Baklava on a wooden board with a cup of agave and baklava squares in the background.

Vegan Baklava

It’s easy to get obsessed over vegan baklava. They’re bite-sized treats that are crispy, moist, sweet and sticky and made without a drop of honey!

Baklava is made from phyllo dough, a thin sheet of pastry that needs to be handled with some care. It is typically vegan and you should be able to find it in the frozen section of your nearest grocery store.

Honey-Free Syrup For Baklava

Flavorful baklava starts with making the delicious syrup that will be poured over the finished baklava. It’s made from organic cane sugar, agave syrup, lemon juice and water. This syrup is the perfect substitute to the traditional honey syrup that baklava soaks in.

Start by the bringing water and sugar to a boil and letting it simmer for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and agave and continue to let boil for 5 minutes. The syrup will need to cool and thicken up before it gets poured over the hot baklava, so it’s a good idea to complete this step first.

How To Make Vegan Baklava

For this baklava we’ll be using 3 cups of roughly chopped pistachios. To chop the nuts, simply work in small batches and chop with a sharp knife. In a bowl, add sugar and cinnamon to the nuts and set aside.

To build the baklava you’ll need two rolls of phyllo dough. In total we’ll be using 40 sheets. Before you open the packaging, make sure the rolls are completely thawed. Otherwise, the phyllo dough is likely to rip and will be harder to handle. Cut the dough to match the size of your baking pan. The pan I used measured 7.5″ x 12″. Cut the sheets a little smaller so they are easier to work with. Once the dough it cut to size, place a barely damp paper towel over it to keep the moisture in.

Next, melt 2 sticks of vegan butter. The easiest way to do this is by melting them in the microwave, 25 seconds at a time. Stir the butter each time you check on them to make sure it melts evenly and does not cook. This melty buttery spread will be brushed over the delicate layers of dough and gets everything crisp in the oven.

How To Assemble Baklava

Now all the prep work is done, you’re ready to put it all together. Using a pastry brush, start by brushing a light layer of butter on the bottom of a pan. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough down and butter the top of the sheet. Continue by layering another sheet of dough on top and brushing with butter until you have created a stack of 10 sheets. After this, spread 1/2 cup of the nut mixture on the phyllo dough.

Repeat layering sheets of dough and butter until you have a stack of 5 sheets. Next, spread 1/2 cup of the nut mixture on top of the dough. Lay a sheet of dough over the nuts and brush with butter. Continue until you have stacked 5 layers on top of each other. Again, spread 1/2 cup of the nut mixture on the dough. On top of the nut mixture, continue to stack sheets of dough and butter until you have built another 5 layers. Spread another 1/2 cup of nuts on top. Stack 5 more sheets of buttered phyllo dough on top of each other and then follow with a final layer of 1/2 cup of nuts. To finish the assembly, stack 10 sheets of buttered phyllo dough on top. Brush the top layer with the buttery glaze.

Here’s the order of the layers:

  • Stack 10 sheets of buttered phyllo dough | 1/2 cup nut mixture
  • Layer 5 sheets of buttered phyllo dough | 1/2 cup nut mixture
  • Layer 5 sheets of buttered phyllo dough | 1/2 cup nut mixture
  • Again, stack 5 sheets of buttered phyllo dough | 1/2 cup nut mixture
  • Layer 5 more sheets of buttered phyllo dough | 1/2 cup nut mixture
  • Finish with 10 sheets of buttered phyllo dough

Cut the baklava into bite-size pieces before baking – it will be too fragile after it’s done cooking.

Once the baklava is assembled and before it is baked, use a sharp knife to cut the pastry into squares. Now it’s ready to go into an oven set at 375°F/190°C for 25-30 minutes. The baking time can vary so keep an eye on it until everything looks golden.

When the baklava is out of the oven, pour the cooled syrup over the hot baked baklava. The pan will start to bubble and sizzle. Make sure the top layers are saturated with the thick syrup. Sprinkle with the leftover pistachios for extra nuttiness. Allow the baklava to sit at room temperature for at least 6 hours before digging in.

It will be a gooey, sticky and nutty mess that is absolutely delicious. Feeling inspired to make other Greek dishes? Try making this simple Vegan Green Feta Salad.

Delicious greek vegan baklava recipe in a baking tray.
Yield: 15 Squares

Vegan Baklava

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A vegan take on the traditional honey-forward Greek dessert. This baklava is made from layers of butter-drenched phyllo dough and chopped nuts covered in a spiced lemon agave syrup.

Ingredients

Syrup Topping

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 3/4 Cup Organic Granulated Cane Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Agave Syrup
  • 2.5 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Nut Mixture

  • 3 Cups Roughly Chopped Unsalted Pistachio Nuts
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Granulated Cane Sugar

For The Pastry

  • 2 Sticks Vegan Butter (I recommend Country Crock)
  • 16 oz. Phyllo Dough / 40 Sheets (I recommend Athens)

Instructions

FOR THE SYRUP TOPPING

  1. Prepare the syrup first as it will need to cool completely before pouring over the hot oven baked baklava.
  2. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and boil for 15 minutes. Add the lemon and agave syrup and let boil for 5 more minutes.
  3. Pull off heat and let cool.

FOR THE NUT MIXTURE

  1. Chop about 3 cups of nuts into small pieces. Work in small batches to get uniform cuts.
  2. Place the chopped nuts into a bowl and add the cinnamon and sugar. Stir to combine.

FOR THE PASTRY

  1. Open and unroll the phyllo dough. Cut the sheets with a knife to fit the size of the baking pan you are using. It's okay to cut it a little smaller as it will be easier to handle. For reference, my baking pan measures 7.5" x 12".
  2. Once the dough is cut, cover with a barely damp paper towel to prevent the sheets from drying out.
  3. Melt two sticks of butter in a microwave-safe dish. Use increments of 25 seconds to make sure the butter doesn't bubble over or cook. Grab a pastry brush to spread the butter over the phyllo dough .

HOW TO ASSEMBLE VEGAN BAKLAVA

  1. Brush a layer of butter onto the bottom of the baking pan. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough down and butter the top of the sheet. Take another sheet and lay it on top of the first sheet. Butter the top. Continue by layering another sheet of dough on top and brushing with butter until you have created a stack of 10 sheets. After this, spread 1/2 cup of the nut mixture on the phyllo dough.
  2. Repeat layering sheets of dough and butter until you have a stack of 5 sheets. Next, spread 1/2 cup of the nut mixture on top of the dough.
  3. Lay a sheet of dough over the nuts and brush with butter. Continue until you have stacked 5 layers on top of each other. Again, spread 1/2 cup of the nut mixture on the dough.
  4. On top of the nut mixture, continue to stack sheets of dough and butter until you have built another 5 layers. Spread another 1/2 cup of nuts on top.
  5. Stack 5 more sheets of buttered phyllo dough on top of each other and then follow with a final layer of 1/2 cup of nuts.
  6. To finish the assembly, stack 10 sheets of buttered phyllo dough on top. Brush the top layer with the buttery glaze.
  7. The order is listed in the Notes section below.
  8. Once the baklava is assembled and before it is baked, use a sharp knife to cut the pastry into squares. Now it's ready to go into an oven set at 375°F/190°C for 25-30 minutes. The baking time can vary so keep an eye on it until everything looks golden.
  9. When the baklava is out of the oven, pour the cooled syrup over the hot baked baklava. The pan will start to bubble and sizzle. Make sure the top off the pastry is saturated with the thick syrup.
  10. Sprinkle with the leftover pistachios for extra nuttiness. Allow the baklava to sit at room temperature for at least 6 hours before digging in.
  11. Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.

Notes

Order of Baklava Layers:

10 sheets of buttered phyllo dough | 1/2 cup nut mixture

5 sheets of buttered phyllo dough | 1/2 cup nut mixture

5 sheets of buttered phyllo dough | 1/2 cup nut mixture

5 sheets of buttered phyllo dough | 1/2 cup nut mixture

5 more sheets of buttered phyllo dough | 1/2 cup nut mixture

10 sheets of buttered phyllo dough

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Nutrition Information

Yield

15 Squares

Serving Size

1 Square

Amount Per Serving Calories 300Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 6gSodium 210mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 3gSugar 28gProtein 7g

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