Baklava Cheesecake

Baklava Cheesecake

So, here’s a question that makes my head spin. 

“What’s your favorite dessert of all time?” 

I usually follow this up with an uncomfortable pause, an “umm…” or two and then I get red in the face because dessert is my LIFE and I should have a solid answer for this question. 

“I’m still deciding.”

I know. Bor-ing. I’m just not ready to commit!  But I can tell you this. Cheesecake is in my top 5, and this Baklava Cheesecake is definitely in my top 10. 

Baklava Cheesecake

I was inspired by this recipe, and decided to re-work it a little. I thought it best to incorporate Greek yogurt into the cheesecake batter (that makes sense, right?) and ground walnuts can almost always use the loving touch of a little salt. I also made an embarrassing amount of honey syrup for drenching this filo covered cake, mostly because – have you ever had dry baklava?  Ugh. I don’t even want to talk about it.

Baklava Cheesecake

I used my 7-inch spring-form pan made by Nordic Ware for this cheesecake. It worked well, though I was worried half way through baking because it puffed up over the edge of the pan. I’m suggesting the use of an 8-inch pan in the recipe below. It will provide a little more room for the batter and 7-inch pans aren’t a standard size (but personally, I love them and use. mine. often!).

Baklava Cheesecake

This is a must-try if you’re a baklava lover! The cheesecake is rich and creamy with the addition of Greek yogurt, and it is rippled with cinnamon-walnut filling. The flaky filo layers on top provide a nice, satisfying crunch. If you’re making this for a party or gathering, be sure to place the extra drenching syrup in a gravy boat or pitcher beside the cake. Guests can pour additional syrup onto their individual slices. 

Baklava Cheesecake

Baklava Cheesecake

Heather Baird
Make the honey drenching syrup first. It needs to reduce on the stove top for 20 minutes and then cool completely. For the cheesecake portion, I used nonfat honey-flavored Greek yogurt, but I’m sure full fat would be wonderful, too. You may also choose to use almonds or pistachios in place of the walnuts in the nut filling, or use a combination of all the above!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
4 hours chilling time 4 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Greek
Servings 10

Ingredients
 
 

Cinnamon-honey drenching syrup

  • 1 cup granulated sugar 8 oz
  • 1 1/3 cups water 10.7 oz
  • 1 cup honey 250 ml
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cheesecake

  • 6 oz. walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 packages 20 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 5.3 oz. containers or 300g total Greek yogurt, honey flavor (or plain)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 6 oz.
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter melted (4 oz.)
  • 12-14 sheets filo pastry

Instructions
 

Syrup

  • Stir together the sugar, water and honey in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 20-25 minutes until reduced and syrupy. You should have around 1 3/4 to 2 cups of liquid after cooking. This amount doesn’t have to be exact, as long as you’re somewhere at or in between. Remove syrup from heat and stir in cinnamon. Let cool completely.

Cheesecake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 5-8 minutes in the oven. Let cool, then place 5 oz. of the nuts in a food processor and process in quick bursts until finely chopped. You can also chop them finely with a chef’s knife. Transfer the 5 oz. finely chopped nuts to a medium bowl and add 1/2 cup of the drenching syrup, salt and cinnamon. Stir together and set aside. Reserve remaining 1 oz. walnuts for later use.
  • Process cream cheese, Greek yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract together in the bowl of a food processor. Scrape down sides of the bowl if needed. Process until completely smooth. Add the eggs and process again. Let rest in the bowl while you prepare the filo crust.
  • Reduce oven heat to 325°F. Release the collar from an 8-inch spring-form pan. Tear off a sheet of parchment paper and place over the base, then re-attach the collar, allowing the baking paper to stick out the bottom edges (see photo). Place the filo sheets on a clean work surface. Working quickly, lightly brush a sheet with butter then fold in half. Lay the sheet inside the pan allowing one end of the pastry to overhang the top edge of the spring-form pan. Repeat process with 9 more sheets of filo; turn and overlap the pieces until the bottom of the pan is completely covered. Cover the remaining sheets of filo with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for later use.
  • Pour cheesecake batter into the prepared pan. Use a spoon to place dollops of the reserved walnut filling on top of the cheesecake batter. Some dollops will sink to the bottom, some will sit on top of the batter, so don’t worry too much about this part looking perfect. The filling will create random ripples of walnut in the baked cheesecake (that’s just part of the beauty). Fold the overhanging filo edges onto the cheesecake. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until the center is set. Do not remove cheesecake from the oven – turn off the oven and prop the oven door open (about 5 inches or so) and let the oven cool down completely (about 40 minutes).
  • Remove cheesecake from the oven and re-heat the oven to 350°F. Brush the remaining 2-4 pieces of filo dough with butter and place them in a crumpled fashion on the top middle of the cheesecake. Bake for 8-10 minutes more or until the newly added filo has turned golden. Cool to room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Top cheesecake with drenching syrup and remaining 1 oz. of toasted walnuts. Place leftover syrup in a gravy boat beside the cheesecake. Refrigerate leftovers.

Notes

Source: Adapted from taste.com.AU
Keyword cinnamon honey syrup, filo dough, greek yogurt
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 




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Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
8 years ago

Absolutely gorgeous! You are so inventive and talented.

Cheers,

Rosa

RecipeGirl
RecipeGirl
8 years ago

Seriously creative flavor for a cheesecake! Love it!

http://cakesandsprinkles.blogspot.com/
http://cakesandsprinkles.blogspot.com/
8 years ago

All I can say is…WOAH. 😉

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

I love the use filo here to decorate the cheese cake! stunning as usual.

Annamaria @ Bakewell Junctiom
Annamaria @ Bakewell Junctiom
8 years ago

Fantastic cheesecake! Can't wait to try it.
Annamaria

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

Delicious looking recipe! I think I have to make it.

There are no eggs in the cheesecake? What effect does that have?

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

I am Greek,I live in Greece,I love baklava,I have eaten tones of baklava,I have maken baklava
more than twenty times in my life but T H I S looks A M A Z I N G !!!What a great idea,what a devine presantation!!!Heather,seriously, Y O U
R O C K!!!
Love from GREECE,
Margarita

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
8 years ago

There are three eggs that go in the batter, I just forgot to add when to put them in! This is corrected. Thank you for noticing!

-h

SeeJillBake
SeeJillBake
8 years ago

I.MUST.MAKE.THIS.

Cookbook Queen
Cookbook Queen
8 years ago

You always have the best ideas!! I love baklava and I love cheesecake, this has to be fabulous!!!

Erin
Erin
8 years ago

Looks incredible! I also cannot pick a favorite dessert. I can pick favorites in certain categories (such as favorie pie, cake, cookie, etc), but not one overall.

Monica
Monica
8 years ago

You are so creative, Heather. I'm actually not a fan of cheesecakes (yikes!) but this is a thing of beauty to look at, once again…

vanillasugarblog
vanillasugarblog
8 years ago

H you are crazy talented!
I love this.
Love you!
xoxo!

Sara
Sara
8 years ago

Wow, what a great cheesecake – this looks incredible! 🙂

Gina Stanley
Gina Stanley
8 years ago

"All-time favorite dessert" question is the same as "Who is your favorite child". There is just no way to answer it nicely without pissing someone off. All of your desserts are amazing, but this one in particular is screaming "I need this".
-Gina-

Heather @ Snookies Cakes
Heather @ Snookies Cakes
8 years ago

I have to make this! It looks amazing!

Leah | So, How's It Taste?
Leah | So, How's It Taste?
8 years ago

Whoa, that looks fabulous!

Jenn @ Once Upon a Tier
Jenn @ Once Upon a Tier
8 years ago

Wow! You never cease to amaze me! This looks absolutely decadent.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
8 years ago

Oh my goodness! You have outdone yourself! This is so creative, and really looks dreamy! Yum!!

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

This looks divine! I just purchased your book and absolutely love it!

Sahar Habib
Sahar Habib
8 years ago

What a great idea! This looks divine!

Veronica LaChance
Veronica LaChance
8 years ago

Oh…my…word. Photography:amazing, baklava cheesecake: genious!! And drenched with honey syrup! I'm over here dying! Your recipes never fail to amaze me!! love love love

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

My God, this is a totally in-cre-di-ble idea !!! Amazing. Congrats ! I love your ideas so much…
Bacchis

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

I've never tried baklava but I too do LOVE desserts and LOVE cheesecake so perhaps I should give this a go? 😀
from Emily x

Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough
8 years ago

O. M. G. YUMMM.

(and beautiful!)

Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen
Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen
8 years ago

That's too funny, I thought I was so weird for not having a "favorite" dessert, especially for being someone who bakes so often, so I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

This cheesecake looks insane. Your recipes always tend to take two amazing things and combine them into one outstanding thing. I like that philosophy.

Julia Darling
Julia Darling
8 years ago

That is an absolutely stunning post.

nessa
nessa
8 years ago

This looks great! Love, love, love, all the pictures!

Sunshine - www.cancersurvivor26.blogger.com
Sunshine - www.cancersurvivor26.blogger.com
8 years ago

That looks so good!

Sunshine - www.cancersurvivor26.blogger.com
Sunshine - www.cancersurvivor26.blogger.com
8 years ago

That looks so good!

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

I just love this one…it is so creative. Just returning from istanbul and immersing ourselves in everything baklava…this is so fitting to see right now.

Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen
Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen
8 years ago

Beautiful Baklava Cheesecake, Heather! I've never made a large cake, but I have made mini (personal size) Baklava Cheesecakes. (They're very different. Whew.) You've reminded me to make them soon for the blog. Stunning photos, too, as always! Love the side-by-sides! xo

Julie (pharmbelle85)
Julie (pharmbelle85)
8 years ago

I love baklava. What an amazing idea for cheesecake! Also, considering how important dessert is to you, people just shouldn't ask you to choose 😉 Gorgeous as always!

Melody
Melody
8 years ago

GRAND SLAM! You really hit this one out of the park! My guys will be sooooooo pleased. (Me, not so much — not until somebody invents a lovely GF phyllo… 🙁 )

ashley - baker by nature
ashley - baker by nature
8 years ago

My Greek family will flip out over this baklava cheesecake! It is so stunning and creative.

Tieghan
Tieghan
8 years ago

So incredibly creative. I love it!!

Laura (TLN)
Laura (TLN)
8 years ago

Oh my!!! Looks amazing!

Achu
Achu
8 years ago

Amazing 🙂 Good Idea!!! Loved all your recipes 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

I love baklava, and I love cheesecake, but I never would have thought to put the two together. This recipe looks to die for!

Angela
Angela
8 years ago

Have I ever told you I adore you? Oh, I am sure I have… with every post you make.

AngelaW

Sue
Sue
8 years ago

I have never seen such an amazing cheesecake in my life!!! My mom was Armenian (much of Armenian food is similar to Greek food),and though she was the 7th of 9 children, she was the first to be born in the U.S. Her oldest sister(18 years older) was born in the "old country" and used to make baklava quite frequently, but I never appreciated it. I wish she was still alive so that I could make it with her.

Tamara
Tamara
8 years ago

woow, what an Idea

Taneith Lanyon
Taneith Lanyon
8 years ago

Heather
Baklava plus Cheesecake – you have created sugar coated tingles and i say
'' Thank You ''
Happy Sunday
Taneith
xxx

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

This looks absolutely incredible. You have such amazing ideas!!

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

My mother loves baklava and cheesecake. I like to surprise people on their birthday with a special treat, and this would be just perfect for her. Thanks for sharing!

Hatice
Hatice
8 years ago

Hi Heather ! Strange yet, indeed i' ve been to Greece before, but i never came across with it. So being a Turkish citizen, i' d like to also highlight that baklava is a very traditional Turkish sweet treat which is been reputated for centuries. In our traditions, my grandmoms , my mom and most of the Turkish women bakes baklava for all the special festive days and people present to each other. Especially in Istanbul, you can see a baklava shop in almost every street and it is sold with syrup absorbed. Dry baklava is only purchased when it… Read more »

Karen @ Lemon Grove Cake Diaries
Karen @ Lemon Grove Cake Diaries
8 years ago

I'm like you "I'm not ready to commit" to just one dessert either 🙂 That's the great thing about blogging we can try something new every week! The Baklava Cheesecake looks amazing!

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

Your pics are beautiful and it seems to be delicious!
Thanks for this note and see you

We Are Not Martha
We Are Not Martha
8 years ago

Whoa this is amazing! Baklava AND cheesecake TOGETHER?!?! LOVE.

Sues

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

100% yes, please–these two desserts are definitely in my top 5 as well!