This vegan baklava recipe is made with layers of phyllo dough filled with cinnamon-spiced ground nuts and covered with a sticky lemony syrup! No honey needed for this showstopping Middle Eastern dessert!

After all the Baklava inspired recipes I had to make the real deal. Baklava is a decadent and  sweet treat. Traditional baklava is not vegan as it uses butter and honey. I changed it up with some vegan butter and and a sticky lemon syrup made with maple syrup!

This vegan version of baklava is made with layers of sweet filo and chopped nuts, all covered in a sweet syrup! we also add dates to the nut filling since our syrup is not very sweet. We add less sweetener than in traditional baklava recipes. This is a simple yet showstopping dessert guaranteed to impress!

 a small piece of vegan baklava on a small dessert plate

Baklava has many variations and flavors. I use  a blend of nuts and some lemon zest for that decadent and refreshing flavor! If you want, add some rose water to the syrup but be careful as a little goes a long way.

a slice of vegan baklava on a small plate

The texture is flaky, soft, buttery, with some added crunch from the crisp filo and nuts. It’s sweet and with a hint of lemon and cinnamon without any flavor being overpowering.

What is phyllo pastry?

Many people are unaware that phyllo dough and filo pastry is actually vegan. There are no eggs or dairy used.

The number of Phyllo sheets needed depends on the size of your pan. I used an 8×8 inch glass pan and needed 24 sheets of that size. The phyllo bundle that  I had had 18 sheets but they were larger sheets and I could cut out of them.

 

More vegan desserts with nuts:

Baklava inspired desserts

Recipe Card

Vegan Baklava

This vegan baklava recipe is made with layers of phyllo dough filled with cinnamon-spiced ground nuts and covered with a sticky syrup! No honey needed for this showstopping Middle Eastern dessert!

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Servings: 16

Calories: 245kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

  • 24 filo/phyllo sheets cut into 8 by 8 inch size

For the filling:

  • 2 cups (290 g) nuts, I use a combination of raw almonds, walnuts, and pistachios
  • 10 soft medjool dates
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the syrup

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 slices lemon
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water or orange juice

For brushing the filo

  • 6 tablespoons oil or butter I used a mix of oil and melted vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachio for topping

Instructions

  • Prep your phyllo sheets and thaw them if you haven’t thawed already. Keep them out on the counter covered with a damp towel for at least an hour or two so that they separate easily and you can cut according to the size of the pan. Keep them covered with the towel while you work.

  • Make the filling: For the nuts, add all of the nuts to a food processor and proces until they are close to a coarse meal. Then add the dates and the rest of the ingredients and process again until the dates are well-combined with the nuts. Transfer this to a bowl and set aside near your work station. (You can omit the dates and add 2 tbsp or more sugar to the syrup instead)

  • Melt your vegan butter if you haven’t already . Mix in the oil if using and set aside.

  • Assemble: Prep your work station: brush your baking dish liberally with the oil butter mixture.

  • Then place your first phyllo sheet in it then lightly brush the oil-butter mixture on it and then place another sheet. Repeat for at least 6 sheets and then sprinkle your nut filling all over and even it out. You want a thin layer of nuts.

  • Then start layering with the phyllo sheets again. Layer a phyllo sheet, brush with butter. Layer another phyllo sheet. Do at least 3-4 phyllo sheet layers and then keep continuing until all of the nuts are used. I got 4 layers of the nuts.

  • Then for the top phyllo layer, use 6 phyllo sheets. Brush the top with the oil and butter mixture really well to cover it completely.

  • Use a sharp knife to cut out the baklava to the shapes that you like. I went for diamond shape.

  • Then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-55 minutes until the top is nicely golden.

  • Meanwhile, make your syrup: Heat the maple syrup, lemon juice, and water in a saucepan until it is boiling. Then add the lemon slices and continue to simmer over medium heat until the mixture has thickened slightly. Switch off heat and let it cool to a warm state.

  • You need to check the syrup at this time . It should be slightly thick like maple syrup. If it’s not, you need to reheat for another 1-2 mins it to thicken.

  • Once the baklava is done baking, remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.

  • Drizzle your somewhat warm (it should be at a room temperature or mildly warm) syrup over the baklava by drizzling it all over the top first and then drizzling in all the cracks.

  • Top it with pistachios. Let these baklavas sit for at least 2 hours to soak the syrup. Then slice again if needed and serve.

Notes

Date substitution: You can omit the dates and add 2 tbsp or more sugar to the syrup instead)

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Baklava

Amount Per Serving

Calories 245
Calories from Fat 117

% Daily Value*

Fat 13g20%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 125mg5%

Potassium 249mg7%

Carbohydrates 31g10%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 17g19%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 23IU0%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 29mg3%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Did you make this recipe?Please do leave a comment and rating below.. Tag me on Instagram @veganricha

ingredients needed for making baklava

Ingredients:

  • Phyllo pastry – Also known as filo pastry. This can be found in the frozen and chilled section of the grocery store.
  • nuts (I used a combination of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios but you can use just walnuts ( Greek Style) or pistachios (Persian)
  •  medjool dates for sweet
  • the nut filling is seasoned with zest of a lemon and some cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the syrup we use maple syrup as a vegan substitute for honey, which gives a glorious sticky texture.
  • lemon juice and sliced lemon as well as orange juice lends the syrup a refreshing bright citrus note
  • we brush the phyllo sheets with some oil or melted vegan butter for that golden color. The butter/oil is necessary, as, on its own, the dough is very dry.

Tips:

  • Use any nuts you like – I used a blend but you can make this with just walnuts or just pistachios
  • Feel free to add a small amount of rose water or orange flower water to the soaking syrup but be very careful. That’s powerful stuff
  • If you’d like to make this gluten free, use gluten free phyllo dough.

 

a blend of nuts in a food processor

How to make Vegan Baklava

Prep your phyllo sheets and thaw them if you haven’t thawed already. Keep them out covered with a damp towel, on the counter for at least an hour so that they sepatate easily and you can cut according to the size of the pan. Keep them covered while you work.

For the nuts, add all of the nuts to a food processor and proces until they are close to a coarse meal.

ground nuts in a food processor

Then add the dates and the rest of the ingredients and process again until the dates are well-combined with the nuts. Transfer this to a bowl and set aside near your work station.

dates being added to ground nuts in a food processor

baklava filling in the container of a food processor

Melt your vegan butter if you haven’t already . Mix in the oil if using and set aside.

Prep your work station: brush your baking dish liberally with the oil butter mixture. Cut the batches of sheets to size of your pan. I am using 9×9 inch

Then place your first phyllo sheet on it then lightly brush the oil-butter mixture on it and then place another sheet.

a casserole dish being lined with phyllo pastry

Repeat for at least 6 sheets and then sprinkle your nut filling all over and even it out. You want a thin layer of nuts.

nuts and phyllo pastry being layered to make vegan baklava

Then start layering with the phyllo sheets again. Layer a phyllo sheet, brush with butter. Layer another phyllo sheet. Do at least 3-4 phyllo sheet layers and then keep continuing until all of the nuts are used. I got about 4 layers of the nuts.

assembled vegan baklava being cut diagonally to make diamond shaped baklava pieces

Then for the top phyllo layer, use 6 phyllo sheets. Brush the top with the oil and butter mixture really well to cover it completely.

Use a sharp knife to cut out the baklava to the shapes that you like. I went for diamond shape.

vegan baklava unbaked in a glass casserole dish

Then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-55 minutes until the top is nicely golden.

freshly baked vegan baklava

Meanwhile, make your syrup: Heat the maple syrup, lemon juice, and water in a saucepan until it is boiling.

baklava soaking syurp in a black saucepan

Then add the lemon slices and continue to simmer over medium heat until the mixture has thickened slightly. Switch off heat and let it cool to a warm state.

lemon slices being added to bubbling soaking syrup in a saucepan

You need to check the syrup at this time even it’s warm it should be slightly thick like maple syrup. If it’s not, reheat it to thicken.

baked vegan baklava being sprinkled with pistachios

Once the baklava is done baking, remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.

a pyrex dish with homemade vegan baklava

Drizzle your somewhat cool (it should be at a room temperature or just mildly warm) syrup over the baklava by drizzling it all over the top first and then drizzling in all the cracks.

Top it with some pistachios. Let these baklavas sit for at least 2 hours to soak the syrup. Then  serve.

close-up of a bite sized piece of vegan homemade baklava

Storage

  • Fridge: this can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • To freeze: Place baklava is a freezer-friendly container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.  You can thaw it in the refrigerator uncovered.

 

 





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