Russian Baklava
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A beloved European dessert gets a fresh new makeover with a handmade flaky dough and layer upon layer of nuts, meringue, butter and honey!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian, European
Serves: 12" x 18" pan
  • 4 cups flour
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Ingredients for Filling
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2½ cups walnuts
Ingredients for soaking
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter
  • ½ cup honey
  1. Separate the egg yolks and egg whites: 4 egg yolks in a medium bowl, 6 egg whites in a separate bowl and 2 egg yolks (for basting on top) save separately in a container.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking powder.
  3. Add sour cream and baking soda to the 4 egg yolks.
  4. Place the flour mixture in the bowl of a mixer. Add the butter cut up in pieces. Mix with a paddle attachment until combined.
  5. Add the sour cream mixture and mix until the sour cream is no longer visible. You will have a very wet, sticky dough. (Mine is made with whole grains so in the photos it looks darker than it would when using all-purpose white flour)
  6. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a 12" x 18" tray and flatten the dough. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to an hour or overnight.
  7. Whip the 6 egg whites in a mixer bowl. Once the egg whites look frothy, add the cream of tartar, then continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Gradually rain in half of the sugar and whip to combine. Set aside.
  8. Pulse ¾ cup of walnuts in a food processor until small bits or chop by hand. Reserve the other ¾ cup for the top by cutting them into quarters. ( This is a great job for kids to help with!) Combine with the rest of the sugar.
  9. Once the dough is chilled, divide it into 4 sections. Work with one section at a time and chill the rest.
  10. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Wind the dough onto your rolling pin and gently place into a baking pan, lined with a parchment sheet.
  11. Combine the whipped egg whites and the walnut mixture. Spread ⅓ of the egg white mixture onto the rolled out rectangle. Repeat 2 more times.
  12. Baste the last layer with the reserved 2 egg yolks mixed with 2 teaspoons water.
  13. Using a sharp paring knife, score the top layer, being careful to only score the top and not cut through all the layers. Score into strips then into diamond shapes. Place a walnut quarter on top of each diamond shape, lengthwise.
  14. Bake @ 375 for 30 minutes.
  15. Take the pan out of the oven, turn the oven temperature to 350. Using a sharp knife cut through the scored lines up until the bottom last layer, not cutting through the bottom layer.
  16. Melt the butter and the honey in 2 separate saucepans.
  17. Drizzle the honey, then butter in between the cut strips. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until a dark golden color. (your house will smell amazing at this point)
  18. My favorite way to unmold the Baklava is to freeze the Baklava in the pan overnight. Once frozen, it's much easier to unmold and cut because the butter and honey gets chilled.
  19. Next day, use a small knife or spatula to loosen the edges. With the help of a cutting board or pan, flip over the baklava. Remove the parchment paper, then flip again.
  20. Use a bench knife or chef knife to cut along the scored lines. Baklava freezes very well, so any extras can be frozen in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
For whole grain version use: 4 ounces rice flour, 2 ounces corn flour, 2 ounces oat flour and 8 ounces soft white wheat.
For Gluten-free: 6 ounces rice flour, 4 ounces oat flour, 2 ounces corn flour, 2 ounces tapioca flour, 2 ounces sorghum flour. Also, add 1 teaspoon guar gum to the dry ingredients.

*This recipe can successfully be cut in half to make a 9"x 13" pan.
Recipe by Welcome 2 Our Table at