Coconut Baklava Recipe | Diethood


This Coconut Baklava is the best baklava around. Flaky layers of phyllo sheets filled with an incredibly delicious honey mixture. I added shredded coconut and chopped walnuts for extra crunch. The result is a pure, sweet, coconutty goodness.

If you’re looking for a more traditional recipe, hop on over to My Family’s Traditional Baklava recipe.

close up of a baklava cut into diamond shapes

Bust out the Phyllo sheets, my friends! I’ve got a project for you!

You are going to make Coconut Baklava this weekend!

I can’t even begin to count how many emails I have received from my fellow countrymen/women about a recipe for Baklava. Sure, they can go to Google and ask him, but that’s no fun. You want to go straight to the horse’s, or in this case, blogger’s mouth and hear it from the expert. buahaha I just called me an expert! Far from it! BUT! I do make a killer Baklava, so that’s that.

What is Baklava

This amazing, sweet, crunchy dessert has been claimed by many and all; Turks, Greeks, Persians, Armenians, Macedonians… the list goes on. The truth is, we all make it, but we all also have our own ways of making it. The only standard is the Phyllo sheets. AND the sweetness.

Baklava is just that; a stack of phyllo sheets filled with nuts and honey and drowned in a delicious simple syrup.

diamond cut out baklava

Coconut Baklava

Baklava is usually filled with just honey and walnuts, but I am not a complete fan of the just honey and nuts filling; I need more. So I added shredded coconut and THAT was a smart move. No. It was brilliant!

Ingredients:

The ingredients for this Coconut Baklava are similar to the traditional Baklava, but with a few sweet additions.

For the Baklava:

  • Shredded Coconut
  • Walnuts
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Milk
  • Honey
  • Phyllo Sheets
  • Butter

For the Simple Syrup:

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Fresh Lemon Juice

baklava in a baking pan cut into diamonds

How to Make Coconut Baklava:

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
  2. Combine the coconut, walnuts, vanilla, milk, and honey in a large bowl, mix well and set aside. The mixture should be just moist. If it looks too dry, mix in a couple more tablespoons of milk. Set aside.
  3. Layer the Coconut Baklava: Unroll the phyllo sheets; as you work with the phyllo, keep the phyllo sheets covered with a damp paper towel so they don’t dry out. You can also use plastic wrap to cover the stack. 
  4. Grease a jellyroll pan with melted butter. You can also use a 9×13 baking pan – cut the phyllo sheets to fit it.
  5. Layer 10 pieces of Phyllo sheets inside the pan, brushing each sheet with melted butter before adding the next.
  6. Sprinkle a bit of the coconut mixture over the layered phyllo sheets.
  7. Continue to layer 5 more phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with butter before adding the next.
  8. Sprinkle with more of the nut mixture. Repeat this 2 more times.
  9. Finish the baklava with a layer of 10 phyllo sheets – brushing each sheet with butter – and finally, brush the top with more melted butter.
  10. Using a sharp knife, cut the coconut baklava into 4 long rows, then cut diagonally to make diamond shapes. You can also cut straight across to make square shapes.
  11. Bake: Bake the baklava until golden on top, about 50-ish minutes.

Prepare the Syrup:

  1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil; lower heat to a simmer, and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  2. Pour the hot syrup over the completely cooled baklava. OR, you can pour cold syrup over hot (just baked) baklava.
  3. Finally, let stand in a cool dry place, uncovered, for 6 hours or overnight.

side view of cut up baklava in a baking pan

How to Store Coconut Baklava:

  • Baklava has a lengthy shelf life. It should be stored in an airtight container, either at room temperature or in the fridge. Storing at room temperature will preserve the crispiness, but if you like your baklava chewy and a bit harder, store it in the refrigerator. I keep my baklava in an airtight container at room temperature. It will stay fresh and delicious for about 10 to 14 days.

Can I freeze Coconut Baklava?

  • I don’t love to freeze my already baked baklava. It stays well at room temperature for almost 2 weeks, so it seems kind of pointless to me to freeze it. To be honest, there is never any left after a week. 
  • You can, however, assemble it ahead of time – don’t bake – and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just cover it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
  • When ready, thaw on kitchen counter and bake as directed in the recipe.

Baked Coconut Baklava in a pan and cut up into diamonds

Tips for the BEST Coconut Baklava:

  • Do not thaw your phyllo dough on the counter top. Instead, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight. This will make it easier to work with.
  • When you’re working with the phyllo dough sheets, keep your stack covered with a damp paper towel or tea towel so they don’t dry out while you’re working.
  • Make sure you brush EACH SHEET of phyllo dough with butter. This is not the place to skimp.
  • Let your baklava sit overnight at room temperature. This allows the syrup to soak into and soften the layers. 

More Phyllo Desserts

ENJOY!

Tools Used in this Recipe

close up of a baklava cut into diamond shapes

Coconut Baklava

This Coconut Baklava is the best baklava around. Flaky layers of phyllo sheets filled with an incredibly delicious honey coconut mixture.

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Balkans, Macedonian

Servings: 30 Serves

Calories: 221 kcal

Ingredients

For the Baklava

  • 4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 40 Phyllo Sheets, divided
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

For the Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Combine coconut, finely chopped walnuts, vanilla, milk, and honey in a bowl, mix well until thoroughly combined and set aside. Mixture should be just moist. If it looks too dry, mix in couple more tablespoons of milk.

  2. Grease a jellyroll pan with melted butter. You can also use a 9×13 baking pan, but you will have to cut the phyllo sheets to fit.

  3. Unroll the phyllo sheets; as you work with the phyllo sheets, keep the sheets covered with a damp paper towel so they don’t dry out. You can also use plastic wrap to cover the stack. 

  4. Layer 10 pieces of Phyllo sheets inside the pan, brushing each sheet with melted butter before adding the next.

  5. Sprinkle about ¾ cups of the coconut mixture over the layered phyllo sheets.

  6. Continue to layer 5 more phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with butter before adding the next.

  7. Sprinkle with more of the coconut mixture. Repeat with 5 more sheets of phyllo and sprinkle with coconut mixture again; repeat this 2 more times.

    See my Notes below for how to layer the phyllo sheets.

  8. Finish the baklava with a layer of 10 phyllo sheets – brushing each sheet with butter – and finally, brush the top with more melted butter.

  9. Cut the baklava. First, cut it into 4 long rows, and then cut diagonally to make diamond shapes. You can also cut straight across to make square shapes.

  10. Bake for 55 minutes, or until golden on top.

  11. Remove from oven and let completely cool.

  12. In the meantime, prepare the syrup.

  13. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil; lower heat to a simmer, and continue to cook for 15 minutes.

  14. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.

  15. Pour the hot syrup over the completely cooled baklava. OR, you can pour cold syrup over hot (just baked) baklava.

  16. Let stand in a cool dry place, uncovered, for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Recipe Notes

WW FREESTYLE POINTS: 19

HOW TO LAYER BAKLAVA

10 phyllo sheets, then add 3/4 cup nut mixture
5 phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture
5 phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture
5 phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture
5 phyllo sheets, 3/4 cup nut mixture
10 phyllo sheets to end

DO NOT FORGET TO BRUSH EACH PHYLLO SHEET WITH MELTED BUTTER

Nutrition Facts

Coconut Baklava

Amount Per Serving

Calories 221 Calories from Fat 108

% Daily Value*

Fat 12g18%

Saturated Fat 6g30%

Cholesterol 8mg3%

Sodium 133mg6%

Potassium 82mg2%

Carbohydrates 27g9%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 18g20%

Protein 2g4%

Vitamin A 99IU2%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 13mg1%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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