cardamom baklawa (baklava)

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  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 8 ounces) butter*, plus an extra tablespoon for greasing
  • 16 ounces walnuts, about 4 cups medium-chopped
  • 5 ounces powdered sugar, about 1 cup
  • 2 tablespoons ground cardamom
  • 16-ounce container of filo dough sheets (do not open until the recipe tells you to)
  • 16 ounces honey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Use the extra tablespoon of butter to grease a 12″ x 16″ rimmed sheet pan.
  3. Melt the 2 sticks of butter.
  4. While the butter is melting, combine chopped walnuts, powdered sugar, and cardamom, and set aside.
  5. Once the butter has melted, get a fine mesh strainer ready (if you don’t have a mesh strainer, spoon the foam off the top of the butter) and then open the filo dough container.
  6. Place half of the filo dough on the sheet pan.
  7. Spread the chopped walnut mixture evenly over the filo dough.
  8. Place the rest of the filo dough on top of the walnut mixture.
  9. Cut the baklawa into diamonds by slicing straight across in one direction, then diagonally in the other direction (see photos above). It’s best to work with a very sharp or serrated knife so that you don’t tear, stretch, or dishevel the filo. It’s alright if a few of the pieces go a little awry, but you want everything to stay pretty lined up.
  10. Pour the butter through the sieve to capture the foam, slowly drizzling it evenly all over the baklawa.
  11. Cook the baklawa in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes**, until it has lightly browned. (Start checking after 15 minutes of baking).
  12. As soon as it comes out of the oven, immediately pour the honey evenly over the top.
  13. Immediately top with ground pistachios.
  14. Let it sit until it comes to room temperature, at least one hour.
  15. Cut through the same lines you made before baking and serve.


* You can use either salted or unsalted butter. My mom and grandmother use unsalted, but I use salted. If you like your baked goods well-seasoned, salted works great.

** 20 to 30 minutes results in very traditional lightly browned baklawa, but you can let it bake for up to another 10 minutes if you prefer yours to be more golden brown. Just keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Note: If you have any leftover baklawa, you can freeze it and turn it into baklawa frozen yogurt. To store, keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week or the freezer for about 3 months. For more baklawa, also feel free to check out my recipe for dairy free botanical baklawa.