Eggless Rose and Pistachio Bakalava Cake

Bakalava, is a classic dessert or a special treat which hails from central and southwest Asia. Made with beautiful light flaky phyllo pastry and a sweet filling of various nuts and spices and drenched in a light aromatic syrup.

You will need :- For Pistachio Cake
  • 450 g panko breadcrumbs or regular white breadcrumbs
  • 125 g toasted whole pistachio ( Not salty )
  • 115 ml butter melted
  • 120 ml condensed milk
  • 150 ml buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg powder
  • 150 g toasted and ground pistachios for decorating
  • Rose-scented syrup ( see recipe below )

You will need :- For Bakalava Pastry
  • 16 sheets of phyllo pastry ( you will get 32 circles of phyllo  )
  • 100 ml melted butter
  • 125 g toasted and ground pistachio
  • Rose-scented syrup

You will need :- Rose syrup
  •  220 g sugar
  • 85 g honey
  • 175 ml water
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. rose water
Method :- Pistachio Cake

Pre heat the oven to gas mark 4-5 and adjust oven rack to middle position.
Line two 6 by 2 inch cake pan with a circle of baking paper.
In a food processor add panko, whole pistachio, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg powder. Process until finely chopped, leave it aside.
In another bowl add condensed milk and buttermilk , whisk about 5-6 minutes. Gently fold dry nut mixture into and mix it.
Add melted butter little by little and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula.
Divide batter equally into lined cake pans and bake about 25-30 minutes or when tooth pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. ( while cake is baking, make rose syrup )
Let the cake cool in the pan for 5-7 minutes, then take out from the pan.
Generously brush rose syrup on the top and side of the cake and let it cool completely.
Wash the pans to be used in bakalava pastry.

Method :- For Bakalava Pastry layers

Fold the phyllo sheets to the exact half all along the long edge.
Cut out 6 by 2 inch circles, use cake pan as template and cover phyllo circles with the damp cloth.
Pre heat the oven to gas mark 4-5 and adjust oven rack to middle position.
Brush same two pans which used in baking cake with melted butter.
Place one phyllo circle in one pan and brush with melted butter.
Continue this layering and brushing until you have 8 layers of pastry.
Scatter half ground pistachio over buttered phyllo circles and continue layering and buttering for 8 more layers in same pan.
Repeat same process with the second pan, so you'll have 2 sets of bakalava pastry.
Place the bakalava pastry pans in the oven and bake till light golden brown and crispy on top, it will take about 30-35 minutes.
Remove both pans from the oven and slowly drizzle about 50 ml syrup into each pan and leave it aside to cool.
While bakalava baking roughly tear left over phyllo sheets into shards brush with melted butter and spread them on a baking sheet.
After bakalava done , place baking sheet into the oven and bake phyllo shards for 18-20 minutes. Keep an eye on as can burn very quickly.

Method :- For Rose Syrup

Combine all the ingredients except rose water in a heavy based pan over a medium heat.
Bring it to boil, lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, it will take about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and leave it aside to cool.
Stir rose water little by little to taste.
Flavour will mellow out after it sits it for awhile .

Assemble the cake

Level top of the cakes with serrated knife.
Place one cake on a plate or a cake stand.
Brush top of the cake with syrup, place bakalava pastry layer on top of cake.
Brush pastry with syrup if not sticky, and top with second cake layer.
Brush with more syrup and top with second bakalava pastry layer and brush with syrup to make more sticky layer.
Decorate with bakalava shards and press slightly to make sure they stick to the cake.
Brush side of the cake with syrup and apply ground pistachio evenly on the side of the cake.
Press slightly to stick and sprinkle remaining ground pistachio on top of the cake.
Serve and enjoy !

Happy Cooking :)


  1. They look amazing Jagruti and an interesting way of presenting Baklawa - love it!!

  2. Lovely pics of balakawa. The layering with pistachio and rose has perfectly blended.

  3. oh my... luking so gud Jagruthy.. a new nd versatile appearance of baklawa..luvd it


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