Delicious Baklava Recipe That Will Melt Your Heart

Have you ever tasted a dessert so heavenly that it feels like a bite of paradise? Look no further because Gretchen’s Baklava recipe will do just that. This dessert originated in the Middle East and Greek desserts and is composed of layers upon layers of phyllo dough, cinnamon, sugar, and walnuts that are drizzled with honey syrup. The result is a flaky and sweet delight.

Gretchen’s Baklava is not your average dessert. It’s perfect for any occasion or time of day. You can savor it as breakfast with your morning cup of coffee or indulge in it for dessert after dinner. Its buttery flavor and crunchy texture are sure to wow anyone who tastes it.

This baklava recipe food com has been passed down for generations through Gretchen’s family until she masterfully created her version with hints of vanilla, lemon juice, and water that elevates the flavors to new heights. Your taste buds will be dancing with every bite.

Now, I know you may be intimidated at the thought of making this layered pastry made with tissue-thin dough, but don’t let that stop you from trying. Follow along with me step by step, and before you know it, you’ll have a masterpiece pastry that looks like it came straight out of a bakery. Stay tuned because things are about to get pretty sweet!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Gretchen's Baklava
Gretchen’s Baklava

When I first tried Gretchen’s Baklava recipe, it was love at first bite. You’ll fall in love with this dessert too, and not just because it’s sweet and delicious. Here are a few reasons why this is the best baklava recipe you’ll ever try:

First, the combination of honey and lemon juice makes this baklava recipe truly unique. The syrupy sweetness from honey combined with tangy lemon is amazing. And don’t forget about the cinnamon in the filling that brings everything together.

Second, the texture of this baklava is heavenly. With flaky layers of pastry made from phyllo dough and a decadent filling that includes finely chopped walnuts, you’ll never want to go back to another baklava recipe again.

Third, it incorporates Greek flavors for a truly authentic taste that everyone will enjoy. If you’re a fan of Greek desserts or cuisine, you can’t miss out on Gretchen’s Baklava.

Finally, this recipe is versatile enough to be enjoyed in many different ways. Serve it as a dessert after dinner or pair it with your morning coffee for an indulgent breakfast treat. It even works well as a unique addition to savory dishes like baklava spanakopita.

So what are you waiting for? Try Gretchen’s Baklava recipe today and experience the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors in every bite. Whether it’s for a special occasion or just because you’re craving something sweet, this baklava recipe will not disappoint!

Ingredient List

 Layers upon layers of flaky phyllo dough
Layers upon layers of flaky phyllo dough

Get Ready to Gather These Ingredients:

  • 1 lb walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 sticks butter, melted
  • 1 package phyllo dough (16 oz), thawed
  • 1 ½ cup sugar and ¾ cup water for the simple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

The Recipe How-To

 Toasted nuts and spices bring warmth and depth to each bite
Toasted nuts and spices bring warmth and depth to each bite

Now that we have talked about the ingredients and why you will love this recipe, it’s time to dive into how to make Gretchen’s Baklava.

Preparing the nuts

First, you need to prepare the walnuts. Start by preheating your oven to 300°F. Next, place 1 lb of walnuts on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown. Once done, let them cool down completely and then chop them finely.

Preparing the phyllo dough

Now it’s time to prepare the phyllo dough. Open up one package of thawed phyllo dough and place it on a cutting board. Melt three sticks of butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Assembling the baklava

Take a 9×13 inch baking dish and brush the bottom with melted butter. Take two sheets of phyllo dough and place them in the dish. Brush them with melted butter and repeat this process with six more sheets of dough.

Next, evenly spread half of your chopped walnuts over the phyllo dough layers. Layer six more sheets of phyllo on top of the nuts, brushing each sheet with melted butter as you go.

Once that layer is complete, spread the remaining chopped walnuts over the top of these layers, followed by six more sheets of phyllo brushed with melted butter as before.

Baking and adding syrup

Bake your baklava at 300°F for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Once done, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly while preparing your simple syrup. Combine 2 cups of sugar, 1 ½ cups of water, 1/3 cup honey, and juice from one lemon in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir everything together until sugar dissolves completely. Let simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the mixture has turned into syrup.

Once ready, pour this sugar cinnamon syrup evenly over your baked baklava while both are still warm. This way, it will sink into all those flaky layers and make your baklava ooey-gooey deliciousness.

Final touches

Allow your baklava to sit for at least an hour (or even overnight) before serving so that it can soak in all that syrup goodness.

And that’s it! You have made traditional Gretchen’s Baklava right at home!

Substitutions and Variations

 A golden, syrupy glaze soaked into every corner
A golden, syrupy glaze soaked into every corner

Baklava is such a versatile dessert that can easily be customized to suit your personal taste. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Nuts: While walnuts are traditional, you can also use pistachios, almonds, or even a combination of different nuts. You could also add raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit for added flavor.

– Sugar: You can experiment with various types of sugar like brown sugar, powdered sugar or honey instead of white granulated sugar.

– Spices: Add a little excitement to the recipe by adding ginger, nutmeg or cardamom. These will add an extra layer of flavors and complexity to the dish.

– Vegan option: Gretchen’s Baklava Recipe can be transformed into a vegan dessert by replacing the butter with earth balance margarine or vegan spread.

– Cheesecake Baklava: Gretchen Baklava recipe has also been turned into a cheesecake. Just add cream cheese, eggs, vanilla and sugar to the baklava ingredients mix, bake as directed and voila! A delectable twist on traditional Greek baklava.

With these substitutions and variations in mind, you now have more options to make this classic dessert stand out on your table. To make sure you end up with the perfect baklava every time, follow the tips discussed in Section (8) and get comfortable experimenting with different ingredients and flavor profiles.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness
The perfect balance of sweetness and nuttiness

Gretchen’s Baklava Recipe is a dessert that can stand on its own or be paired with the perfect complement. After all, this sweet delicacy is worth enjoying to the fullest. A classic way to serve baklava is by dusting it with powdered sugar, alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. The cold temperature of either one will balance out the warmth of the baklava straight out of the oven.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to take it up a notch, try drizzling honey and lemon juice over each piece right before serving. The tanginess of the lemons brings out each nutty flavor and an excellent quality of this recipe. Another delicious option is pairing baklava with a cup of black coffee, which creates a balance between sugar and bitterness.

If you’re looking for something more fancy, you can use Gretchen’s Baklava Recipe to make Baklava Cheesecake. This spin on traditional cheesecake offers a creamy and nutty finish that feels simultaneously familiar and unique. Garnish with cinammon sticks to add depth to your presentation.

The great thing about baklava is that it’s versatile enough to be paired with various types of desserts, including fruit-based ones like orange or figs. This means you can get creative in your presentation and pair this dessert with whatever else you’d like. Wine pairings could also be a great option for those who seek an adult-only snacking moment as good options are Moscato d’Asti or any other Moscato due to their lighter, sweeter characteristic.

Enjoy Gretchen’s Baklava Recipe in any form you wish, from cozy nights at home to celebratory feasts!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A Middle Eastern classic with a touch of Gretchen's magic
A Middle Eastern classic with a touch of Gretchen’s magic

One of the best things about Gretchen’s Baklava recipe is that it can be easily made ahead of time and stored for later use. This makes it an ideal dessert to prepare for special occasions or even just as a sweet treat for yourself to enjoy throughout the week.

To make the baklava ahead of time, simply follow the recipe instructions and allow the pastry to cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container. It can be kept at room temperature for up to two days, or in the fridge for up to a week.

When it comes time to serve the baklava, there are several options for reheating depending on your preference. If you prefer a warm and gooey texture, you can place the desired number of pieces onto a microwave-safe plate and heat them up in 10 to 15-second increments until they are heated through.

Alternatively, if you prefer a crispy texture, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 Celsius) and bake the baklava for 5-10 minutes until they are heated through. The oven method may take a bit longer, but the end result is worth the extra effort.

When storing leftover baklava, it’s important to keep it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or becoming stale. You can also freeze leftover baklava for up to three months. To thaw frozen baklava, simply leave it at room temperature for several hours or overnight in the fridge.

Overall, with its easy make-ahead capabilities and convenient reheating options, Gretchen’s Baklava recipe is sure to become a staple in your dessert rotation.

Tips for Perfect Results

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let me share with you some tips to ensure perfect results every time you make Gretchen’s Baklava.

Firstly, make sure your phyllo dough is completely thawed before handling it. Frozen dough can be brittle and prone to tearing, so take it out of the freezer early enough to allow it to reach room temperature naturally. If you’re in a rush, do not attempt to speed up the thawing process using a microwave or any other artificial heat source as this can damage the dough.

Secondly, when brushing each layer of phyllo dough with melted butter, don’t be tempted to use too much butter or too little. Using too much butter will cause the pastry to become greasy and soggy and using too little can cause dry and crumbly layers. So, keep a light hand while buttering the layers and use just enough to give them a subtle flavor and a soft texture.

Thirdly, make sure you crush your walnuts finely but not into a paste. The consistency should be like coarse sand — small particles that hold together when squeezed but still crumbly enough to separate easily. Overdoing it with the food processor or by crushing them manually for too long will create paste-like clusters that won’t blend well with cinnamon and sugar.

Moreover, baking at low temperature is key for crispiness. Cranking up the heat may reduce the baking time on paper but also lead to uneven browning or even burnt edges while underbaking makes for soggy layers. Therefore, patiently bake the baklava in the oven preheated at 300°F until golden brown on top with crispy wings.

Lastly, give enough time for resting before cutting each piece of baklava. Cover it well overnight or at least for 4 hours after taking it out of the oven before serving so that all those flaky layers stick together perfectly.

Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be amazed at how delicious your baklava turns out each time!


It’s common to have a few questions or doubts when making a new recipe, and with Gretchen’s baklava recipe, it’s not different. Therefore, in this section, I will answer some frequently asked questions regarding the ingredients, the baking process, and more. So, let’s clear up any possible confusion you may have and ensure that your baklava turns out amazing!

What is the secret to crispy baklava?

Achieving a crispy baklava can be made possible by opting for clarified butter or ghee instead of regular butter. By using this alternative, the phyllo dough’s moisture content will be lowered while preserving the crisp texture of its flaky layers.

What is the difference between Armenian and Greek baklava?

Baklava, a pastry dessert commonly found in various regions, has differing versions based on its place of origin. The pronunciation and sweetener of Armenian paklava differs from that of Greek baklava. While Greeks sweeten their version with honey, Armenians opt for using a spiced sugar syrup for our paklava.

What is authentic baklava made of?

The classic version of Turkish baklava, also called pistachio baklava or fistikli baklava, consists of layers of phyllo pastry, butter, and finely ground pistachios. The sweet treat is topped off with a syrup made from lemon juice, water, and sugar.

What is the difference between baklava and baklava?

When it comes to the ingredients, it’s important to note that there are some variations between baklawa and baklava. For instance, cinnamon and cloves are used in baklawa, while cardamom and blossoming waters like orange or rose water are used in baklava. Additionally, in Greek baklava, almonds are the primary nut used, whereas in Turkish baklawa, a melding of almonds and pistachios are used.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I hope that this recipe for Gretchen’s Baklava has inspired you to try your hand at making this delicious dessert. The combination of flaky phyllo dough, sweet honey and sugar, fragrant cinnamon and crunchy walnuts is irresistible.

Whether you’re an experienced baker or a beginner in the kitchen, with these simple instructions and helpful tips, you’ll be able to create a baklava that will impress anyone who tries it.

So don’t be intimidated by the idea of working with phyllo dough or the long list of ingredients. As Gretchen says, “it’s an easy recipe if you take your time.” And the end result is well worth the effort.

I hope that you enjoy making this baklava recipe as much as I do. With its unique blend of Greek and Middle Eastern flavors and textures, I believe it has the power to transport you to a world of indulgent desserts and warm hospitality.

So what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves, preheat your oven to 300F and get ready to enter the wonderful world of Gretchen’s Baklava!

Gretchen's Baklava

Gretchen’s Baklava Recipe

I found this on This is the best recipe--you will fall in love! A lot of work, but extremely worth it!
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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 256.5 kcal


  • 1 lb walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, melted (3 sticks)
  • 16 ounces phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup honey (net weight 12 oz.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  • You should make baklava at least 24 hours ahead of time -- a week is best. The longer you let the Baklava sit, the better it gets.
  • After you have everything gathered and the nut mixture done, you can assemble the baklava in about 45 minutes -- the time before you need to start working on the syrup for the batch in the oven. Use those darn corner and funky shaped edge pieces to test how it's doing or as your private reward!
  • Remember that the frozen phyllo dough needs to thaw in the refrigerator for around 6 hours. If you thaw it at room temperature, the individual sheets of phyllo dough will stick together. Once you open the phyllo dough you will want to keep working. Half sheets work better. You can melt all of the butter and keep it in a crock pot on low so you don't have to melt butter as you go.
  • Preheat the oven to 300°F
  • Combine and set aside walnuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and cinnamon
  • Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the bottom and sides of a Jelly Roll Pan (15.5" x 10.5" x 1") with melted butter.
  • Open the phyllo dough and layer 6 whole leafs (or 12 half leafs) in the pan, buttering each layer as you go. (The edges will extend over the side.)
  • Spread 1 cup of the walnut mixture.
  • Cut the remaining phyllo dough in half.
  • Layer 8 half sheets -- butter each layer. Each sheet will be an inch or so short, so stagger the sheets from corner to corner to cover the whole pan.
  • Spread 1 cup of the walnut mixture.
  • Repeat 8 sheets and walnut mixture twice. You will end up with 4 layers of nuts.
  • Layer the remaining half sheets on top -- butter each layer.
  • Brush the top with the remaining butter.
  • Trim the edges off.
  • Cut halfway through the layers using the pattern shown. (Note: Do NOT cut from corner to corner.) This is done now since it will be very fragile after it's been baked.
  • Bake 1 hour or until golden brown.
  • 15 minutes before the baklava should be done, mix 1 cup sugar, water, and lemon juice in a sauce pan.
  • Cook sauce over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, add the honey and vanilla, and stir until well blended.
  • Remove the baklava from the oven and finish cutting through the layers.
  • Pour the sauce over the hot baklava.
  • Cool. Let it sit for at least 24 hours (lightly covered -- but not in the refrigerator) -- longer if you can stand it!
  • A nice way to serve individual pieces is to put each one into a muffin cup that has been partially flattened.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 47gCalories: 256.5kcalCarbohydrates: 25.3gProtein: 3gFat: 17.1gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 20.9mgSodium: 119.5mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 16.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, European, For Large Groups, Greek
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