited about it.
Let’s get into the details.
Phyllo dough is one of those ingredients that tends to scare people away, but shouldn’t. The issue with phyllo dough is that it can tear easily if not handled carefully, but what people forget is that it’s OK if it tears. In the end, you are creating multiple layers of dough, so tears don’t make a big difference. When working with phyllo dough it’s important to remember that it doesn’t need to be perfect. Perfection is always so overrated, so let’s just set out right from the start not strive for it.
So that’s my one piece of advice, don’t stress if your dough tears. Layer this up just as the recipe states, with plenty of butter and chocolate, and I promise, once the baklava is baked all will be good. Especially once it has soaked in the sweet honey vanilla syrup (yum!).
To keep the dessert lighter and make it less time consuming, I greatly reduced the amount of layers of dough from like a billion (a bit of an exaggeration, but hey, a lot of layers) to about twenty-four. Let’s just be real, no one wants to stand at the kitchen counter and layer sheets of phyllo dough for an hour.
No that is not fun.
Instead I did three layers of about eight sheets of phyllo dough, and I found that it was still delicious…soft, flaky, and buttery, just so good. Not only does this recipe require less effort, making it so much easier, it also makes for a slightly less indulgent version of the classic.
For the baklava filling, I used just a few simple ingredients, roasted pistachios, almonds, and plenty of chocolate chips. Loving this combo of salted pistachios and chocolate.
The key to a really good baklava though is all in the sweet syrup that the baklava sits in after baking. I like making mine out of honey and vanilla. It’s not too sweet, but extra sticky, and I love the light honey flavors. Especially with the phyllo dough and chocolate.
When everything comes together you have a baklava that’s really pretty and looks as though it took hours of work. Did I mention the buttery flakey layers of phyllo dough? And the salted pistachios? And the chocolate chips? Again, just so good!
If you happen to be hosting Mother’s Day this Sunday, or just need something sweet to bake up over the weekend, this has to be it, it’s truly one of my favorites.
If you make this Easy Baklava and love it, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I always love hearing from you guys and do my best to respond to each and every one of you. Oh, and of course, if you do make this baklava, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram so I can see! I love looking at the photos of recipes you all have made. It makes my day!
Easiest Pistachio Chocolate Baklava
Servings: 8 servings
Calories Per Serving: 1010 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 2 cups pistachios, roasted, salted, and roughly chopped
- 1 cup almonds, roasted or raw, and roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 24 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed (about 1/2 a pound)
- 1 stick salted butter, melted
- 1 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper.2. In a medium bowl, combine the pistachios, almonds, chocolate chips, and cinnamon.3. Fold 1 sheet of phyllo dough in half and then place in the prepared pan. Brush the phyllo dough with melted butter. Repeat, layering 8 more times, placing the sheets of dough over top of each other. Spoon half of the nut/chocolate mix over the dough. Now add another 8 sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter. Spoon over the remaining filling. Add another 8 sheet of phyllo, agin brushing each with butter. 4. Cut the baklava into 8 triangles. Place the pan on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until phyllo is golden brown. 5. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup water and the honey in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the syrup over the warm baklava and let soak for 2 hour or overnight. Enjoy!
The best way to end the week. YUM.
Where does it say to reserve some of the filling for the top?
So sorry, I am not sure what you are asking? Please let me know how I can help! xTieghan
How do you get all the filling *not* to fall out when you cut it and move it from the spring form pan to the baking sheet? I lost so much of it!
So sorry to hear this! It can be tricky to cut, I use a super sharp knife and just try to be super careful. Hope this helps! xTieghan
This was FAB! I’ve made it twice in two weeks to hand out to neighbors. The second time, to cut some sweetness for our taste, I used half the honey/water mixture (I know, hard to cut honey for baklava) and use 1/2 the chocolate chips too. But I’d repeat it as written again, too.
Thank you so much Rach!! xTieghan
I made this yesterday, and honestly, it’s just okay. I was concerned about the filling just being a bunch of chocolate chips and pistachios, with nothing binding them together… and it was exactly that. The ingredients are all nice, but the chocolate chips and pistachios just fall right out when you’re done. It’s not a cohesive, well-balanced dessert, unfortunately. And way too sweet with all the chocolate. So, in order to finish eating this, I’m probably going to disassemble it and combine it with some vanilla ice cream.
Hi Erica! I am sorry this did not turn out as well as you expected! Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with! xTieghan
This looks delicious and I want to make it for Thanksgiving! Could I make this in advance and if so, how much in advance and how do you suggest storing it?
Hi Natalie! You can make this 4 days ahead of time and keep in a sealed container at room temp. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xTieghan
I made this a few days ago and it turned out really dry even though it soaked for more than 36 hours with the honey mixture. It’s a super pretty dessert to make but sadly, for me, it didn’t taste very good.
Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, so sorry to hear it was dry for you. Was there anything you may have adjusted in the recipe or anything that I can help with? Let me know! xx
I was thinking about what to make for thanksgiving desserts and I was like “half baked harvest will have something” and you do. You always do. This sounds so good I’m excited to make it. And it uses a spring form pan, which makes it even better because I am slightly obsessed with using mine
I just have a quick question for you, when you say cut the baklava into 8 triangles, you are cutting it in the pan, while the dough is still raw? Correct?
Also, do you serve it cold? Or take it out to room temp?
Hey Laura!! yes, you should cut the dough while raw, before baking. This makes the triangles easier to remove later.
I love serving this at room temperature. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan
I have a 9×11 springform pan. Do you think it would work for this recipe?? It sounds wonderful and thought it might be easier to make smaller servings in this pan.
Hey Wendy! I think your pan should work just great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ??
Looks great but Baklava is of Central Asian Turkic origin. The version known and used today was developed in the kitchens of the Topkapi Palace. Whether Baklava first started in the empire or not, there is no doubt that it’s modern form has evolved from the Ottoman period. In fact, during the 17th century, the Baklava was so popular that a palace tradition known as “baklava alayi” (parade) was held. In the festival, janissaries marched into the palace every 15th day of Ramadan to gather trays of baklava. There would be one baklava for every ten soldiers as prepared by the palace cooks. Baklava is Turkish, not Greek.
Hi Naciye! Thank you so much for this!
Could I make this recipe two days in advance?
You sure can! Making this in advance works great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much!! xTieghan ?
12yo said it was the best dessert ever! So good. I may have thrown in a little extra chocolate but delicious and pretty easy. Thank you!
I am so happy to hear that! Thank you Kelly!
I LOVE baklava! Can’t wait to try!
Thank you! I hope you love this recipe!
This is the perfect recipe for Ramadan. I cant wait to try it!
Great! I hope you love this!
Made this for dessert for family dinner last weekend and it was a hit! I did find I needed to use 2 sticks of butter though and trying to fit the square sheets of phyllo into the round pan was a bit awkward at first but I just sort of shoved them in.
On a separate note i don’t know why people are rating the recipe if they haven’t made the recipe. You don’t know how good or bad it is unless you’ve tried it. Giving it 5 stars because you think it sounds good is not helpful to someone trying to decide if they want to make it.
I am so glad you liked this Emily! Thank you!
First off I love your recipes, have made many of them and they NEVER disappoint! Now the (maybe) dumb question. You cut it into triangles before the bake? Is there a reason for that, just wondering?
HI! Yes, you cut the baklava before baking becasue after baking it’s very flaky and just harder to cut into pieces. Does that make sense? Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! ?