Pumpkin-Spiced Baklava is a fun variation of the traditional baklava. Pumpkin and pecans are layered in-between layers of flaky phyllo dough to create an irresistible fall dessert.
When we visited Greece, I got my hands on a piece of baklava that was probably three inches tall! This thing was huge! And so delicious...with those flaky layers of phyllo dough drenched in a sweet honey syrup. To die for. I knew this would be one of those recipes I'd have to replicate at home, but this time with a "pumpkin spice" twist featuring pumpkin, pecans, and fall spices.
🍴 What is Baklava?
If you aren't familiar with baklava, it is a traditional dessert commonly enjoyed in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. While there are tons of different variations of this treat, baklava consists of layers of phyllo dough, nuts, butter, and sugar, and depending on the variety lemon juice or honey.
- Pumpkin puree: You must have pumpkin puree in this recipe. Do not try to substitute it for pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has added flavors like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and sugar, so the results will not be the same, and the dish will turn out overly sweet.
- Brown sugar
- Nutmeg and Cloves: I only add a dash of nutmeg and cloves in this recipe since the two spices can be rather overpowering and strong. Feel free to increase the amounts listed if you really like the flavor.
- Phyllo dough
- Butter: Omit the added salt if you use salted butter rather than unsalted.
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract: I recommend using a pure vanilla extra, rather than imitation, for the best flavor. I love this one!
- Prepare the baklava and slice it into pieces before baking.
2. Bake until golden brown and crispy.
3. Top with honey syrup.
4. Enjoy a sweet, crispy piece of baklava!
While I always love a good ol' piece of classic baklava, this Pumpkin-Spiced Baklava is the perfect excuse for enjoying another pumpkin dessert. It could even be a fun addition to the usual pumpkin pie served at Thanksgiving!
Greek baklava is made with honey, walnuts, and cinnamon, while Turkish baklava is made with pistachios and sugar syrup made with lemon juice.
When you pour the syrup on top of the baklava, make sure it is cool! This is key to allowing the syrup to soak into the phyllo. Additionally, allow the baklava to sit for at least one hour before re-cutting it this gives the phyllo layers extra time to soak in the syrup.
Baklava is one of the few desserts that can be made in advance. It can be stored in an air-tight container for up to two weeks on the counter or in the refrigerator.
Now excuse me as I go polish off the last piece of pumpkin baklava in my fridge (I may or may not be guilty of eating half of the 9x13 pan by myself).
🍰 More Dessert Recipes
- Homemade Cannoli
- German Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)
- Stracciatella Gelato
- Lemon Italian Ricotta Cookies
- Dutch Stroopwafels
Pumpkin baklava is a fun variation of traditional baklava. Pumpkin and pecans are layered in-between layers of flaky phyllo dough to create an irresistible fall dessert.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Inactive Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- nutmeg, pinch of
- cloves, pinch of
- 1 package phyllo dough
- ¾ cup butter, unsalted
- 1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread butter on the sides and bottom of a 9x13 pan.
- Place butter in a microwave-safe dish and microwave until melted, about 45 seconds.
- Mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Unwrap the phyllo dough and cut it to the size of the pan. Place on a clean surface and cover with a damp towel to keep them from drying out.
- Lay a sheet of phyllo dough in the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the sheet with butter. Lay another sheet down and brush with butter. Repeat the process 6 more times, brushing butter on each sheet.
- After laying down 8 sheets, spread a layer of the pumpkin puree on top. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Continue by layering four more sheets of phyllo dough on top, brushing butter on each sheet.
- Spread pumpkin puree on the next layer and top with chopped pecans. Continue this process 2 more times until you have 4 pumpkin layers. Lay 8-10 more sheets of phyllo, brushing butter between each sheet.
- Cut the baklava into 4 long rows with a sharp knife and then diagonally 6-8 times. Bake the baklava for 45 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
- While the baklava is baking, combine the honey syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring the syrup to a slow boil and then reduce to a simmer, often stirring for about 5-10 minutes or until syrup just starts to thicken. It should still be a little watery at this point.
- When the baklava is done, immediately pour the honey syrup on top (make sure the syrup is cool first.) Allow to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or on the counter for up to two weeks.
- Serving Size: 1 grams
- Calories: 358
- Sugar: 41
- Sodium: 107
- Fat: 21
- Saturated Fat: 8
- Unsaturated Fat: 12
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 45
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 2
- Cholesterol: 31
Keywords: baklava, fall, pumpkin, dessert