Vegan Baklava

by Candice Hutchings
Squares of baklava in a white baking dish and a rectangular platter on a gray and white napkin with a bowl of syrup and a wooden spoon, and scattered walnuts.

I’m going to show you how to make vegan baklava with no honey in 30 mins! This vegan take on a classic Baklava dessert recipe can be made ahead and served to anyone who loves a sweet and flakey dessert. This is one of my favourite desserts. This version is based on the greek versions I’ve had that use walnuts and cinnamon, but you can use pistachios or a combination of both, as well as adding orange blossom or other signature flavour aromas of Lebanon or Turkey, depending on the type you are making. All you have to do is pulse together the filling in a food processor then layer the phyllo sheets and the filling then bake and pour over the syrup then set it in the fridge. Most baklava recipes use butter and honey. In order to make this recipe vegan, I used vegan butter and switched the honey to agave-based syrup. The rest of the ingredients are already vegan, including most store-bought phyllo pastries. Check the ingredients and try to look for the store brand as they typically use oil in place of butter.


Ingredients

4 cups walnuts
½ cup + ¼ cup granulated organic sugar, divided
1 + ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
¾ cup vegan butter, melted (or as needed)
1 – 16 ounce package of vegan-friendly phyllo dough, room temperature
½ cup water
1 cup agave
2 tablespoons lemon juice


Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
  2. To a food processor add walnuts, ½ cup sugar, and cinnamon and pulse a few times to chop into a small crumb texture and combine.
  3. Cover phyllo with a damp towel.
  4. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray, or vegan butter and place a folded in half sheet of phyllo on the bottom and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat until you’ve used about ⅓ of the phyllo, roughly 3-5 sheets folded in half to fit the pan.
  5. Spread about ⅕ of the nut mixture over the phyllo dough.
  6. Add 2 more folded in half phyllo sheets, buttering each one, then another layer of nuts. Repeat four more times.
  7. Finally, place 3-5 folded in half sheets of phyllo on top, again buttering between each one, ending up with the last sheet being butter on the top.
  8. Using a very sharp knife, cut the pastry into 24 square or diamond-shaped pieces and bake for about 35-45 mins, or until golden brown and a tester inserted comes out clean. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
  9. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan add ¼ cup sugar, water, and agave and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir constantly. When sugar is dissolved, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool, and stir in lemon juice.
  10. Remove baklava from the oven and immediately pour syrup over the piping hot pastry, and let it cool completely, uncovered and at room temp.
  11. Allow it to sit for 4 hours minimum or overnight.
  12. Serve garnished with some chopped nuts and cinnamon.

Notes
  1. Find more of Candice’s recipes at The Edgy Veg and follow her on Facebook.

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