What Does Baklava Taste Like?

Turkish cuisine is a flavor bomb, including fruity, pungent, and even floral notes in some main dishes and desserts. While Turkish delight often takes center stage and spotlight, dishes like Baklava are often underrated.

This flaky, sweet, and flavorful pastry is unlike anything else you will come across. Besides the crunchy filo, the sticky syrup or honey further elevates the taste of the dish to the next level good.

If you are looking into trying out Baklava but want a better idea of its taste, this article should give you all the necessary insights.

What is Baklava?


As we mentioned, Baklava is a popular Turkish dessert made with layers of filo pastry, a mixture of nuts (predominantly pistachios), and piping hot syrup poured on top.

The blend of clarified butter (ghee) between each filo or phyllo pastry layer gives the dessert the decadence and flakiness that makes it stand out.

However, this is the basic rundown of how Baklava is. But, there are different regional and cultural variations of Baklava available in Turkey and globally. The two most common variants include Sheki Baklava and Gaja Baklava.

The Sheki Baklava uses a blend of cardamom and coriander seeds, while Gaja Baklava has a strong cinnamon taste and fragrance added to it.

How to Make Baklava?

Irrespective of the type of Baklava you eat, the dessert is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Many steps go into preparing those layers, one after the other, with the pastry, clarified butter, nuts, and sugar syrup.

In the traditional Baklava recipes, around 40 sheets of phyllo pastry are used, separated with a layer of ghee, and sprinkled with a thin layer of crushed nuts for texture and richness. To make serving easy, the Baklava is cut into smaller pieces before it is put inside the oven.

Not only does this ensure even cooking, it also makes pouring the sugar syrup inside the pastry easier, so it soaks into the bottom layer evenly. Coming to the syrup, it isn’t a simple or plain sugar syrup. Instead, the syrup is flavored with citrus peels and spices like cinnamon or cardamom for added flavor.

Once the layers of pastry are done cooking, the syrup is poured hot into the pastry right out of the oven to ensure that it soaks into each layer of the pastry.

If you want a more detailed and technical step-by-step recipe, we have got you:

  • The first step is to separate the individual layers of phyllo pastry before you start layering them. Here’s where the hard work is. You have to be careful not to overdo the butter or oil. Ideally, you want to ensure the pastry has an even layer of butter.
  • An even layer of chopped nuts (walnuts, pistachios) is sprinkled evenly between each layer of the pastry. Some even add citrus peel into the nut mixture for added flavor.
  • Before the pastry is put inside the oven for baking, it is cut in a diamond shape with diagonal cuts from one side of the baking pan to the other.
  • The layered baklava is baked for 30-35 minutes at 350°F until the pastry turns golden brown. You also want to ensure that the edge of the pastry is crisp and slightly toasted for that crunch and caramelized texture.
  • Once baked, you have to pour the sugar syrup you made. It is a standard sugar syrup with citrus peels and lemon juice added for some added zing.
  • Pull the baking tray out of the oven and pour the syrup on top evenly to ensure that the syrup isn’t concentrated in certain places and not soaked in other spots.
  • You can let the syrup seep into the pastry for some time before pulling out a piece or two of the Baklava from the baking dish and trying it out for yourself.

That’s pretty much all the steps to make Baklava from scratch. Since it has so many steps, you have to be patient while making it.

Also Read – Bread Types at Subway: Everything You Need To Know About Their Bread Varieties

What is in Baklava? What is Baklava Made of?

Baklava has a variety of elements in it, each of which adds character and flavor to the dessert. Let us take a look at them individually:

Phyllo or filo pastry – This is the foundation of Baklava and is generally found in the supermarket’s frozen section. They are nothing but thin “paper-like” sheets of dough.

Nuts – The second most crucial component is the “filling,” made from nuts. In most cases, it is either made with only pistachios, or you can also find ones that contain a mix of nuts like pistachios, walnuts, almonds, etc. Also, the nuts are flavored with citrus and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, etc.

Sugar – You need a good amount of sugar in this dessert. From the syrup to the nut mixture that’s layered between the pastry, a significant amount of sugar is needed.

Butter/Ghee – Oil is used in some cases, but if you want Baklava’s authentic and rich taste, we’d recommend using ghee or butter in between each phyllo sheet.

What Does Baklava Taste Like?

Now that you have sorted all the basic ideas about Baklava let us discuss the taste. What does this dessert taste like? What kind of texture can you expect? Is it overly sweet?


If you are a dessert person who likes contrasting flavors in their dessert, you will enjoy Baklava. The taste of this dessert isn’t one-dimensional, which makes it so unique.

While the phyllo pastry doesn’t add any “specific taste,” it makes up for the crunch and texture. The main taste comes from the blend of nuts, spices, and the sugar syrup poured on top. The nutty flavor is delectable.

Some Baklava even has flavored honey poured instead of simple sugar syrup, which adds a floral taste and flavor to the dessert.


If it wasn’t a giveaway until now, Baklava has a crunchy, chewy, and crispy texture from the phyllo pastry layers and the mixture of nuts sprinkled between each layer.

Simply taking a bite lets you experience the pastry crumbling between your teeth, adding texture and butteriness to the dish. Also, the syrup indeed holds the pastry together, but the dessert is still quite fragile and will fall apart with the first bite.


The next element worth discussing is the aroma. If you bake Baklava at home, you can be sure that your entire kitchen and living room will smell heavenly.

The combination of sugar, nuts, citrus peels, and spices like clove, cinnamon, and cardamom adds a very satisfying aroma. Besides the spices, this dish’s citrus zest smell is quite prominent.


You must have heard the saying that we “eat with the eyes first.” So, describing what an authentic Baklava looks like makes perfect sense. It typically has a golden-brown color, and the sides have a darker brown tinge due to the caramelization of the sugar.

The color is a complete contrast before and after baking. Before baking, it is pale white with a hint of yellow from the ghee or melted butter. However, this butter and sugar is what imparts the light brown color after baking is done.

Also Read – 13 Health Benefits of Ginger, Lemon, and Honey

Greek Baklava vs. Turkish Baklava vs. Lebanese Baklava

We have been talking about Turkish Baklava from the beginning of this article. However, Turkish Baklava isn’t the only type. We also have Greek and Lebanese Baklava, which are just as delectable.

So, what’s the difference between them?

Greek Baklava

Made with – Phyllo, Walnuts, and Almonds.

Syrup – Honey syrup

Spices – Cinnamon and clove

Shape – Diamond

Texture – Lighter and flakier

Turkish Baklava

Made with – Phyllo, Pistachios mixed with ground sugar, spices

Syrup – Simple sugar syrup

Spices – Cinnamon

Shape – Small rectangles

Texture – Light, golden brown, and flaky

Lebanese Baklava

Made with – Phyllo, Pistachios, Walnuts

Syrup – Sugar syrup with orange blossom water

Spices – Nothing as such

Shape – Diamond

Texture – Light, flaky and golden brown, often served with ice cream

This gives you the contrast you need to know about the three most common types of Baklava and how they taste.

Also Read – Classic San Giorgio Lasagna Recipe: A Hearty Italian Delight

Is Baklava Vegan?

The next question most people have regarding Baklava is whether it’s vegan. Technically, it isn’t since it contains butter, ghee, and honey in the recipe.

However, it can be made vegan using vegan butter and replacing the honey with simple sugar syrup like the Turkish Baklava.

How Long Does Baklava Last?

Baklava can last for a few weeks, but there is a catch. The shelf life of this dessert depends on how you are storing it.

For example:

  • If you leave it on the kitchen counter, stored in an airtight container, the dessert will last 2-4 days.
  • If you are freezing the Baklava in an airtight container or a freezer bag, it can easily last up to 2-3 months.

Avoid keeping your Baklava in the refrigerator since it will affect the dessert’s texture, completely ruining the taste.

Also Read – Brenda Gantt’s Cabbage Casserole Recipe: A Delightful Comfort Food

What is Special about Baklava?

Baklava has several things that make it special and unique to be a dessert. Some pointers worth noting are:

  • Making baklava is an intensive process that can even take hours to finish. This means that the dessert is made with patience and love.
  • The versatility of baklava is what makes it stand out. You can swap out the nuts, change the syrup and even decide how many sheets of pastry you wish to add. Everything comes down to what works best for you.
  • Coming to the flavor, texture, and taste. Nothing beats Baklava when it comes to its richness and nutty flavor. It is undoubtedly an indulgent treat worth trying.
  • Although the phyllo pastry and sugar syrup aren’t the healthiest components in the dessert, the combination of nuts and spices make up for it.

Overall, when you compare Baklava with other desserts, you can be assured that this is a wholesome treat you can indulge in now and then.

Also Read – How To Make Pistachio Shot Recipe


Baklava is sheer perfection, thanks to its unique flavor and texture. If you have been meaning to try this dessert, we hope our description of the taste and flavor gives you an idea of things. The cultural significance behind this dessert is what makes it even more popular. Which variant of Baklava are you going to try?


  • Ava Jones

    Meet Ava Jones, the heart behind Passionate about parenting, cooking, and fostering harmonious homes, she invites you on an incredible journey of shared insights, experiences, and tips. As a fellow mom, Ava offers a virtual hand of support and inspiration, understanding the joys, challenges, and rewarding moments of raising children. Welcome to her world of love and guidance.

Ava Jones

Meet Ava Jones, the heart behind Passionate about parenting, cooking, and fostering harmonious homes, she invites you on an incredible journey of shared insights, experiences, and tips. As a fellow mom, Ava offers a virtual hand of support and inspiration, understanding the joys, challenges, and rewarding moments of raising children. Welcome to her world of love and guidance.

You may also like...