Today I bring a special dessert! One of the most delicious cheesecakes I’ve ever made! Baklava Cheesecake! With a pistachio and pecan shortbread crust, filled with honey cheesecake, topped with baklava, all baked til golden puffy perfection!
This baklava cheesecake was an idea from my friends @thebiggestbite, a few months ago. And I never was able to get this idea out of my head. See, I have a huge list of things I want to bake. I am so happy I was finally able to get around to making this delicious Baklava Cheesecake.
Honey cheesecake on the bottom, and baklava on top! Guys, this cheesecake was wonderful.
I’d say it’s an intermediate to advanced recipe. It’s really not a *hard* recipe, but having some baking experience will help the process be smooth.
Make the honey syrup! Very easy to make, this is the syrup that will be poured over the baked cheesecake, on top of the baklava. It needs to cool down to room temperature before being poured over the hot Baklava Cheesecake, which is why you should make this first and set aside.
Make the pistachio and pecan shortbread crust. (yes, you can use other nuts such as walnuts, almonds, etc)
Grab handfuls of the shortbread dough and start pressing on the bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased springform pan. Little by little, keep adding pieces of dough, patching it up as you gently press down on the dough and evenly distribute it on the bottom and up the sides.
Let the dough chill in the freezer while you make the rest of the cheesecake.
Make the baklava.
Cut your phyllo pastry sheets the same diameter as the inside of the crust. Mine measured 6″ because I used a 8″ springform pan.
You will use 40 phyllo pastry sheets, but you will have a lot of leftovers from the side trimmings. I suggest making this with the leftovers of phyllo pastry.
The layers of the phyllo pastry sheet circles go like this:
- 10 circles of phyllo pastry*
- 1/4 nut mixture**
- 5 circles of phyllo pastry
- 1/4 nut mixture
- 5 circles of phyllo pastry
- 1/4 nut mixture
- 5 circles of phyllo pastry
- 1/4 nut mixture
- 10 circles of phyllo pastry
*Each circle is brushed with melted butter before the next is placed on top.
**Ground pistachios and pecans and a touch of cinnamon
Refrigerate your baklava before cutting, and before putting it on top of the cheesecake. Or you can freeze it while you make the cheesecake part.
Make the cheesecake portion. This is a honey cheesecake, very simple and easy to make, and very tasty and creamy! Add a touch of cinnamon to the cheesecake if you want to. Totally recommend it!
Place cold baklava on top of the cheesecake, and immediately place the cheesecake in the oven.
The reason why the baklava needs to be cold is so it’s easy to manage.
When you make the cuts on your baklava, make sure you don’t slice all the way down to the bottom. Leave the bottom layer intact so you can move the baklava to the top of the cheesecake easily.
Bake cheesecake for about 1 hour, until the top is golden brown and puffed.
If necessary, protect the sides of the crust with foil, in case they are browning too fast.
Remove from the oven when it looks like this:
Let the cheesecake cool for about 5 minutes. Pour syrup over cheesecake. Do it slowly, waiting for some syrup to be absorbed before pouring some more.
Then let your baklava cheesecake absorb all the syrup and cool down at room temperature before transferring it to the fridge to let it rest overnight.
Look at that Baklava Cheesecake absorbing all of that good honey syrup.
The best part is that some of the syrup is going to soak in the crust, and you will bite into bits of heavenly syrupy flaky shortbread crust! Oh my! I am not joking when I say you are in for a REAL treat!
To decorate the top, I processed some pistachios in the food processor, and topped the cheesecake with some pecans.
Now that I think about it, I have a lot of pecan recipes on my blog!
- Dulce de Leche Pecan Macarons
- Pecan Brownie Pie
- Pecan Macarons
- Pecan Fig Cake
- Pecan and Chocolate Roll Cake
And I also have some recipes with pistachios you can check out:
- Pistachio Cranberry Babka
- Pistachio Macarons
- Fig Pistachio Cheesecake
- Pistachio Donuts
- Orange Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
I guess most of my recipes have either nuts in them, or chocolate. Most likely both. This one has nuts, no chocolate this time!
Creamy cheesecake filling, crispy and sticky baklava pastry, flaky shortbread crust. This Baklava Cheesecake is a nutty, sweet, indulgent dessert!
Here is a list of my favorite Cheesecake Recipes, a couple are mine, and the rest belong to some of my favorite bloggers:
- Salted Caramel Cheesecake (by Sugar Salt Magic)
- White Chocolate Snickers Cheesecake (by Itsy Bitsy Kitchen)
- Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars (by Wild Wild Whisk)
- Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Meringue (by Yoga of Cooking)
- Chocolate and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Pie
- Cookie Dough Cheesecake Brownie
Tips for making this Baklava Cheesecake
- Feel free to use any nuts you want! Such as walnuts, almonds.
- Make sure to brush each circle of phyllo pastry before placing another one on top.
- Don’t drench your circles of phyllo pastry sheet with butter. Use just enough to spread a thin layer.
- Keep the shortbread crust refrigerated, or in the freezer before baking. Same thing with the baklava. Keep it cold at all times before transferring it to the top of the cheesecake before baking.
- Bake for about 1 hour, but make sure to check constantly, and if necessary, cover the crust with foil, in order to protect it from getting too brown.
- Let the syrup soak in fully before adding more. Make sure not to add hot syrup to the Baklava Cheesecake.
Did I mention I baked this Baklava Cheesecake twice before achieving my desired results?
First time I baked it, came out tasting good, but it had too much cheesecake batter in there, and the baklava puffed too much, and I added hot syrup to the cheesecake, and the baklava had puffed too high, so most of it just ran down the sides of the cheesecake, and the baklava itself didn’t absorb any of it. So I needed to make improvements. Reducing the cheesecake recipe by 1/3 did it, and I also made more layers of baklava, which ended up just right for the height of my pan! YAY!
This Baklava Cheesecake recipe has definitely surprised me in the most awesome way. It was hard to resist eating both cheesecakes (the test one, and this one, which were made a couple days apart). My husband and I were just totally swooning over this Baklava Cheesecake. All over it!
I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe! This is a recipe for a special occasion, and it deserves the spotlight! This is the type of cheesecake you bring to someone you love, or someone special!
Have a fabulous day! Thanks for reading!
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- 1/3 cup white sugar 2.33 oz, 66 grams
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup honey
Pistachio Pecan Shortbread Crust
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened (6 oz, 170 grams)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar 3.37 oz, 95.54 grams
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 7.8 oz, 221 grams
- 3/4 cup nuts chopped very finely I used pistachios and pecans
- 1 lb phyllo pastry* 453.5 grams
- 1 cup finely chopped nuts I used pistachios and pecans (4.4 oz, 125 grams)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 4 oz butter melted and cooled (some people use clarified butter*) (113 grams, 1/2 cup)
- 2 cups cream cheese at room temperature (16 oz, 453 grams)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- Place all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring them to a boil over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to medium low heat. Keep stirring as it boils for about 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Pistachio Pecan Shortbread Crust
- Place butter in the mixer bowl. Cream on medium high for 2 minutes. The butter will work best if it’s softened, but not too soft.
- With the mixer off, add powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined. Raise speed to medium-high and cream for 1 minute.
- Add vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Add flour, mix on low until the dough just comes together. Add pistachios and pecans and fold. Don’t over mix the dough.
- Coat a 9 or 8 inch springform pan with a bit of oil, or non-stick spray.
- Now put the crust dough in the pan and start to pat the dough down to line the whole bottom and sides of the springform pan with the crust dough.
- I like to do this a little bit at a time. I grab a little bit of dough and press it down the bottom. Then I grab another bit and keep patching it up, as I lightly press it down with my fingers. If you find the dough is too wet, it’s ok to flour your fingers a little bit, though the dough shouldn’t be that wet to handle.
- Once you’ve covered the sides and bottom of the pan evenly with the cookie dough, place it in the freezer while you work on the cheesecake and the baklava topping.
- Take phyllo dough out of the freezer and let it rest in the fridge overnight to thaw, or for 3 hours at room temperature.
- Mix crushed nuts with cinnamon. Set aside.
- Measure the inside of your crust-lined cheesecake pan. Mine measured 6 inches, because of my thick crust since I used a 8” pan. So I cut a 6” circle out of my phyllo sheets. I used a cake pan to measure the circle and used a knife to cut around it.
- Now, do this over a silicone mat.
- Brush some butter over 1 circle of phyllo dough. Place another circle on top. Brush butter over the entire surface. Don’t drench it, just make sure it’s covered.
- Place another circle on top. Brush with butter again.
- Place another circle on top. Repeat with the butter.
- Repeat with another circle of dough. Do this until you’ve stacked 10 circles of phyllo sheet.
- You will have a total of 10 circles, all buttered and stacked.
- Spread 1/4 of the nuts over.
- Top with another circle of phyllo sheet.
- Butter it. Repeat 4 more times. You will have a total of 5 phyllo sheets, stacked and buttered.
- Spread another 1/4 cup of nuts on top of the last buttered circle.
- Top with another layer of 5 sheets, all buttered and stacked.
- Spread another 1/4 cup of nuts on top. Followed by another set of 5 sheets buttered and stacked.
- Spread the final amount of nuts over the top of the dough. Now top it with a layer of 10 sheets of phyllo, all buttered.
- 10 sheets of phyllo, 1/4 cup of nuts, 5 sheets of phyllo, 1/4 cup nuts, 5 sheets of phyllo, 1/4 cup nuts, 5 sheets of phyllo, 1/4 cup nuts, 10 sheets phyllo.
- You will use all 40 sheets, but will have a lot of side trimmings, big ones, look at my recommendation above on what to do with those!
- Now place this tray with the baklava in the freezer. Let it rest there until the butter becomes solid.
- Remove from the freezer after about 30 minutes.
- Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the baklava in 8 wedges, but don’t run the knife all the way down, stop before you reach the bottom layers, so this way you can easily move the baklava to the top of the cheesecake when it’s time.
- Keep this cold until it’s time to use it. So if you have to make your cheesecake batter, place the baklava in the fridge so it stays sturdy.
- Now it’s time to make the cheesecake.
- Once your syrup has been already cooling down, the baklava is assembled and kept cold, and the crust is also resting in the freezer, then it’s time to start making the cheesecake.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Cream on medium-high for 2 minutes, until very fluffy and smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides of the pan.
- Add honey, mix until combined.
- Add sour cream, mix until incorporated.
- Now add egg and egg yolk.
- Mix until completely incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Add vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Pour smooth batter over the cold crust lined springform pan.
- Grab the baklava out of the fridge and place it on top of the cheesecake. Try to be gentle. If you have to, trim the sides of the baklava if it isn’t fitting.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 1 hour, maybe you will have to cover the crust sides with foil midway baking. If the top of the crust is browning too fast, you might want to create shields with aluminum foil and cover just the crust part, so it doesn’t burn. Make sure the crust is already baked before you place foil over it, or you might damage it.
- Reduce temperature to 325F if the top is browning too fast.
- Cheesecake will be ready between 60-80 minutes of baking. The baklava will have puffed up and will be golden and brown.
- Remove from the oven. Let the cheesecake sit for 5 minutes.
- Pour syrup over the top of the baklava.
- Wait for some of the syrup to be absorbed before pouring more syrup in.
- Take it slow.
- The crust will be delicious in the bits that absorb this honey syrup. Gah you’re in for such a treat!
- Let cheesecake cool down, and then place it in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours before serving.
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.