Walnut baklava

Walnut baklava

Recipe by Marianna Leivaditaki
Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • For the filling:
  • 450g walnuts

  • 70g caster sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Pinch ground cloves

  • Grated zest of 2 oranges

  • 2 tablespoons white breadcrumbs

  • For the syrup:
  • 350g caster sugar

  • 450g water

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • 4 tablespoons of rose water

  • 350g filo pastry

  • 250g salted butter


  • To make the filling, blitz the walnuts in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl, mix in the remaining filling ingredients and put to one side.
  • Place all the syrup ingredients except the rose water in a pan. Gently bring to the boil and continue to boil until the syrup thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. This should take around 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the rose water and allow to cool.
  • In the meantime, melt the butter and begin to layer the baklava. For this recipe we use a 26x32cm baking tray but if you don’t have one this size something similar will work fine too. Using a brush, butter the bottom of the baking tray and line with a sheet of filo. You want the pastry to come up the sides of the tray a little. If the filo sheets are too large, you may want to cut them to fit your tray. Butter the pastry and repeat exactly the same process until you have placed 7 sheets of pastry on the base, making sure that each layer is generously buttered. Add half of the walnut mixture and add another 3 layers of buttered filo sheets. Add the remaining walnut mixture and add another 7 layers of filo sheets, buttering each one as you go. When you have finished, seal the loose ends by tucking the top layers of filo down the sides to meet the bottom ones. Using a sharp knife score the pastry into diamonds, and bake for approximately 1 hour until golden and crispy.
  • Remove the baklava from the oven and pour the cold syrup all over. It may seem like a large quantity of syrup, but it will slowly be absorbed by the baklava as it cools down.
  • Scatter with some rose petals or chopped pistachios if you wish. Baklava is delicious served warm, with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a small cup of Turkish coffee.