Golden-brown, flaky pastry pie topped with a generous layer of ground pistachios and dusted with powdered sugar, set on a white plate basking in sunlight.
|

Baklava Cheesecake

Every year my family celebrates Greek Easter. It’s a holiday that formed some of my favorite traditions and happiest memories. One of those traditions is making Baklava. Baklava is a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dessert consisting of thin sheets of phyllo dough, nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds), and sweetened with honey. Today we’re taking the best parts of Baklava and turning it into a cheesecake. This recipe is absolutely incredible and will hopefully become a new tradition for you and your family to make each year.

A hand holding a slice of baklava cheesecake, showcasing layers of flaky pastry, creamy cheese filling, and a topping of chopped pistachios and syrup.

How To Make Baklava Cheesecake

This Baklava Cheesecake is so much fun to make. There are a few different components to assembling this delicious dessert together but don’t worry! I’m going to walk you through every step of the way until you’re left with an end results that will satisfy everyone’s tastebuds!

  • Phyllo Pastry Crust – Phyllo Dough can be pretty tricky to work with sometimes because it is so thin. It’s best to be gentle when working with it. It’s also important to work relatively fast with phyllo dough as it dries out very fast. When phyllo dough dries out it cracks extremely easily. For the bottom layer of our cheesecake, we layer sheets of dough with butter to help stick everything together and add to the overall flakey texture.
  • First Layer Of Baklava Filling – This layer of baklava filling consists of finely chopped walnuts, butter, and honey. We’re keeping this base extremely simple. Since our cheesecake is sweet, keeping the base subtly sweet will balance everything out perfectly. I used chopped walnuts from the grocery store that I pulsed through the food processor a few times to break them up a bit more.
  • Cheesecake – This delicious layer of cheesecake is sweetened with honey to keep this dessert as true as possible to the well-known and loved Baklava. The cheesecake mixture comes together very smoothly all in one bowl and is poured on top of the first layer of baklava filling.
  • Baklava Topping – To top off our cheesecake once it’s completely cooled, is a baklava mixture with an almost caramel-like texture. This mixture consists of honey, water, walnuts, vanilla, cornstarch, and a bit of lemon juice.
A slice has been taken from a decadent dessert showcasing layers of flaky pastry, creamy filling, and a rich, caramelized topping sprinkled with crushed pistachios.

What is Baklava?

Baklava is popular in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean areas and is so deliciously balanced between sweetness and nuttiness. It consists of thin layers of pastry dough, phyllo dough, and is sweetened with honey, and has a wonderful texture from the crispy, flakey phyllo and nuts. In this recipe, I am using walnuts inside the cheesecake because that’s what my family always used for Greek Easter every year and it’s my favorite. You can however use a mixture of walnuts, almonds, and pistachios. I used a small amount of pistachios around the outside of the cheesecake to make it even more visually appealing.

A close-up view of a slice of baklava cheesecake with a section cut out, showcasing layers of flaky phyllo dough and creamy filling, topped with a pistachio garnish.

How To Store Baklava Cheesecake

This cheesecake should be stored, and sealed in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the slices for up to 3 months. Of course, I always recommend enjoying it when the dessert is at its freshest but if you’re like me and want to savor it for as long as possible, storing is your best option!

The best way to store cheesecake in the fridge is by using plastic wrap to seal the sides of your plate or dish to ensure that the cheesecake does not dry out. You can also use an air-tight container to ensure the freshness of the cheesecake is not compromised. It’s also important to note that cheesecake that is stored in the freezer may have a slightly different texture. With this being said, it’s best to enjoy cheesecake when it’s fresh.

Unbaked phyllo crust in a black baking dish with crinkled parchment paper lining, brushed with melted butter, beside sprigs of baby's breath on a white surface.
A freshly baked cheesecake with a golden, crumbly crust, cooling on a countertop next to delicate white flowers, evokes a cozy, homemade appeal.
Unbaked cheesecake in a springform pan on a marble counter, with flowers and a napkin in the background, awaiting the oven.

More Recipes You Might Be Interested In

Golden-brown, flaky pastry pie topped with a generous layer of ground pistachios and dusted with powdered sugar, set on a white plate basking in sunlight.

Tips For Working With Phyllo Dough

Working with Phyllo Dough can be a bit challenging due to its delicate texture, but I am here to help guide you and give you the best tips and tricks for working with Phyllo and making the process fun!

  • Work Quickly & Gently – Phyllo Dough dries out very fast, it’s important to work efficiently to prevent the dough from drying out while in the middle of using it. It’s also important not to rush too fast otherwise you become less gentle with the dough and it can tear or break much more easily. Don’t stress, just know what to expect going into the recipe and work at a good pace, gently.
  • Keep It Moist – Since Phyllo Dough dries out quickly, a helpful way to keep it from drying out too much and cracking, is to use a damp towel. Placing a damp towel on top of the dough as you work with it keeps it moist enough to lengthen your time before it dries out.
  • Use Butter – Using butter in between our layers of Phyllo dough keeps them bound together so that they don’t separate and drive you crazy! Since the dough is still very thin and breakable, be gentle even when using a pastry brush to spread the butter.
  • How To Layer – Don’t worry if a few pieces of dough wrinkle slightly when you seal it on top of the layer beneath with a brush of butter. Just be sure to use enough butter to help the layers adhere to one another.

Recipe For Baklava Cheesecake

I hope that you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do and that you have fun throughout the entire process. As always, I am so grateful for each and every one of you and hope that my recipes can help bring joy to your homes, friends, family, social gatherings, and so much more!

Baklava Cheesecake

Recipe by Maddison Koutrouba – thesqueakymixer.com
5.0 from 2 votes
Servings

10-12

servings
Cooking time

45

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on.

Ingredients

  • 10-15 sheets phyllo pastry

  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 cups crushed walnuts

  • 2 Tbsp. honey

  • Cheesecake
  • 24 oz cream cheese

  • 3/4 cups honey

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 tsp. vanilla

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

  • Baklava Topping
  • 3/4 cups honey

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 2 1/2 cups walnuts

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 and lightly grease a 9″ spring form pan. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in 30-second intervals until completely melted and unroll your phyllo dough from its packaging.
  • Place a sheet of phyllo dough in your spring form pan then use a pastry brush and brush lightly a bit of butter on top of the sheet of phyllo. Place another sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first layer but place in the opposite direction. Repeat the steps of layering and brushing evenly inside your pan. Be sure to place the phyllo dough evenly inside the pan so the bottom and sides are evenly coated.
  • To make the first layer of baklava filling, mix the walnuts, the rest of the melted butter from brushing the phyllo dough, and honey. Mix until everything is evenly combined. Pour this mixture on top of the phyllo dough and use the bottom of a measuring cup to press this down evenly into your pan.
  • To make the cheesecake, use an electric mixer to cream the cream cheese until it is nice and smooth. You can pop the cream cheese in the microwave for a few seconds if it’s still cold. Be sure that there are no lumps in the cream cheese before adding any of the other ingredients.
  • Add the honey to the cream cheese and continue to mix until evenly combined.
  • Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture one at a time mixing between each addition. With the last egg, add the vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Mix to combine everything evenly. Use a silicone spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure that everything has combined evenly.
  • Pour the cheesecake into the springform pan on top of the first layer of baklava. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the phyllo on the sides is a deep golden brown and the cheesecake doesn’t jiggle throughout the entire surface, just slightly in the center.
  • I turned my oven off after 53 minutes of baking then let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the door open a crack for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to bake slightly, without the phyllo dough crust browning anymore, and to not reduce the temperature drastically for the cheesecake. Then I placed the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 3 1/2 hours to cool. You can also let it sit in the fridge overnight.
  • To make the baklava topping, combine the honey, water, walnuts, vanilla, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a medium-sized sauce pot. Place this over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble.
  • Keep this at a rapid bubble for about 5 minutes then reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat then place into a heat-proof, air-tight container to chill in the fridge while we wait for our cheesecake and this mixture to cool.
  • Once the cheesecake and baklava topping have completely cooled, place the topping on top of our cheesecake and gently spread it around. I topped my cheesecake with extra small pieces of chopped phyllo dough on the sides and a ring of crushed pistachios for extra flavor and color.
  • Slice your cheesecake and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @thesqueakymixer on Instagram! I love to see what you all create.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.