Easy Mediterranean Rolled Baklava

Pieces of Mediterranean rolled baklava served on a copper plate with Turkish coffee.

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This easy Mediterranean baklava uses buttery fillo sheets that are rolled up with a lemony walnut filling and sweetened with syrup.  It is easier and quicker to make than the traditional layered baklava, so if you’re new to working with fillo pastry, this recipe is for you!

 

 

I think I was 40 when I finally challenged myself to make baklava and this rolled version was easier than I’ve anticipated. All these years I was intimidated by fillo just to find out it is not rocket science.

 

This rich, sweet pastry dessert is traditional to Bosnian cuisine as much as it is to the rest of the Balkans, the Mediterranean and The Middle East.

 

Easy to make, Mediterranean rolled #baklava is perfect for when you're just starting using #fillo pastry. #phyllo #filo #pastry #walnuts #Mediterranean Click to Tweet

 

HERE’S WHY YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE IT:

 

  • This rolled baklava takes less time to make, so you don’t have to worry about the fillo sheets drying out before you’re done.
  • With just a few ingredients you will get a delicious dessert that everyone loves!
  • Baklava is a great dessert for any celebratory table but also the perfect treat to gift or to take to potlucks and parties.
  • It is easy to make but tastes and looks like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen.

 

Rolls of Mediterranean baklava stacked on a plate.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR ROLLED BAKLAVA:

 

  • This Mediterranean baklava uses just a handful of simple ingredients:
  • Fillo dough
  • Walnuts
  • Cream of wheat (bread crumbs or graham cracker crumbs)
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Lemon

 

Mediterranean sweet treat with walnuts and fillo pastry.

 

HOW LONG CAN BAKLAVA LAST?

 

Since baklava doesn’t have perishable ingredients, it will keep fresh and crisp for up to two weeks at room temperature if stored in an airtight container. Refrigerated baklava will last longer but will become a bit chewy.  

 

HOW DO I MAKE ROLLED BAKLAVA?

 

  1. Make the syrup – boil water, sugar, and lemon slices until syrupy. Let cool completely.
  2. Prepare the filling – chop the walnuts and mix with sugar, lemon zest, and milk.
  3. Make the fillo rolls – layer and butter two sheets of fillo dough pastry. Add the walnut mixture and roll up tightly. Bake until golden brown, pour with syrup, cool, slice, and enjoy!

 

Four-steps photos to making rolled baklava.

 

PRO TIPS/RECIPE NOTES:

 

  • For fillo dough, we recommend this brand. If you’re using fillo by a different brand, keep in mind that sheets are smaller, thinner, and thus more fragile. You might want to use three layers for each roll, and you might end up with more than four rolls to use up all the filling.
  • You can roll up the fillo from either the short or long side, depending on the brand and size of fillo sheets you’re using. Your goal is to fit the rolls into your baking sheet.
  • You might find your fillo sheets torn a little. Don’t worry – just rotate/flip the sheets when layering, so that no two tears are on the same spot.
  • If you wish, add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the filling.
  • You can also cut the baklava before baking. This will speed up the baking process.  
  • Never pour hot syrup over the hot baklava. Your baklava will turn into a mush. Always use the syrup cooled down to room temperature to pour over the hot baklava.

 

Three pieces of rolled baklava on a blue background.

 

OTHER BAKLAVA RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE:

 

STEP BY STEP BAKLAVA RECIPE

BAKLAVA ICE CREAM IN FILLO CUPS

NUT-FREE RASPBERRY BAKLAVA

BAKLAVA CHEESECAKE 

 

Crunchy walnuts inside crispy fillo sheets.

 

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Picking up a piece of rolled baklava from the stack.

 

 

ESSENTIALS

for Mediterranean Rolled Baklava


 


Pieces of Mediterranean rolled baklava served on a copper plate with Turkish coffee.
Print Recipe

Mediterranean Rolled Baklava with Walnuts

This favorite Mediterranean treat is made by rolling walnut filling into sheets of fillo dough. An easy and delicious baklava recipe even for a novice baker!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 12
Author: Jas

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 sheets of fillo dough thawed (we love Fillo Factory's dough)
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup cream of wheat substitute with plain bread crumbs or graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter melted

Syrup

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine 3 cups sugar, lemon slices, and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar dissolves and the mixture is syrupy about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • With a food processor, chop 2 cups of walnuts using short pulses until finely chopped. In a large bowl, combine the walnuts, 1 cup cream of wheat, 4 tablespoons sugar, and lemon zest. Add milk and stir until the mixture is slightly moist.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Unroll the fillo dough. Trim the whole stack, if necessary, to fit the 13x9-inch pan. The easiest way to do this is with a pair of scissors. Cover phyllo sheets with a clean cloth to keep from drying out as you work. If you work fast enough, you don't need to cover it.
  • Place one sheet of dough on a clean surface and lightly brush with melted butter. Repeat with another fillo sheet. Place 1/4 of the walnut mixture along one side of the sheets, and roll them up as tightly as you can. Repeat the process with remaining fillo and walnuts.
  • Place the rolls on an ungreased baking sheet and pour evenly with the remaining butter. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
  • Oven temperature varies, so keep an eye on the baklava. It is done when it’s golden brown in color.
  • Remove from the oven and turn the oven off! Pour cooled syrup immediately over baklava making sure you pour all over. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let baklava cool for a few hours or until the syrup is set in. Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut the rolls diagonally into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy!

RECIPE NOTES:

  • For fillo dough, we recommend this brand. If you're using fillo by a different brand, keep in mind that sheets are smaller, thinner, and thus more fragile. You might want to use three sheets for each roll and you might end up with more than 4 rolls in order to use up all the filling.
  • You can roll up the fillo from either the short or long side, depending on the brand and size of fillo sheets you're using. Your goal is to fit the rolls into your baking sheet.
  • Your fillo sheets might be torn a little. Don't worry - just rotate/flip the sheets when layering, so that no two tears are on the same spot.
  • If you wish, add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the filling.
  • You can also cut the baklava before baking. This will speed up the baking process.  
  • Never pour hot syrup over the hot baklava. Your baklava will turn into a mush. Always use the syrup cooled down to room temperature to pour over the hot baklava.
Tried this recipe?Snap a photo and mention @all_thats_jas or tag #allthatsjas on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

NUTRITIONS:

Nutrition Facts
Mediterranean Rolled Baklava with Walnuts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 957 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 936mg39%
Potassium 269mg8%
Carbohydrates 166g55%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 54g60%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 15IU0%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 154mg15%
Iron 11.5mg64%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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Jas

publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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6 Comment

  1. […] dough, although it is not quite the same. Store-bought phyllo dough is great for layering like in baklava but it’s not flexible to be rolled up like traditional […]

  2. […] can form it into pocket shapes, triangles, and even roll them into tight ropes like I did in this old […]

  3. Reply
    Ron
    April 30, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Jas, I like the rolled concept. Also, yours looks to be not as oily as some of the Middle Eastern varieties I’ve tried and that’s good. I wonder if you could make a nut free version using toasted sunflower seeds.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      May 1, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you, Ron! Yes, you could use pumpkin or sunflower seeds and even oatmeal (might not be as crunchy though).

  4. Reply
    Mother of 3
    May 4, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Perfect timing! My sons just tried baklava for the first time this week and my middle son wanted to try baking some.. I had no idea how to begin, never having made it myself. Pinned!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      May 6, 2019 at 10:26 am

      That makes me happy! Hope your sons will enjoy baking it! Thanks for stopping in!

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