Global Veg » A Culinary Journal

Walnut Baklava with Lemon Honey Syrup


I have been making baklava once a year for the last 25 years or so. I am not allowed to make it more often unless it involves shipping it off to friends and family! It’s highly addictive to eat and deceptively simple to make.

With a few basic rules on how to handle phyllo dough, baklava can even be made without a formal recipe. Walnuts and/or pistachios are the most commonly used nuts. You can spice them with a combination of cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg. Some people add cardamom.  Rosewater or lemons are often used in the syrup.


The most unique baklava I have tasted is the “Orange Baklava” at a local Turkish restaurant. The owner apparently made it in the 1970s for Queen Elizabeth II on her trip to Turkey- she declared it her favorite. It is pretty amazing and I am not sure I can replicate his fresh orange marmalade or homemade phyllo.

However, any baklava made fresh (even with frozen phyllo) is great.

The baklava I always make is with just walnuts and a lemon honey syrup.


Baklava is a great addition to your holiday baking. One recipe generates several dozen baklava. Enough to share and enjoy at home too!


Walnut Baklava with Lemon Honey Syrup


  1. 1 package (16 ounces) frozen phyllo sheets, thawed according to package directions
  2. 1 to 1.5 sticks of unsalted butter, melted (a little less than one cup)
  3. 1 pound walnuts
  4. 1/2 cup sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  7. 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  8. Lemon Honey Syrup:
  9. 1 cup honey
  10. 1/2 cup sugar
  11. 1 cup water
  12. 1/2 lemon, sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the thawed phyllo on your counter under a very slightly damp towel. Keep it covered when not in used.
  3. Melt the butter and set aside.
  4. Chop the walnuts into small pieces.
  5. Mix the walnuts with the 1/2 sugar and spices.
  6. Brush a 13x18 cookie tray with butter.
  7. Carefully add about 8 sheets of phyllo dough to the pan, brushing each with melted butter before adding the next.
  8. Spread half the nut mixture over the phyllo.
  9. Add 5 more sheets of phyllo dough to the pan, brushing each with melted butter before adding the next.
  10. Add the remaining nut mixture.
  11. Cover with the remaining phyllo sheets (6-8), again brushing each with melted butter.
  12. Cut the baklava carefully into diamonds or squares- leave them in the tray.
  13. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden.
  14. Make the lemon honey syrup by adding its ingredients to a saucepan and cooking on low until all is dissolved.
  15. Pour the syrup over the cooked baklava and let it soak in well.

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