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Coconut Baklava Recipe

This Coconut Baklava is a decadent twist on traditional baklava! Flaky layers of phyllo sheets are filled with shredded coconut and chopped walnuts, then drenched in honey syrup.

If you’re looking for a more traditional recipe, check out My Family’s Traditional Baklava!

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.

diamond cut out baklava

What’s in this Baklava Recipe?

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!

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

For the Baklava:

  • Shredded Coconut
  • Walnuts – You could also use pistachios or macadamia nuts.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Milk
  • Honey
  • Phyllo Sheets – This is NOT the same as puff pastry so be sure to use phyllo dough.
  • Butter

For the Simple Syrup:

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Lemon Juice – Use fresh lemon juice, not from a bottle.
baklava in a baking pan cut into diamonds

How to Make Coconut Baklava

Prep. Preheat the oven to 325˚F.

Make the nut mixture. 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.

Assemble the Baklava: For step-by-step photos, check out this baklava recipe. Even though the recipes are different the assembly method is the same.

  • 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. 
  • Grease a jellyroll pan with melted butter. You can also use a 9×13 baking pan – cut the phyllo sheets to fit it.
  • Layer 10 pieces of Phyllo sheets inside the pan, brushing each sheet with melted butter before adding the next.
  • Sprinkle a bit of the coconut mixture over the layered phyllo sheets.
  • Continue to layer 5 more phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with butter before adding the next.
  • Sprinkle with more of the nut mixture. Repeat this 2 more times.
  • Finish the baklava with a layer of 10 phyllo sheets – brushing each sheet with butter – and finally, brush the top with more melted butter.
  • 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.

Bake. Bake the baklava until golden on top, about 50-ish minutes.

Prepare the Syrup. 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.

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

Cool. Finally, let stand in a cool dry place, uncovered, for 6 hours or overnight.

side view of cut up baklava in a baking pan

More Coconut Desserts to Try

Coconut Lime Ricotta Cake {Flourless} | www.diethood.com | Bright, light and incredibly delicious Coconut Lime Cake made with ricotta cheese and almond meal. Just like that classic Coconut Lime Cake, but better! AND gluten free!

Coconut Lime Ricotta Cake {Flourless}

Banana Coconut Cream Pie | www.diethood.com | Flavorful and luscious Cream Pie made with Cream of Coconut and Bananas

Banana Coconut Cream Pie

Chocolate Cake and Coconut Milkshake www.diethood.com

Chocolate Cake and Coconut Milkshake

Strawberry Coconut Oatmeal Crunch Pie | www.diethood.com | This amazing, sweet, yet healthy Strawberry Coconut Oatmeal Crunch Pie combines a crust made of shredded coconut, quick oats, and cereal flakes, topped with a silky strawberry sauce and sliced, fresh strawberries. | #pie #recipe #breakfast

Strawberry Coconut Oatmeal Crunch Pie

How to Store

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 It?

  • 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 Success

  • 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.
  • Use a damp paper towel. 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.
  • Use that butter! 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

Katerina | Diethood
This Coconut Baklava is the best baklava around. Flaky layers of phyllo sheets filled with an incredibly delicious honey coconut mixture.
5 from 11 votes
Servings : 30 Serves
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cooling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins

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
 

  • Preheat oven to 325˚F.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Layer 10 pieces of Phyllo sheets inside the pan, brushing each sheet with melted butter before adding the next.
  • Sprinkle about ¾ cups of the coconut mixture over the layered phyllo sheets.
  • Continue to layer 5 more phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with butter before adding the next.
  • 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.
  • Finish the baklava with a layer of 10 phyllo sheets – brushing each sheet with butter – and finally, brush the top with more melted butter.
  • 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.
  • Bake for 55 minutes, or until golden on top.
  • Remove from oven and let completely cool.
  • In the meantime, prepare the syrup.
  • 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.
  • Pour the hot syrup over the completely cooled baklava. OR, you can pour cold syrup over hot (just baked) baklava.
  • Let stand in a cool dry place, uncovered, for at least 6 hours or overnight.

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

Calories: 221 kcal | Carbohydrates: 27 g | Protein: 2 g | Fat: 12 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Cholesterol: 8 mg | Sodium: 133 mg | Potassium: 82 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 18 g | Vitamin A: 99 IU | Vitamin C: 1 mg | Calcium: 13 mg | Iron: 1 mg | Net Carbs: 26 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Balkans, Macedonian
Keyword: baklava, coconut recipes
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