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Vegan Baklava Recipe – Delightful And Satisfactory

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Get ready to indulge in the irresistible flavors of our Vegan Baklava Recipe! This sweet and nutty treat is a breeze to make and perfect for any occasion. Layer sheets of phyllo pastry with a generous mixture of chopped nuts and spices. Bake until golden brown and crisp, then drench in a luscious syrup made from sugar, water, and a hint of lemon juice. It’s a heavenly dessert that’s sure to impress!

WHY IT WORKS?

  • Employs plant-based butter, making it a great option for vegans and lactose-intolerant individuals.
  • Homemade syrup adds a personal touch and ensures the sweetness is perfectly balanced.
  • No animal products are used, offering a guilt-free indulgence for those mindful of their dietary choices.
  • Aromatic spices provide depth and warmth, elevating the overall flavor profile.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Finding the perfect vegan dessert that satisfies traditional tastes and modern dietary preferences can often feel daunting.

When I embarked on my vegan journey, the thought of giving up beloved classics like baklava seemed almost too much to bear. That’s until I discovered the magic of a Vegan Baklava Recipe. 

This discovery was a game-changer, allowing me to enjoy this iconic dessert’s rich, nutty, and sweet layers without compromising my ethical choices.

By substituting traditional ingredients with plant-based alternatives, I could recreate the delightful experience of biting into a perfectly crispy piece of baklava, ensuring that no one—vegan or otherwise—had to miss out on this exquisite treat.

Vegan Baklava Recipe

What Is Vegan Baklava?

Vegan baklava is a delightful twist on the classic Middle Eastern dessert, traditionally made with layers of filo pastry, nuts, and syrup or honey.

All ingredients in this version are plant-based, ensuring they align with vegan dietary requirements. Plant-based butter replaces dairy butter to achieve the pastry’s signature flakiness, while homemade syrup, often infused with lemon and cinnamon, substitutes for honey, offering a cruelty-free sweetness.

Filled with a mixture of finely chopped nuts—such as pistachios, walnuts, or almonds—vegan baklava is a rich, decadent treat that doesn’t compromise taste or texture.

Quick Fact – Did you know that vegan baklava often uses agave nectar or maple syrup as a honey alternative, making it a great option for those following a strict vegan diet?

 Vegan Baklava

Recipe Directions

  • Preparation: Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Slice your phyllo dough in half. Set 14 sheets aside for the top and bottom layers of the baklava. Keep them covered with a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying.
  • Nut Mixture: Combine the chopped walnuts with cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Assemble the Base: Brush a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with vegan butter. Layer two sheets of phyllo dough at the bottom of the dish. Brush with more butter. Repeat this step three more times, using a total of 8 sheets.
  • Add Nuts: Sprinkle two heaped tablespoons of the nut mixture over the layered dough. Cover with two more sheets of dough, brushing each with butter. Continue this layering process until you have used all but the last 6 sheets of dough.
  • Top Layer: Place the remaining 6 sheets on top of the last layer of nuts. Brush the top with butter.
  • Cut Before Baking: Cut the baklava into diamond shapes with a sharp knife, stopping an inch from the bottom of the dish.
  • Bake: Place the dish in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the top turns golden.
  • Prepare the Syrup: While the baklava bakes, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from heat and add the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Return to low heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Finish the Baklava: Once baked, immediately pour the hot syrup over the hot baklava, ensuring it is completely covered. Allow it to cool completely.
  • Serve: Use a knife to cut through the baklava to the bottom, following the pre-cut lines, allowing the syrup to seep through. Garnish with crushed nuts and serve.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Variations, Add-Ons

  • Nut Varieties: Besides walnuts, consider using pistachios, almonds, or a mix of nuts for different textures and flavors. Each nut has a unique taste, making the baklava customizable to personal preferences.
  • Spices: Cinnamon is traditional, but adding cardamom, clove, or nutmeg can introduce a new layer of warmth and complexity to the flavor profile.
  • Syrup Flavors: While maple syrup is popular, agave nectar or a simple syrup infused with orange blossom or rose water can add a floral note. Experimenting with lemon zest or ginger in the syrup can also offer a refreshing twist.

Variations, Add-Ons

Toppings

  • Toppings: For an extra touch of elegance and flavor, top the baklava with crushed nuts, sesame seeds, or even a sprinkle of dried rose petals or finely chopped dried fruits like apricots or figs.
  • Chocolate Drizzle: A drizzle of dark, vegan chocolate can add a luxurious finish to the baklava, creating a delightful contrast between the sweet, nutty layers and the rich chocolate.
  • Filling Variations: Introduce layers of sweetened vegan cream cheese or chocolate spread between the phyllo pastry for a creamier texture and richer taste.
  • Citrus Accents: Incorporate finely grated lemon, lime, or orange zest into the nut mixture for a citrusy undertone that cuts through the sweetness.
  • Vegan Honey Alternatives: For those who prefer a honey-like flavor without using actual honey, explore vegan honey alternatives made from apples or dandelions as a syrup base.
 Toppings

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Mushrooms for Beef: Their meaty texture makes mushrooms, especially portobellos, a great substitute for beef in stews or burgers.
  • Jackfruit for Pulled Pork: Young green jackfruit has a texture similar to pulled pork when cooked and is excellent in BBQ dishes.
  • Cauliflower for Chicken: Roasted or battered and fried, cauliflower can mimic chicken wings or nuggets.
  • Lentils for Ground Meat: Cooked lentils work well as a replacement for ground meat in tacos, Bolognese sauce, or lasagna.
  • Zucchini for Noodles: Spiralized zucchini makes a low-carb, nutritious alternative to pasta.
  • Butternut Squash for Cheese: Blended butternut squash, with its creamy texture and sweet flavor, can substitute cheese in sauces and mac ‘n’ cheese.
  • Avocado for Butter: In baking or on toast, mashed avocado can replace butter to add creaminess and healthy fats.
  • Chickpeas for Tuna: Mashed chickpeas seasoned with seaweed flakes mimic the texture and flavor of tuna salad.

Quick Tip – Remember that soaking cashews overnight before blending them creates a smooth, creamy base perfect for vegan cheeses, sauces, and desserts. It’s a simple step for richer textures.

Best Side Dishes

  1. Fruit Compote A sweet and tangy fruit compote made with seasonal fruits complements the richness of baklava.
  2. Vegan Ice Cream A scoop of vegan ice cream, such as vanilla, pistachio, or coconut, adds a cool, creamy contrast.
  3. Turkish Coffee The strong, aromatic flavor of Turkish coffee balances the sweetness of baklava perfectly.
  4. Mint Tea Freshly brewed mint tea offers a refreshing palate cleanser between bites.
  5. Citrus Salad A light citrus salad with oranges and grapefruits, dressed with a hint of mint, offers a refreshing side.
  6. Pomegranate Seeds A bowl of fresh pomegranate seeds provides a juicy, tart contrast to the sweetness of the baklava.
  7. Vegan Yogurt A dollop of vegan yogurt, flavored with a little lemon or rose water, adds a tangy balance.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve?

  • Room Temperature: Serve baklava at room temperature to ensure the flavors are fully pronounced.
  • Cut Precisely: Use a sharp knife to cleanly through the layers, following the pre-cut patterns for uniform pieces.
  • Plate Elegantly: Arrange the pieces on a decorative plate or platter, showcasing the layers and nuts.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle crushed pistachios or a light dusting of cinnamon on top for a visually appealing finish.
  • Syrup on the Side: Offer extra syrup for those who prefer a sweeter dessert.
  • Pair with a Beverage: Serve alongside a cup of Turkish coffee or mint tea to complement the sweetness.
  • Offer Dairy-Free Cream: A side of dairy-free whipped cream or ice cream can add a delightful contrast in textures.
  • Use Edible Flowers: Edible flowers can add a colorful and elegant touch to the presentation for special occasions.
  • Provide Napkins: Baklava can be sticky; providing napkins ensures guests enjoy their treat comfortably.
  • Small Portions: Since the dessert is rich, serving smaller portions allows guests to savor it without feeling overwhelmed.

Quick Tip – Be aware that chilling vegan baklava for about 15 minutes before serving can make cutting easier, ensuring clean, crisp layers without crushing the delicate pastry.

How To Serve?

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigeration: Vegan baklava can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. To maintain freshness, cover it tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the baklava for up to 3 months. Wrap individual pieces in cling film and place them in a freezer-safe container.
  • Room Temperature: Keep baklava at room temperature for 1-2 days in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare and bake your vegan baklava up to 2 days before your event. This allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the taste.
  • Syrup: If making syrup ahead, store it in the refrigerator and warm it slightly before pouring it over the baklava.

Fact – Did you know the oldest versions of baklava were not sweet? Historical records suggest they originated in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul and evolved into the sweet delicacy we know today.

Vegan Baklava Recipe

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Pre-Cut Phyllo Dough: Measure and cut your phyllo dough to fit your baking dish in advance to save time during assembly.
  2. Nut Processor: Use a food processor to quickly chop nuts to your desired consistency rather than chopping by hand.
  3. Pre-Made Syrup: Prepare your syrup ahead of time and refrigerate it. Warm it up slightly before pouring it over the hot baklava.
  4. Butter Brushing: To speed up the buttering process, use a silicone pastry brush; it spreads vegan butter more efficiently over the phyllo sheets.
  5. Layering Efficiency: To save time, stack several phyllo sheets together, buttering the top one before laying them in the dish as a group.
  6. Bake and Freeze: Vegan baklava freezes well. Bake it in advance, then thaw and briefly warm in the oven to serve, saving preparation time on the day.
  7. Simple Cuts: Opt for simple, straight cuts instead of intricate patterns to reduce cutting time without compromising the presentation.

Vegan Baklava Recipe - Delightful And Satisfactory

Vegan Baklava Recipe – Delightful And Satisfactory

Recipe by Julia

Vegan baklava is a delectable twist on the classic dessert, featuring layers of flaky phyllo pastry, richly spiced nuts, and sweetened with homemade syrup.
This version swaps traditional ingredients for plant-based alternatives, offering a cruelty-free treat that doesn’t skimp on flavor or texture. Perfect for celebrations or a luxurious snack, it’s a testament to the versatility of vegan baking.

Course: Desserts
0 from 0 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

300

kcal
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 1 Phyllo dough(16 oz)

  • 1 lb 1 Walnuts, chopped

  • 1 Tsp 1 Cinnamon

  • 1 cup 1 Vegan butter softened and spreadable

  • 1 cup 1 Sugar

  • 1 cup 1 Water

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Maple syrup or agave nectar

  • 1 Tsp 1 Vanilla extract

  • 1 Tsp 1 Rosewater extract (optional)

Directions

  • Preparation
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Slice your phyllo dough in half.
  • Set 14 sheets aside for the top and bottom layers of the baklava.
  • Keep them covered with a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying.
  • Nut Mixture
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the chopped walnuts with cinnamon.
  • Set aside.Vegan Baklava Recipe
  • Assemble the Base
  • Brush a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with vegan butter.
  • Layer two sheets of phyllo dough at the bottom of the dish.
  • Brush with more butter.
  • Repeat this step three more times, using a total of 8 sheets.
  • Add Nuts
  • Sprinkle two heaped tablespoons of the nut mixture over the layered dough.
  • Cover with two more sheets of dough, brushing each with butter.
  • Continue this layering process until you have used all but the last 6 sheets of dough.
  • Top Layer
  • Place the remaining 6 sheets on top of the last layer of nuts.
  • Brush the top with butter.
  • Cut Before Baking
  • Cut the baklava into diamond shapes with a sharp knife, stopping an inch from the bottom of the dish.
  • Bake
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until the top turns golden.Vegan Baklava Recipe
  • Prepare The Syrup
  • While the baklava bakes, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from heat and add the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Return to low heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Finish The Baklava
  • Once baked, immediately pour the hot syrup over the hot baklava, ensuring it is completely covered.
  • Allow it to cool completely.
  • Serve
  • Use a knife to cut through the baklava to the bottom, following the pre-cut lines, allowing the syrup to seep through.
  • Garnish with crushed nuts and serve.Vegan Baklava Recipe
  • Equipments List
  • Mixing bowl
  • 9 x 13-inch baking dish
  • Pastry brush
  • Sharp knife
  • Food processor (optional)
  • Small saucepan
  • Silicone spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Parchment paper (optional)
  • Wire rack (for cooling)

Notes

  • Phyllo Dough: Work quickly as it dries out fast. Keep unused sheets covered.
  • Vegan Butter: Ensure it’s spreadable for easier application. Melted butter can also be used.
  • Cutting: Make your cuts before baking to prevent the top layers from breaking.
  • Syrup: Pour hot syrup over hot baklava for better absorption.
  • Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for the best texture.
  • Freezing: Baklava freezes well. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
  • Variations: Experiment with different nuts or add spices like cardamom for a unique twist.
  • Serving: Best enjoyed at room temperature for optimal flavor.

Nutrition Table

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Vegan Baklava Gluten-Free?

Yes, you can make vegan baklava gluten-free by substituting traditional phyllo dough with a gluten-free alternative. Gluten-free phyllo dough can be hard to find, so you may want to experiment with making your own or using gluten-free pastry sheets as an alternative.

Remember to check the labels of all other ingredients to ensure they are also gluten-free, particularly the vegan butter and any flavorings or extracts.

How Do I Prevent My Vegan Baklava From Becoming Soggy?

To prevent your vegan baklava from becoming soggy, pour hot syrup over the hot baklava right after it comes out of the oven. This allows the syrup to be absorbed properly, creating a sweet but not soggy dessert.

Additionally, avoid covering or refrigerating the baklava while it’s still warm, as the steam can soften the pastry layers. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature once it has completely cooled down.

Vegan Baklava Recipe

Can I Use Other Nuts Instead Of Walnuts In The Recipe?

Absolutely. While walnuts are traditional in many baklava recipes, you can easily substitute them with other nuts like pistachios, almonds, or a mix of your favorites. Each type of nut will bring a unique flavor and texture to the baklava, allowing you to customize the recipe to your taste preferences.

Is It Possible To Make Baklava Without Added Sugar?

While sugar plays a key role in the flavor and structure of baklava, you can reduce the overall sugar content by using natural sweeteners like maple syrup or agave nectar in both the nut mixture and the syrup.

However, completely omitting sweeteners will significantly alter the traditional taste and texture of the dessert. For a less sweet version, focus on reducing the amount of syrup poured over the finished baklava.

How Far In Advance Can I Make Vegan Baklava?

Vegan baklava can be made 2-3 days in advance without losing its texture or flavor. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature to maintain its crispness.

If you need to store it longer, you can freeze the baklava for up to 3 months. Thaw it at room temperature for several hours or overnight before serving to ensure it retains its original taste and texture.

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VIE DE LA VEGAN!

Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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