Coconut Baklava Recipe

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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

MY NEXT-LEVEL COCONUT BAKLAVA RECIPE

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

5 from 11 votes
close up of a baklava cut into diamond shapes
Coconut Baklava
10
10
10
19
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Cooling Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

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. Preheat oven to 325˚F.

  2. 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.

  3. Grease a jellyroll pan with melted butter. You can also use a 9x13 baking pan, but you will have to cut the phyllo sheets to fit.

  4. 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. 

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

  6. Sprinkle about ¾ cups 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 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.

  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. 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.

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

  12. Remove from oven and let completely cool.
  13. In the meantime, prepare the syrup.
  14. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil; lower heat to a simmer, and continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  15. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  16. Pour the hot syrup over the completely cooled baklava. OR, you can pour cold syrup over hot (just baked) baklava.

  17. 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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63 Responses
  1. Marinela

    Hi Katerina,
    My family and I absolutely love this recipes, and I have made it successfully numerous times!

    I was just wondering whether you made any recent changes to the recipe as for some reason I remember it being 10 phyllo sheets –> filling –> 10 phyllo sheets for a total of 20? Perhaps I read it wrong way back when, and have made it with 20 always! Either way, thank you for this deliciousness!

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi!
      I did update this recipe recently; the recipe before was half of what this one is. I used 20 phyllo sheets in the original recipe, and a bit less filling. You can still make it the other way – it works both ways.

  2. Carol

    Ohh I can’t wait to make this!!! What a great idea with the coconut. I’m making this for mother’s day tomorrow.

  3. Dale

    Hello,

    I don’t like many food blogs, but I do enjoy 2 of them. I really like yours and “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook. Between the two of you, I get so many ideas.
    Keep those recipes coming.

    Dale

  4. Anastasia

    Milk and honey in the stuffing of Baklava is a global prototype. It’s to much to even call that baklava.
    Almonds, walnuts, green pistachios are only acceptable – the rest are just inventions.
    As for th syrup does not include honey in Greek versions and the most accomplished sweet – maker in Greece (and the great masters of baklava in turkey) use hot over hot so the sheet can absorb it and steel remain crunchy.

    1. Val

      Hot syrup over cold baklava OR cold syrup over hot baklava us how I’ve been taught by both Greek and Macedonian aunts and grandmas. I am afraid to deviate from those “ancient teachings”. Lol

  5. jehanne@thecookingdoctor

    That must be the torturous waiting of 6 hours, especially when the bakhlava looks this good!! I am a big fan of bakhlava, and your idea of adding coconut is genius.

  6. Jacqueline

    I’m a big fan of baklava and my family used to buy sheets of it from a Middle Eastern bakery outside Detroit. Since I’ve moved away from the area now is the time to try homemade, and coconut does sound like a brilliant addition!

  7. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen

    Your baklava looks amazing! I love baklava, but have never tried making it myself – thank you so much for the recipe!

  8. Christine

    I just had Baklava for the first time a few weeks ago and it was amazing! As much as this recipe looks amazing, I would probably destroy it. I’m not the world’s best baker and this looks so hard! It’s so good though

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      HI! Yes, absolutely! Pistachios go great with baklava. In fact, you can use any nut you want, but it will alter the taste.

  9. foodwanderings

    This is a complete stroke of genius. My favorite coconut that I associate with my Indian self to the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Baklava. How brilliant. BTW the 1st & last pics, OMG.

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi! Baklava is a very sweet dessert… but if you think it was too sweet, you can eliminate the honey from the mixture and try it that way. 🙂

  10. Ramona

    I love the coconut with that sweet filling… looks heavenly. You cut them perfectly too… I don’t know if I could make such perfect diamonds. 🙂

  11. Kylee

    I pried myself on making the best baklava but when I saw your addition of coconut, I knew it would be an ingredient I would try. I can’t wait to make this!

  12. Laura Dembowski (@piesandplots)

    Love baklava! Homemade is definitely on my to do list. So glad I saw this before I tried it. Coconut sounds fabulous!

  13. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    This baklava rocks! I´ll add it to my soon to-do projects. I´ve been meaning to make one, and coconut sounds so much more interesting. You macedonians have so many great recipes!

  14. A_Boleyn

    I grew up eating my mom’s walnut filled baklava and I’ve found nothing better in the middle eastern bakeries I’ve visited so far but I would like to give a bite of your version a try. 🙂

    I’ve never heard of using milk and honey in the filling though some syrups DO use honey and cardamom as well as the lemon juice. You learn something new every day,I guess.

  15. kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts

    Kate,
    Your inspired addition of coconut sounds divine.
    I’d be delighted to eat this, it looks just delicious.
    I love the angle you chose for the last photo–very nice!

  16. steph@stephsbitebybite

    Oh my. I am drooling over this. I’m totally addicted to baklava and coconut…and to put them together! Eeeekk

  17. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie

    So pretty! I’m always scared to make baklava because I’m convinced I cannot make it look that good

  18. Jerry | Simply Good Eating

    I’m a fan of baklava. Im sure the addition of coconut really makes it that much more delicious 🙂

  19. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen

    Oh, my! Kate, you have outdone yourself by adding coconut to traditional Baklava. LOVE. IT! However, I do prefer the kiss of honey to my homemade Baklava. (Still love me?) You definitely will have me adding coconut! Averie already has me adding chocolate. Now, I’m thinking of adding BOTH! Pinning! xo

  20. Denise Browning@From Brazil To You

    Kate: I love baklava… And with coconut , one of my fav ingredients, I know that I will love it even more. Wow! I so wish there would be a way to receive yours in a box for Mother’s Day. Well, enjoy it. Wishing you a very Happy Mother’s Day. xx

  21. Taking on Magazines

    You rock, my friend. This is one of my most favorite desserts. And, I might add, I make a killer version as well. I’m guessing it’s because we learned to as babes, eh?

    I’ve been told that Greek baklava is different than other countries versions because they use honey, not the simple syrup. I like our way better. The lemon juice really adds. My mom also taught me that you can pour hot syrup on cold baklava or cold syrup on hot baklava, but if they were both the same temperature, the baklava would get soggy. You hear that too?

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Yes!! They can’t be the same temp, and my mom’s words, exactly, “Don’t you dare pour that hot syrup over the hot Baklava!!” That was a few years ago….I was trying to save time. 🙂

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