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Overhead shot of a serving of Pumpkin Spiced Baklava

Pumpkin Spiced Baklava

A mixture of nuts, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice give this classic Middle Eastern dessert a great twist.
Begin one day ahead. 
Course Sweets
Cuisine Middle Eastern/Mediterranean
Keyword baklava, maple, pumpkin spice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
soak time 12 hours
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings


Maplely Syrup

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 medium lemon)
  • pinch kosher salt

Pumpkin Spiced Nut Mixture

  • 4 whole honey graham crackers
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped unsalted pecans
  • 1 cup chopped unsalted walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped shelled unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (small roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon see note
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg see note
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger see note
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves see note
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom optional, see note
  • 16 ounce package phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups melted unsalted butter

One (or More) of the Following to Garnish, Optional

  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted dark chocolate


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Prepare the Maple Syrup Mixture

  • In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, vanilla paste (or extract), water, maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt; stir everything together to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil the syrup for 1 minute, then remove it from the heat and set the pan aside to cool. 

Chop the Nut Filling

  • Add the graham crackers, nuts, and all of the spices to your food processor. Pulse everything together for 2-3 minutes, or until the grahams and nuts are very small in size. 
  • Transfer this to a bowl. Set this aside until you're ready to assemble the baklava.

Assemble the Baklava

  • Before you begin assembling the baklava, trim the phyllo dough to the same size as your baking dish using a very sharp knife. 
  • When not assembling the phyllo, be sure to keep it covered in plastic film with a damp towel over the plastic wrap to keep the dough from drying out.  Also, be sure the damp towel or butter doesn't drip onto the phyllo dough- this could cause the sheets to stick together.
  • Use a pastry brush to grease the inside of your baking dish with a small amount of the melted butter. 
  • Lay the first cut sheet of phyllo dough into the baking dish. Brush a thin layer of butter onto the sheet of phyllo and cover that sheet with a second sheet of phyllo. It may tear until you get the hang of its delicacy, just try to be light with your touch. Place a third sheet of phyllo on top of this buttered sheet.
    Continue this buttering of sheets until you have 10 sheets of phyllo, each separated by a thin layer of melted butter.
  • Sprinkle a handful (3/4 cup) of the ground nuts onto the surface of the phyllo. Spread out the nuts into an even layer using your fingers.
  • Repeat the process of assembling the layers by placing a sheet of phyllo onto the ground nut mixture. Lightly brush the phyllo with melted butter. Place another sheet of phyllo on top of the butter sheet. Repeat the buttering/layering until you have 5 sheets of phyllo this time.
  • Sprinkle another 3/4 cup of nuts, and begin the layering process over again (5 buttered sheets between each measurement of nuts).
  • After you've run out of the nut mixture, begin the final (10 sheet) layer of phyllo dough. If you have remaining sheets after you've placed the tenth sheet, save them for another recipe or discard them. 
  • When fully assembled, you should have 6 layers of phyllo: 10 phyllo sheets>nuts>5 sheets>nuts>5 sheets>nuts>5 sheets>nuts>5 sheets>nuts>10 sheets.
    Brush the top sheet of phyllo with the remaining melted butter.

Cut and Bake

  • Use a very sharp knife to cut the baklava into 1-2" diamonds. 
  • Bake the baklava in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until the top of the baklava is a deep golden brown.

Soak and Serve

  • Remove the fully baked baklava from the oven and, using a small ladle, immediately spoon the cooled the maple syrup mixture onto the surface of the hot baklava. 
  • Allow the baklava to fully absorb the maple syrup mixture for a minimum of 8 hours (preferably overnight) prior to serving. Cover lightly with a tea towel or foil while it soaks.
  • Once the baklava has soaked and you're ready to serve, garnish it with or without the suggested garnishes.
  • Serve this baklava at room temperature.


  • Use 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of the other spices, if you prefer. 
  • Any combination of unsalted nuts may be used. 
  • If you prefer, honey may be substituted in place of the maple syrup.
  • Baklava is good, stored on the counter, for up to 1 week.
  • Cover the dessert with a tea towel to prevent it from drying out or getting too soggy.