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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 is required! 
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 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)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a small pot combine strained orange juice, maple syrup, and vanilla bean and gently bring to a boil. 
  • Simmer on very low heat until you get thin syrup that coats the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
  • Grind nuts for filling in a food processor until you get a coarse crumb. 
  • Place ground nuts in a bowl with salt, cinnamon, lemon, and orange zest, then mix all dry ingredients well and add maple syrup to bind.
  • Prepare the baking pan by brushing it with a small amount of olive oil. 
  • Divide the nut mixture into 6 equal portions.
  • Open the thawed packet of filo, gently remove one sheet, and cover the remaining sheets with a piece of cling film and a damp kitchen towel to prevent the pastry from drying out. 
  • Cut the first sheet in half along the widest edge. Place one half in front of you with a longer edge perpendicular to you with a shorter edge facing you. Put the other half with whole sheets under a damp towel.
  • Lightly dip the pastry brush in olive oil and brush the pastry with it. 
  • Place about 2 generous tablespoons of filling at the bottom of the oiled sheet leaving a 1-inch margin at the bottom and on the sides of the sheet.
  • Mold filling with hands (it should be sticking together easily) into a long tube and start rolling the tube by folding the bottom margin over the filling, then fold the sides in like you would with a burrito, and finally roll the tube tightly around the filling. 
  • Apply a little bit more oil to seal the roll. Place in a greased pan, seam down, and cover with a damp kitchen towel while you roll the remaining baklava.
  • Repeat the last 3 steps with the remaining 2.5 sheets. 
  • Using a sharp knife cut each baklava into 2, 3, or even 4 (depending on how big you want them) pieces. Brush tops with a small amount of oil and bake until golden brown (about 25 minutes).
  • As soon as the baklava is ready, brush with cold syrup (if not cold, they’ll end up soggy!). 
  • Sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios.