Air fryer Baklava is one of the best-ever air fryer desserts you’ll come across! Layers of crispy filo are filled with assorted nuts and topped with salty sweet syrup. With this easy recipe, you can make perfect homemade baklava.
Surprisingly, the baklava isn’t overpoweringly sweet and makes a stunning dish to serve to and impress guests.
Table of contents
- Air fryer desserts – simple, homemade Air fryer Baklava with phyllo/filo pastry
- What is Baklava?
- Why make baklava in the air fryer
- Baklava without honey ingredients
- Vegan Baklava
- Filling variations
- How to cut Baklava
- Tips on handling filo/phyllo pastry
- How to make easy Baklava in the Air fryer
- How to serve Air fryer Baklava
- Recipe tips for best baklava
- Recipes using baklava flavours
- Other delicious desserts recipes
Air fryer desserts – simple, homemade Air fryer Baklava with phyllo/filo pastry
My one true weakness is a box of baklava fresh from the sweet shop! Baklava are so moreish that I can easily polish up half the packet. The only reason I stop is because I have to remind myself that a tray of baklava is for sharing …
One of my fondest memories of baklava was when my friend brought me some baklava back from a holiday to Cyprus.
A few years back, I made eggless revani in the Instant Pot and the beauty of it was that I could make a large enough portion to enjoy! Usually there is only one semolina square in the baklava tray! Not good enough.
This recipe is easy because there is no need to make complicated baklava shapes. Simply lay out the filo sheets, butter, top with nuts and air fry! Pour over delicious salted caramel sugar syrup and serve.
The filo pastry is bought ready-made from the shop so only simple assembly of the baklava is required. Digital air fryer settings simplify the prep considerably!
I also butter every other sheet rather than every filo sheet which saves time and still yields the same incredible results.
What is Baklava?
Baklava is a sweet dish made from layers of filo pastry filled with finely chopped nuts and held together with a sugar syrup.
There is much debate over the true origins of baklava. Each country has slight variation of recipe (mostly based on the nuts)
You can find variations in Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Turkey Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Some baklava are made with phyllo pastry and some are made with shredded kataifi pastry.
A variety of baklava called Sutlu Nuriye is topped with milky syrup rather than a plain sugar syrup
Baklava is traditionally prepared and eaten for Eid-al-Fitr or served during Ramadan but nowadays it is enjoyed all year around.
Baklava comes in various shapes such as:
triangle (like samosa)
Why make baklava in the air fryer
The beauty of using the air fryer for baklava is that the phyllo pastry cooks evenly all over.
If you have a baklava craving but do not want to make a large amount, the air fryer is a great way to cook small portions. You do not need to heat up an oven for a single serving.
The air fryer also saves time in comparison to oven cooking.
The trick to make perfect air fryer baklava is to cover the baking tray tightly with foil.
You do not need to poke holes into the foil as this will still push air into the tray. You can also add baking beans or lentils on top of the foil as an extra weight.
Baklava without honey ingredients
Full ingredients with measurements are available in the recipe card below at the end of this post
Phyllo/Filo pastry – this pastry is paper thin and used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. Filo means leaf in Greek. It can be found in the frozen and fresh aisles of most supermarkets.
Nuts – I have used a mix of almonds, pistachios and walnuts but you can absolutely use one type of nut at a time
Butter – I have used unsalted butter. Ghee is an alternative
Oil – I have used sunflower but you can also use a mild olive oil or vegetable oil. Oil is optional, you can use butter or ghee alone.
Salted Caramel Syrup for Baklava
Sugar – I used demerara but you can also use soft light brown sugar
Maple syrup – use maple syrup for extra flavour
Salt – a pinch of salt brings out the sweetness
Water – regular tap water
Note – no sugar is added to the nut mixture or in the layers. The sweetness comes from the syrup only which I think is sufficient.
You can make this baklava vegan by using dairy free butter or olive oil when layering the pastry sheets. Also make sure that syrup you prepare should be without honey.
Add some grated milk or dark chocolate on the nut layer for incredible chocolate baklava
Add some cream in between the layers, In turkey they add almost like a clotted cream type of cream before adding nuts.
How to cut Baklava
You will need a sharp knife and a kitchen ruler.
The best way to cut into all the layers of filo is to use short stabbing motions rather than pull the knife through. The short cuts into the filo keeps the pastry in its place. I have cut the baklava into squares but you can also cut diagonally.
Use the ruler if you want even pieces but otherwise just use your eye to cut approximately.
Tips on handling filo/phyllo pastry
With these few simple tricks, you can make baklava prep so much simpler.
Open the filo dough only when ready to use – keep the filo in its packaging until ready to handle to prevent it drying out
Once unrolled, keep covered with a damp cloth – filo dries fast so take one sheet at a time and cover fast with the cloth again
Handle it gently because it can easily break.
How to make easy Baklava in the Air fryer
Full printable recipe in recipe card below.
Ensure you are using a baking tray that will fit the air fryer tray.
Blend your nuts using a food processor – the nuts should be finely chopped but not powdered.
Whisk together the oil and melted butter or ghee.
Prepare the filo pastry by measuring it out – cut into a size that will fit into the tray. Keep the pastry covered until you are ready to use.
Brush a thin layer of the butter mixture onto the tray and add the first layer of filo to the base. The oil prevents the pastry from slipping or shifting around.
Add an extra layer of filo and brush with more butter. Add around 10-12 sheets, brushing butter every second sheet.
Sprinkle over a layer of nuts and pour over a little butter. Continue to stack the filo and brushing butter. You can either do a single nut layer or two layers of nuts.
Do not worry if all the filo sheets are not all the same size, you can overlap them and seal together with butter.
Gently cut the baklava into squares or diamonds.
Pour over the remainder of the butter so that it sinks in between the cuts.
Cover the baking tray tightly with oven-safe foil. Do not poke holes into the foil. You can add some baking beans on top of the foil to secure it down further
Place in the air fryer basket. Set the air fryer onto bake at 190C for 25 minutes.
Whilst the baklava is in the air fryer, prepare the salted caramel sugar syrup.
Add the sugar, water and maple syrup to a saucepan. Gently stir until the sugar has melted. Boil for around 2-3 minutes and turn off the heat. Add a pinch of sea salt.
Take the baking tray out of the air fryer when the timing is up. The filo should be golden. Do not leave the tray in the air fryer once the time is up as the air fryer remains hot and will continue cooking.
Pour the syrup over the baklava whilst both or (at least one) are still warm. You’ll be able to hear that hissing bubbly sound.
Leave the baklava aside for a few hours or overnight before serving.
How to serve Air fryer Baklava
Coffee– Baklava is best served alongside a strong coffee or tea as a snack but it can also be served as a dessert.
Chocolate – You can’t go wrong with a drizzle of chocolate, toffee sauce or heavy cream.
There is no rule on whether baklava should be served warm or room temperature so it really depends on your preference.
Usually once the sugar syrup is poured over the pastry, the baklava is left to sit for a few hours to soak and so will naturally be at room temperature.
Recipe tips for best baklava
If using frozen phyllo pastry, ensure it is fully defrosted before using it. Keep it in the fridge overnight.
Bring it to room temperature before handling it.
Carefully butter the phyllo sheets, don’t rush and gently brush it up. Ensure to brush butter/oil from end to the end for full coverage, and extra on the very top. This is so it won’t dry out.
Either keep baklava hot or syrup hot before pouring syrup to achieve best results.
Recipes using baklava flavours
We are currently working on a brand new recipe that involves baklava, stay tuned! Baklava Barfi
Baklava cheese cake
Baklava fudge. This fudge has a gorgeous nut filling swirled through the fudge.
Baklava ice cream – dairy ice cream
Baklava stays fresh for a week, after that it may loose its crispiness.
Baklava is not gluten-free as it is made with phyllo dough which is made with wheat flour.
Yes, you can. If you like to enjoy your baklava warm, you can heat your cooked baklava in the oven. Keep the temperature of the oven very low and keep in mind that you are only reheating the baklava not baking it a second time.
Or just microwave for a few seconds in the microwave on low power.
Yes, baklava freezes well. Freeze in a freeze safe container or in the baking tray. Thaw by leaving out at room temperature.
Make baklava with a cream cheese filling instead of adding nuts.
Your baklava is hard because you may did not soak them in syrup while it was fresh out of the oven/air fryer. The syrup melts when you pour it on hot baklava, and creates the perfect tender texture.
Other delicious desserts recipes
Kataifi pastry nests (sutarfeni)
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BEST AIR FRYER BAKLAVA (SALTED CARAMEL)
Salted caramel syrup
- 50 grams light brown sugar or demerara sugar
- 150 ml maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 225 ml water
- First make syrup by mixing all the salted caramel syrup ingredients in a pan.50 grams light brown sugar, 150 ml maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 225 ml water
- Bring it to boil and simmer for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
- Leave it aside for later use.
- Then make filling by placing nuts and pinch of salt in the food processor. Pulse them until they are coarse. Leave it aside.1 cup nuts, 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Now cut the phyllo pastry according to your baking tray/pan size. Simply by putting a tray over the pastry and cut it with the sharp knife.20 sheets phyllo pastry
- Don't throw away sides of the pastry, will use in the middle layer of the baklava.
- Heat butter in a bowl in microwave or in the pan over stove top.100 grams butter
- Add vegetable oil and mix well.40 ml vegetable oil
- Grease the tray base by brushing the butter oil mixture.
- Layer two sheets of phyllo and gently brush it up with butter oil mixture.
- Repeat this until you have laid and brushed up 10 pastry sheets in total.
- Then a layer of coarse nuts filling.
- Now layer the pastry with cut phyllo and brush up with butter mix.
- Again do a thin layer of nuts.
- Then final layer of 10 phyllo sheets.
- Slice the baklava pastry in whatever shape you like using a very sharp knife.
- Pour the remaining butter and oil mixture over the cut pastry.
- Preheat air fryer at 190C or 375F for 5 minutes.
- Cover the baking tray with kitchen foil but don't press it.
- Put some beans on top.
- Air fry/bake them for 20-25 minutes or until nice and golden.
- Once done pour the syrup all over the baked baklava.
- Let the syrup soak at room temperature for minimum 3 hours before serving.
- garnish it with chopped nuts and dry rose petals.
- 10 buttered phyllo sheets
- 1/4 cup nuts
- 10 buttered phyllo sheets
- 1/4 cup nuts
- 10 buttered phyllo sheets
The nutritional information provided is an approximation calculated by an online calculator/plugin. Please consult a professional dietitian for nutritional advice.