Oupah! Authentic Baklava Recipe from a Greek Green Diva

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authentic green baklava image on the green divasAs the result of my recent post, Save the Honey Bees, Save the Baklava, I’ve gotten a lot of requests for my baklava recipe, so here is an authentic baklava recipe straight from my Greek family’s recipes. My yiayia used to make her own phyllo dough, and as yummy as it is, I find it just as tasty (don’t tell her that) to use pre-made. Even though I am familiar with this particular style of baklava, there are many cultures around the world (Lebanese, Turkish, Albanian, etc) that also make this sweet treat with their own variations. Some roll it in the phyllo dough, others make it int tight little rolled triangles, and some even create a spiral wreath. So without further ado, break a plate, throw on some bouzouki rebetika music and shout out one last Oupah for good measure.

Here’s how to make some pretty brilliant baklava, dictated to me by my mom by phone…baklava ingredients


Authentic Baklava Recipe from a Greek Green Diva
Serves 30
Green Diva Gina's authentic family recipe for Baklava - yum
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 1 lb. of chopped almonds, walnuts, or pistachios (or use a combination of them)
  2. 1 lb of phyllo dough
  3. 1 cup of butter, melted
  4. 1/3 cup of sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  6. 1/3 teaspoon of ground cloves
  1. 1 cup of water
  2. 1 cup of sugar
  3. 1/2 cup of honey
  4. 2 tablespoons lemon juice (That’s the trick!)
  5. 1 cinnamon stick
  1. finely crushed almonds, walnuts and/or pistachios (optional)
  1. Thaw the phyllo dough according to the manufacturer’s directions (overnight may be required). When thawed, roll out the dough and cut the dough so the sheets will fit in the pan. Cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying out.
  2. Set the oven to 350°F.
  3. Lightly grease two 8×8 pans or or one 9x13 pan.
  4. Process the nuts into small, even-sized pieces. Combine with sugar, cinnamon and cloves.
  5. Melt the butter separately.
  6. Place a sheet of phyllo dough into the pan. Use a pastry brush to coat the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Press it lightly to fit the pan.
  7. Use a spoon to spread on a thin layer of the nut mixture. Cover with two more sheets of phyllo, brushing each one with butter. Continue to repeat the nut mixture and two buttered sheets of phyllo until the nut mixture is all used up. The top layer should be 8 phyllo sheets thick, each sheet individually buttered, including the top. It's normal for the sheets to wrinkle, which adds more texture.
  8. Use a sharp knife, make one slice all the way through, from corner to corner. Continue cutting, criss-crossing until you have a bunch of diagonal pieces.
  9. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown and edges appear slightly crisp.
  10. While your creation is baking in the oven, make the syrup. Combine the cinnamon stick, sugar, lemon juice, honey and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat and let simmer for 7 minutes and slightly thickened. Remove the cinnamon stick and allow to the syrup to cool.
  11. Spoon the cooled syrup over the freshly baked, hot baklava.
  12. Let it cool for at least 4 hours before serving, which allows all of the delicious flavors to meld together.
  13. Garnish with finely ground nuts.
  1. Ground pistachios makes a nice garnish, especially if serving to fellow green divas and/or dudes.
The Green Divas http://thegreendivas.com/
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About the author / 

Green Diva Gina

Green Diva Gina (aka Gina Gioldassis) is fondly referred to as the “Happy” Booker & Foodie-Phile Editor. She was producing and hosting the Eco-Radio show at Drew University when we met her, and we were thrilled that she chose to come work with us after she graduated. Having been brought up in New Hampshire in a Greek family, she is a natural food explorer and enthusiastic green diva. Previously, she worked as a production intern for both WNYC's Soundcheck and New Hampshire Public Radio's All Thing's Considered. While not in the studio, she spends her time traveling, eating, doing yoga and working full-time as a finance writer. At the moment, aspires to one day master her grandmother's homemade doughnut recipe.

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  1. haunpamela@aol.com'
    Pamela Haun August 11, 2013 at 10:14 am -  Reply

    Thank you for your Baklava recipe, we have added almonds & walnuts (roasted to remove flaky covering which is bitter, never occurred to me to add pistachio! This is going to be an excellent batch.

  2. Conradcleasby@yahoo.com'
    Baklava nut September 30, 2013 at 2:53 pm -  Reply

    I have been a baklava fan for more than 40 years.
    The best combinations include almonds, pistachios, walnuts and hazel nuts.
    But for the greatest treat of east meets west, or north meets south, serve 3 pieces of baklava with 1 scoop of Hagendazs macadamian nut brittle, 1 scoop of vanilla I’ve cream.
    Peace on earth.
    Check with your doctor before hand, or use in extreme moderation.

  3. suekendall89@yahoo.com'
    Sue K. June 4, 2014 at 10:04 am -  Reply

    My son and I made this recipe for his school project on Greece, and it was SO delicious! We used both walnuts and pistachios. Thank you for an easy-to-follow recipe that came out exactly as I hoped it would! I had found several baklava recipes online, but I am very glad I chose this one.

  4. jennifer.leigh.santos@gmail.com'
    Jen June 16, 2014 at 3:53 pm -  Reply

    I made this recipe for my Greek boyfriend’s birthday in lieu of cake and his family loved it. I’ve made it since, and I’ve had people tell me that it’s the most perfect baklava recipe they’ve tasted. I also made mine with roasted pistachios and walnuts and it has so many levels of flavor. The fresh lemon really is the trick though! It cuts the sweetness from the honey and gives it a unique flavor. It’s a time consuming process, but the reward is AMAZING!

  5. kar5277@hotmail.com'
    Katie Rodriguez September 12, 2014 at 6:41 pm -  Reply

    I’m going to make this for a school function; I hope I don’t mess it up!

  6. emichan@live.com.au'
    Amy September 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm -  Reply

    Thank you for sharing this recipe.
    Wondering, how far ahead can I make this recipe?
    Can I start making it on Thursday, and add the syrup on Friday (or am I able to add on the same day), for a wedding after party this Saturday?

  7. chantellenunez@gmail.com'
    Chantelle November 23, 2014 at 12:38 am -  Reply

    I made this for my husband’s Greek class end-of-year BBQ and it was EASY and DELICIOUS! Your instructions were perfect! Thank you SO much for sharing your recipe! Best Baklava I’ve ever tasted.

  8. rachelpage1985@gmail.com'
    Rachel April 13, 2015 at 4:39 am -  Reply

    Looks absolutely delicious!

  9. kalamatapork@gmail.com'
    Homer Simpson-opoulos November 12, 2015 at 2:54 pm -  Reply

    Nice baklava recipe.

    I thought the exuberant Hellenic expression to be OPA (or ohpa, if you prefer).

    Oupah reads more Homer (intended) Simpson-opoulos like.

    (Oupah) Oompa Loompas prefer chocolate on their baklava.

  10. warlund@hotmail.ca'
    Katherine Warlund April 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm -  Reply

    Do you use raw our roasted nuts? I have ordered roasted, unsalted pistachios. The last time I made this recipeci used raw. I think the roasted pistachios will work even better with the lemon juice. Any thoughts?

  11. nhseitz70@gmail.com'
    Nat May 2, 2016 at 8:29 pm -  Reply

    There is vanilla shown in the picture with the ingredients-but it is not included in the directions.
    Am I missing something?

  12. pamelaeberly@yahoo.com'
    pamela eberly December 10, 2016 at 7:16 am -  Reply

    Thank you for sharing you Mother’s recipe. There are so many variations but this is what I remember from years ago. This is the best. Thanks again.

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