There is something about the flaky, crisp layers of baklava that somehow remain moist in the center that is so intriguing. I do tend to stay in my culinary lane, but every time I’d pick one of these perfect little sugary squares up at Artifact Coffee I’d have the urge to know exactly how they came together. How can something be so perfectly crisp, flaky, and also dense at the same time? The mystery had to be solved.
When I first started testing baklava recipes, my intent was to write a completely vegan recipe. As always, I shared my process on instagram stories. One of my followers shared with me some of her concerns about agave, and they were absolutely valid. As it turns out, agave is a high maintenance crop that uses a lot of water. Plus, bees are thought to do better under the care of a farmer. So, I’m back to local, sustainably made honey.
So, after all that testing, we now have a now not-so vegan baklava. It doesn’t have any added refined sugars. It’s crispy, flaky, lightly sweet and simple to make. The layering of the phyllo dough is a quite methodic process perfect for a slow Sunday morning. It is important to keep the phyllo covered with a dry, clean kitchen towel as you are working so it does not get dried out. Do not use a damp towel. Depending on how well you ring, you could end up with a stuck together mess. It is much safer to simply use a dry towel.
I drizzled mine with a little dark chocolate, and topped with chopped nuts, but that is truly only for the aesthetic and is completely optional. What makes this recipe different from all the rest is the lack of added refined sugars. I have tested this both with and without sugar, and my preference is to keep in less sweet. It pairs perfectly with a strong cup of coffee this way.
This recipe is:
Refined sugar free
Methodic to make
This is the easiest baklava recipe ever. Its super flaky and has no added refined sugars.
- 1/3C water
- 1/3 C honey
- 1t cinnamon
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 6 oz pistachios, shelled
- 1 5-6oz bag mixed nuts
- 1 box Phyllo dough, thawed
- 4oz vegan butter, melted
- Step 1 In a glass measuring cup, combine the water, honey, cinnamon and lemon. Microwave for 45 seconds.
- Step 2 Preheat the oven to 325F
- Step 3 Pulse the nuts in a food processor until fine, but still have texture.
- Step 4 Trim the phyllo to the size of your 8×8 baking pan.
- Step 5 Work in layers (10x5x5x5x10) butter the bottom of the pan, add a layer, butter, layer repeat till ten, nuts, 5 more layers with butter in between, more nuts, 5 more, nuts, 5 more, nuts, then ten more layers. Each layer should either have a coating of vegan butter or nuts!
- Step 6 Slice the baklava into 16 squares while till in the pan. Don’t skip this!
- Step 7 Bake at 325F for 50-55 minutes. Drizzle with chocolate and nuts then serve, or store lightly wrapped in the fridge for up to one week.