When Ricky gave me a package of phyllo dough that he had defrosted and forgot to use, I brought it over to my sister’s house so we could make baklava together.

It was really hard to separate the dough, and I got pretty frustrated during the process. I don’t know if it was this particular dough, maybe it had been sitting in the fridge for too long, or maybe I’m just not good at separating thin sheets of sticky dough. But aside from that, I got the hang of layering dough, butter, and nuts.

For the cake:


  • 1 package of phyllo dough
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/2 pound walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Make sure to properly defrost your phyllo dough according to the package’s instructions.
  2. If you have whole nuts, chop them in the food processor. Mix nuts with the cinnamon.
  3. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
  4. Now it’s time to start assembling! Place two sheets on phyllo dough on the bottom of the pan. Brush generously with butter. Add two more sheets of dough, and brush those with butter, too. Do this until there are eight sheets of phyllo dough, and sprinkle a layer of the walnut-cinnamon mixture. Continue this pattern again until you run out of dough. Finish off with a generous layer of butter.
  5. Cut into squares (yes, cut it before you bake it!) and bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

For the sauce:


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Make a simple syrup by boiling the sugar and water until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Add the honey and vanilla and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Pour the sauce over the baklava while it is still warm. Let cool and serve.

This dessert, despite the frustration accompanied by separating the phyllo dough, is a lot easier to make than it looks. Impress your friends with this flaky, buttery dessert! I know ours were impressed when we mentioned what we were baking; they didn’t even get a chance to taste it!