Authentic Albanian Baklava Recipe - A Delicious Dessert from Albania

Albanian Baklava

Authentic Albanian Baklava Recipe - A Delicious Dessert from Albania
Region / culture: Albania | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Servings: 12


Albanian Baklava
Albanian Baklava

Albanian Baklava is a delectable dessert that is deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of Albania. This sweet, rich pastry is made of layers of filo dough, filled with crushed walnuts, and soaked in a lemon-infused syrup. It's a popular treat in Albania, especially during festive occasions and religious celebrations. This recipe offers a step-by-step guide to creating this delightful dessert at home, bringing a taste of Albanian culture to your kitchen.


The origins of Baklava are not entirely clear, with several countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean claiming it as their own. However, the version that has become popular in Albania is believed to have been introduced during the Ottoman Empire's rule in the region. Over the years, it has been adapted to suit local tastes, with variations in the nuts used and the sweetness of the syrup. The Albanian Baklava, with its rich layers and fragrant syrup, is a testament to the country's culinary heritage and its ability to blend different cultural influences.


  • 0.5 kg (approximately 18 oz) of pre-made rolled dough
  • 200 g (approximately 7 oz) of crushed walnuts
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of water

How to prepare

  1. Spread the rolled filo sheets one at a time and brush each with melted butter. Every 10 sheets, sprinkle with walnuts and cover with another layer of filo.
  2. Cut the baklava into equal squares or diamond shapes.
  3. Cover the baklava with melted butter and bake it in a hot oven. Afterwards, let it cool.
  4. Prepare the syrup by combining the given amounts of water and sugar.
  5. Let the syrup boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Before removing the syrup from the heat, add the juice of half a lemon.
  7. Let the syrup cool for about 0.75 minutes, then pour it over the baklava.


  • There are several variations of Albanian Baklava that incorporate different nuts such as pistachios or almonds, or even a mixture of nuts for a more complex flavor. Some versions also include spices like cinnamon or cloves in the syrup for an added depth of flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Albanian Baklava turns out perfectly, here are some tips and tricks:

- Make sure the filo dough is fully thawed but still cold before you start working with it. This makes it easier to handle.

- Keep the filo dough covered with a damp cloth while assembling the baklava to prevent it from drying out.

- Use a sharp knife to cut the baklava before baking. This makes it easier to serve once it's cooked.

- Pour the syrup over the baklava as soon as it comes out of the oven. This helps the pastry absorb the syrup better, making it perfectly moist.

Serving Suggestions

Albanian Baklava is best served at room temperature or slightly warmed. It can be enjoyed on its own or with a cup of strong, black coffee to balance the sweetness. For a festive presentation, garnish each piece with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or chopped pistachios.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in making Albanian Baklava is the careful layering of the filo dough and nuts, ensuring that each layer is evenly buttered. This creates the distinct flaky texture and rich flavor of the baklava.

Ingredient Substitutions

For those with nut allergies, the walnuts can be substituted with seeds, such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds, to maintain the crunchy texture. For a vegan version, use plant-based butter and ensure the filo dough is vegan.

Make Ahead Tips

Albanian Baklava is an excellent make-ahead dessert as it needs time to soak up the syrup and develop its flavors. It can be made 1-2 days in advance and stored at room temperature until ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the baklava on a decorative plate, garnished with extra chopped nuts or a dusting of powdered sugar. For an elegant touch, drizzle with a little honey or serve alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Pairing Recommendations

Albanian Baklava pairs beautifully with a variety of beverages. Try it with a glass of dessert wine, such as Muscat, or a traditional Albanian raki. For a non-alcoholic option, a strong, dark coffee or mint tea complements the sweetness perfectly.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover baklava covered at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you prefer it warm, gently reheat in the oven at a low temperature for a few minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Albanian Baklava is quite calorie-dense, containing approximately 300-400 calories. The majority of these calories come from the carbohydrates and fats in the dessert.


A single serving of Albanian Baklava is rich in carbohydrates, primarily from the sugar and filo dough. Each serving contains approximately 45-60 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from simple sugars due to the syrup, making baklava a high-energy dessert.


The fat content in Albanian Baklava comes mainly from the walnuts and the butter used in the layers of filo dough. A serving can contain between 10-20 grams of fat, with a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats. Walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.


Albanian Baklava is not a significant source of protein, with each serving containing about 3-5 grams. The protein present comes from the walnuts and, to a lesser extent, the filo dough.

Vitamins and minerals

This dessert provides small amounts of vitamins and minerals, primarily from the walnuts. These include vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium, which are essential for health.


The main allergens in Albanian Baklava are gluten (from the filo dough) and nuts (from the walnuts). It's also worth noting that this dessert contains dairy (from the butter), making it unsuitable for those with lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy.


Albanian Baklava is a rich, sweet dessert that is high in carbohydrates and fats. While it does provide some beneficial nutrients from the walnuts, it is best enjoyed in moderation due to its high calorie and sugar content.


Albanian Baklava is a rich, sweet, and indulgent dessert that is perfect for special occasions or as a treat to enjoy with family and friends. With its layers of flaky filo dough, fragrant syrup, and crunchy walnuts, it's a delightful showcase of Albanian culinary traditions. By following the tips and variations provided, you can customize this recipe to suit your taste and dietary needs, making it a versatile addition to your dessert repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately drawn to it. It was a warm summer day and I was visiting my dear friend Maria, who had recently returned from a trip to Albania. She was raving about the delicious food she had tried there and insisted that I had to try making Albanian Baklava.

Maria handed me a handwritten recipe that had been passed down through her family for generations. It was written in beautiful cursive handwriting and was filled with detailed instructions on how to make the perfect baklava. I could tell that this was a special recipe, one that had been treasured and perfected over time.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn how to make Albanian Baklava and I immediately set to work gathering the ingredients. The recipe called for layers of phyllo dough, chopped nuts, sugar, butter, and a sweet honey syrup. It seemed like a daunting task, but I was determined to give it a try.

As I began to assemble the baklava, I could feel the love and tradition that went into making this dessert. The layers of phyllo dough were delicate and required a gentle touch to avoid tearing. I carefully brushed each layer with melted butter, sprinkled on a generous amount of chopped nuts, and repeated the process until the pan was filled to the brim.

Once the baklava was assembled, I poured the sweet honey syrup over the top, allowing it to seep into every nook and cranny. The aroma that filled my kitchen was intoxicating, a blend of buttery pastry, toasted nuts, and sweet honey that made my mouth water in anticipation.

After baking the baklava to golden perfection, I let it cool before cutting it into diamond-shaped pieces. The first bite was pure heaven, a symphony of flavors and textures that danced on my taste buds. The crunchy phyllo dough gave way to a rich nutty filling, all drenched in a sticky sweet syrup that brought it all together.

I couldn't believe that I had made something so delicious and authentic. The recipe for Albanian Baklava had truly captured my heart and I knew that it would become a staple in my repertoire.

Over the years, I have made Albanian Baklava countless times, each batch better than the last. I have shared the recipe with friends and family, passing on the tradition that Maria had shared with me. It has become a favorite dessert for holidays and special occasions, a treat that never fails to impress.

As I sit here now, reminiscing about the first time I made Albanian Baklava, I am filled with gratitude for the culinary journey that this recipe has taken me on. It has connected me to a culture and tradition that I may never have experienced otherwise, and for that, I am truly thankful.

So, if you ever find yourself craving a taste of Albania, I urge you to give this recipe a try. I promise that you won't be disappointed. Just remember to handle the phyllo dough with care, sprinkle on plenty of nuts, and drizzle on that sweet honey syrup. And most importantly, enjoy every bite of this delicious and time-honored dessert.


| Albanian Desserts | Albanian Recipes | Pastry Recipes | Walnut Recipes |

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