Vegan Baklava – Connoisseurus Veg

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This vegan baklava is made with layers of flaky phyllo pastry stuffed with a sweet nutty filling. Top it off with spiced syrup and an optional chocolate drizzle for a decadent treat that you’ll absolutely love!

Two slices of Vegan Baklava on a dish with nuts and cinnamon sticks.

Baklava is one of those amazing desserts that I never thought I’d be making in my own kitchen. It was always a treat reserved for restaurant dinners, because homemade baklava must be so hard to make, right? I mean, all those layers!

It’s not that hard. This vegan baklava recipe takes a little time and patience. But the actual process involved in making it is pretty darn simple, and baklava requires surprisingly few ingredients!

I had to make a couple of ingredient swaps in order to veganize traditional baklava, but you’d never know it by the taste. This stuff is absolutely delicious and totally decadent.

Jump to:

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Water.
  • Sugar. We’re using organic sugar in order to keep the recipe vegan. Organic sugar is processed without animal bone char and tastes just like regular sugar. Easy swap!
  • Maple syrup. We’re using this in place of the honey you’d find in traditional baklava. You could also use agave nectar or another substitute for honey, but I actually love the subtle flavor that maple syrup adds.
  • Cinnamon. We’ll be using ground cinnamon for the filling and a cinnamon stick for flavoring the syrup. You can leave the stick out or substitute with a pinch of ground cinnamon if you don’t normally keep cinnamon sticks on hand.
  • Whole cloves. Same deal as with the cinnamon! Use a pinch of ground cloves in the syrup if you don’t buy whole cloves.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Nuts. The recipe calls for a mix of walnuts and hazelnuts, and I absolutely love my vegan baklava with this particular filling blend, but it’s certainly not critical to the recipe. You could use all walnuts or all hazelnuts if you prefer, or replace some or all of the nuts with pistachios or pecans. Any combination you choose will be delicious!
  • Salt.
  • Frozen phyllo pastry. Most phyllo dough is vegan, believe it or not! But always check the ingredients list to be safe.
  • Vegan butter. This is typically sold near the regular butter in supermarkets. Look for brands like Earth Balance, Melt and Miyoko’s.
  • Vegan chocolate chips. These are totally optional. Just buy them in you like your baklava drizzled in chocolate. Enjoy life brand chips are vegan.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Make sure to thaw your phyllo before getting started. This will require some advanced planning Refer to the package instructions for the best thawing method.

Baklava syrup simmering in a saucepan.
  • Make the syrup first, as you’ll need it to be cool by the time the baklava comes out of the oven.
  • Stir the water and sugar together in a saucepan, then add maple syrup, a cinnamon stick and whole cloves. Place it over medium heat and let it cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes, giving it a stir from time to time.
  • Remove the pot from heat, remove the cinnamon stick and cloves, and stir in the lemon juice.

Tip: The syrup will thicken slightly as it cools, but it will still be on the runny side by the time you’re ready to use it — slightly thinner than straight maple syrup.

Baklava filling in a food processor bowl.
  • Make the filling while the syrup simmers. Combine the nuts, sugar, ground cinnamon, cloves and salt in a food processor bowl. Pulse the machine until the nuts are finely chopped and the ingredients are well-mixed.

Tip: Don’t have a food processor? All good! Finely chop the nuts by hand, then stir them together with the sugar, spices and salt.

Partially assembled unbaked vegan baklava in a baking pan.
  • Cut your stack of thawed phyllo sheets in half so they fit neatly in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. My package included 18 sheets of phyllo, so I ended up with 36 half sheets to work with, though these numbers may vary by brand.
  • Begin assembling your vegan baklava, alternating layers of melted vegan butter with phyllo sheets.
  • Spread a layer of the nut mixture (use about a third of it) after you’re about a quarter of the way through your phyllo sheets. Keep layering the filling and phyllo in the same manner until you’ve used both up, finishing with a phyllo layer topped with melted vegan butter.

Tip: Keep your stack of unused phyllo sheets under a damp kitchen towel, removing the towel to grab a sheet at a time and replacing it while you arrange the sheet in the baking pan. This will prevent the pastry from drying out, which can happen fast because it’s so thin!

Unbaked and sliced Vegan Baklava in a baking pan.
  • Once your vegan baklava is assembled, slice it up using a sharp knife before baking.

Tip: I’ve sliced my baklava into thirty two small triangles, but you could cut it into larger pieces if you’d like, and they don’t have to be triangles. Rectangles work, as do diamonds which can be made by slicing vertically, then diagonally (similar to what’s shown above, without the horizontal cuts).

Vegan Baklava topped with nuts in a baking pan.
  • Pop the baking dish into the oven and bake your vegan baklava until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  • Immediately drizzle the baklava with your syrup once it comes out of the oven. It should sizzle when it penetrates the baklava then hits the hot baking pan.

Tip: You want your syrup to be completely cooled before drizzling. Check on it when the baklava has about five minutes to go in the oven. It it’s still hot, place the pan in an ice bath to quickly cool it down.

Vegan Baklava slices on a dish with coffee cup in the background.
  • Let your baklava cool completely before removing the pieces from the pan and serving them. Optionally, drizzle each piece with some melted chocolate and garnish with additional chopped nuts.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover vegan baklava will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days, in the fridge for about 2 weeks, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Your baklava will get soggy as it sits. I’ve found that the top can be recrisped a bit by placing individual slices under a broiler. Obviously, only do this is you haven’t drizzled your baklava in chocolate!

More Vegan Dessert Recipes

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Close up of a slice of Vegan Baklava topped with chocolate and nuts on a dish.

Vegan Baklava

This vegan baklava is made with layers of flaky phyllo pastry stuffed with a sweet nutty filling. Top it off with spiced syrup and an optional chocolate drizzle for a decadent treat that you’ll absolutely love!

Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes


For the Syrup

  • 1
  • 1
    organic granulated sugar
  • ½
    maple syrup
  • 1
    cinnamon stick
    (Note 1)
  • 4
    whole cloves
    (Note 2)
  • 2
    lemon juice

For the Filling

  • 8
    shelled walnuts
    (Note 3)
  • 8
    shelled hazelnuts
    (Note 3)

  • cup
    organic granulated sugar
  • 1
    ground cinnamon
  • ¼
    ground cloves
  • ¼

For the Baklava

  • 16
    frozen phyllo pastry (Note 4),
  • 12
    melted vegan butter
    (plus more as needed, up to 16 tablespoons total)


Make the Syrup

  1. Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan, then stir in the maple syrup, cinnamon stick and cloves.

  2. Place the pot over medium heat. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar while it heats up.

  3. Bring the syrup to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Remove the pot from heat. Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves, and stir in the lemon juice.

  5. Allow the syrup to cool while you work on the rest of the recipe.

Make the Filling

  1. Place all filling ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade. (Note 6)

  2. Pulse the machine until the nuts are finely chopped and the ingredients are well-mixed.

Make the Baklava

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

  2. Cut your stack of phyllo sheets in half, so that each half fits into a 9 x 13 baking dish. You may need to trim a bit extra from the edges of your sheets.

  3. Stack your cut phyllo sheets and cover the whole stack with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out.

  4. Lightly brush the bottom of your 9 x 13 inch baking pan with melted vegan butter. Remove the towel from your phyllo and remove the top sheet. Replace the towel to cover the rest of the stack.

  5. Arrange the sheet in the baking dish and lightly brush it with butter. Alternate layers of butter and phyllo until you’re about a quarter of the way through your sheets (This was 9 sheets for me, as I had 36 half sheets total.)

  6. Evenly sprinkle a third of your filling over the top phyllo sheet.

  7. Continue layering phyllo sheets with melted butter, placing a layer of filling every time you get another quarter of the way through your phyllo. Finish the arrangement with phyllo, brushing the top sheet with butter.

  8. Use a sharp knife to cut the baklava into 16 rectangles (4 rows and 4 columns), then make diagonal cuts to cut each rectangle into 2 triangles. (Note 7)

  9. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake the baklava until it’s golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.

  10. Place the baking dish on a cooling rack and immediately pour the syrup over the baklava.

  11. Let the baklava cool completely before removing the pieces from the pan.

  12. Optionally, drizzle the slices with melted chocolate and sprinkle them with chopped nuts.

Recipe Notes

  1. The cinnamon stick can be omitted or replaced with a pinch of ground cinnamon if needed.
  2. Whole cloves can be omitted or replaced with a pinch of ground cloves if needed.
  3. All walnuts or all hazelnuts can be used if desired. Pistachios or pecans can also be substituted for a portion or all of the nuts. Just make sure you’re using 16 ounces of nuts total, in any combination!
  4. As always, check the ingredients to ensure that you’re phyllo is vegan. Most brands are.
  5. Melt your chips in a double boiler or by placing them in a bowl and microwaving them in 20 second intervals, stirring well between intervals.
  6. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the nuts very finely by hand, place them in a bowl, and stir in the remaining ingredients.
  7. You can cut your baklava into larger triangles, rectangles, or another shape if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Baklava

Amount Per Serving (1 piece (1/32 of recipe))

Calories 221
Calories from Fat 122

% Daily Value*

Fat 13.5g21%

Saturated Fat 2.4g12%

Sodium 144mg6%

Potassium 72mg2%

Carbohydrates 23g8%

Fiber 1.7g7%

Sugar 13.3g15%

Protein 3.2g6%

Calcium 29mg3%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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