This is by far my favorite dessert, part of a very well balanced Mediterranean diet. Most Baklava is just swimming in butter and sugar, but I make mine with vegan filo dough, maple syrup, orange juice, and lots of nuts. I also like to roll my baklava like a cigar so that it uses less dough overall and it’s not as carb-heavy. Plus, I can cut the cigar shapes in two and have a bite-size portion using my fingers, no silverware required! 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Allergens: Tree Nuts
  • Servings: 12


  • 3/4 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (seeds scraped)
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 lemon (zest)
  • 2 oranges (zest)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 vegan filo pastry sheets (thawed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (mild)
  • 1 tablespoon shelled pistachios (very finely chopped)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In small pot combine strained orange juice, maple syrup, and vanilla bean and gently bring to boil. 

  3. Simmer on very low heat until you get thin syrup that coats back of spoon. Set aside to cool.

  4. Grind nuts for filling in food processor until you get coarse crumb. 

  5. Place ground nuts in bowl with salt, cinnamon, lemon, and orange zest, then mix all dry ingredients well and add maple syrup to bind.

  6. Prepare baking pan by brushing with small amount of olive oil. 

  7. Divide nut mixture into 6 equal portions.

  8. Open thawed packet of filo, gently remove one sheet and cover remaining sheets with piece of cling film and damp kitchen towel to prevent pastry from drying out. 

  9. Cut first sheet in half along widest edge. Place one half in front of you with longer edge perpendicular to you with shorter edge facing you. Put other half with whole sheets under damp towel.

  10. Lightly dip pastry brush in olive oil and brush pastry with it. 

  11. Place about 2 generous tablespoons of filling at bottom of oiled sheet leaving 1-inch margin at bottom and on sides of sheet.

  12. Mold filling with hands (it should be sticking together easily) into long tube and start rolling tube by folding bottom margin over filling, then fold sides in like you would with burrito and finally roll tube tightly around filling. 

  13. Apply little bit more oil to seal roll. Place in greased pan, seam down, and cover with damp kitchen towel while you roll remaining baklava.

  14. Repeat last 3 steps with remaining 2.5 sheets. 

  15. Using sharp knife cut each baklava into 2, 3, or even 4 (depending on how big you want them) pieces. Brush tops with small amount of oil and bake until golden brown (about 25 minutes).

  16. As soon as baklava are ready, brush with cold syrup (if not cold, they’ll end up soggy!). 

  17. Sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios.


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