Our family's Easiest Baklava recipe using traditional flavors with a little shortcut. Growing up in Lebanon, baklava was part of every celebration, whether it was a wedding, birthday, or Christmas. This is true now for my family.
The baklava turns out crunchy, nutty, and perfectly sweet. Topped off with a homemade rose water simple syrup that covers it with an authentic touch.
In this easy baklava recipe, we capture the authentic flavors meanwhile getting a little help from pre-made phyllo cups to skip the layering of phyllo dough and butter!
I love this recipe so much that I shared it on Afternoon Live!
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My Family's Traditional Recipe
I've made my fair share of traditional baklava, with all those beautiful layers, so it's naturally became easy to make over the years. But for those super busy seasons when I want the warmth and comfort of home, without the time to make it, my mom and I created this recipe together that's now become the most authentic yet easiest Lebanese baklava recipe to date!
Why Is It The Easiest Recipe?
- No layering phyllo dough needed! If you know anything about baklava, you know layering the phyllo dough sheets then butter, then sheet, then butter, over and over can be daunting to some. This recipe eliminates any layering!
- No cutting into the baklava! The second hardest thing you need to do after layering is cutting it. Using phyllo cups eliminates that step completely.
- The recipe is broken into 3 simple steps: Make the syrup, make the nut filling, and assemble!
- Authentic flavors! All of the flavors are there for an authentic experience.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
As far as equipment, you'll need a food processor, a small pot and a sheet pan or cupcake tin.
Ingredients you need to make this Easy Baklava:
Phyllo Dough Cups. These create little baklava nests that make it extremely easy to make authentic Lebanese baklava. They are frozen and found in most large grocery stores in the frozen aisle near the ice cream and pies. I've found them at Safeway/Vons for a very good price.
Raw Cashews. Make sure you're using raw. If you need a substitute look at my suggestions below.
Orange Blossom Water. You'll need both rose water and orange blossom to make baklava the authentic Lebanese way.
Granulated Sugar. The recipe will be different if you're using cane sugar, or any other sugar.
HOW TO MAKE EASY BAKLAVA
This recipe is broken up into 3 sections to make it even easier. First, we'll make the rose syrup since it needs to be cooled completely by the time we assemble. Next, we prep the nut filling, preheat the oven, and bake. Last, we pour the rose syrup over each piece and let them cool. Let's get into the step-by-step notes.
Make the Syrup
You can absolutely make the syrup in advance, if you prefer. It can be made up to 4 days in advance. To make the rose water syrup, you'll need to grab a small pot and to it add water, sugar, rose water, orange blossom water, and a small slice of lemon for added acidity.
On low heat, dissolve the sugar and allow the syrup to slightly thicken on simmer.
Then, cool completely and place it in the fridge to chill while making the baklava.
Prep the Baklava
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350℉.
To a food processor, add the cashews, sugar, rose water, and orange blossom water, and blend until the nuts are finely chopped.
Remove the phyllo dough cups from the freezer. Scoop a spoonful of the nut mixture into each cup, filling it completely. Pack it in by pressing down gently.
Then, place the baklava pieces on a small sheet pan or in a cupcake tin. It's easier to control them in a cupcake tin since each piece has it's own spot and they tend not to slide around in it.
Bake for 10 minutes, just until the baklava is very lightly toasted. Going too long will crystalize the sugar, but too short won't melt the sugar.
Assemble the Baklava
Remove them from the oven and while they're hot, pour the chilled rose syrup over each piece twice. Let cool completely before serving.
BEST TIPS WHEN MAKING BAKLAVA
These tips are very important to keep in mind when making baklava in order to make yours as authentic as possible!
- Use authentic rose water and orange blossom water to ensure the right amount of flavor is added.
- Crush cashews until they're finely chopped. Over crushing can make the mixture too soft. It should remain crunchy.
- Bake until lightly golden. Being careful not to over bake.
You can try substituting cashews for other nuts but I tend to like cashews the most. They have a fattier and softer texture than most nuts and tend to work best in Lebanese baklava.
Though I have made them with walnuts and pistachios several times, and those are a good substitution to try instead. Be sure to make them with raw nuts and not toasted or salted.
- Walnuts. Is a popular nut used in Greek Baklava with cinnamon.
- Pistachios. Another traditional way of making Lebanese Baklava. It's also sprinkled on top of other baklavas for a pop of color.
- Almonds. My mom has made it with almonds and loves the crunch and mild flavor.
Easiest Lebanese Baklava Recipe
For the Baklava
Make the Rose Syrup
- In a small pot, mix in water, sugar, rose water, orange blossom water, and a slice of lemon. Simmer on low, mixing often until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup slightly thickens.
- Allow to cool completely and transfer to the fridge to chill.
Prep the Baklava
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- To a food processor, add the cashews, sugar, rose water, orange blossom water, and a pinch of salt. Blend until the nuts are finely chopped.
- Remove the phyllo dough cups from the freezer. Scoop a spoonful of the nut mixture into each cup, filling it completely.
- Place the baklava pieces on a small sheet pan or in a cupcake tin. It's easier to control them in a cupcake tin since each piece has it's own spot.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until the baklava is very lightly toasted. Going too long will crystalize the sugar.
Assemble the Baklava
- While they're hot, pour the chilled rose syrup over each piece, going over them twice. Let cool completely before serving.