Pistachio Baklava Cake

Cake Layer

  • 2 cup Panko or regular bread crumbs (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 cup pistachio, whole and roasted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (5-1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • Orange-scented syrup, recipe to follow
  • 1-1/2 cups pistachios, toasted and ground, for decorating


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350℉. Butter two 6-by-2-inch round cake pans; line each with a circle of parchment paper. Butter paper, and dust pans with flour; tap out excess. Set aside.
  2. In a mini food processor, add panko, pistachio, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Process until finely chopped, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. The mixture should fall in a ribbon rather than a stream. Gently fold in nut mixture by hand with the whisk attachment. Add melted butter in a slow stream and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula.
  4. Divide batter into the prepared pans and bake until cake tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool cake on wire rack for 10 minutes, remove cake from pan and set it on cooling rack. Generously brush syrup on the top and sides of cake, let cool completely. Wash cake pans, to be used in baklava layers.

Bakalva Layer

  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 1 cups pistachio,toasted and ground
  • Orange scented syrup, recipe to follow


  1. Fold phyllo sheets in half along the long edge. Use cake pan as template and cut out 8-inch circles, roughly 1-inch wider than the pan on all sides. (Circles do not have to be perfect.) Cover phyllo with damp towel.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350℉. Brush two 6-by-2-inch round cake pans with melted butter. Place one sheet of phyllo in one pan and fold in edges to fit the pan. Brush with melted butter. Continue this layering and brushing until you have 8 layers of pastry.
  3.  Scatter ground pistachio over the pastry and continue the layering and buttering for 8 more layers. Repeat process with the second pan. Place pan in oven and bake until golden brown and crisp on top. about 30-35 minutes. Remove pan from oven and slowly drizzle 1/4 cup of syrup into each pan. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. While baklava layers are baking, roughly tear/chop up leftover phyllo into chards and brush generously with butter. Spread pastry chards on parchment lined baking sheet. When baklava are done, place baking pan in oven and baking until golden brown, about 18-25 minutes. (Keep a close eye towards the end to avoid burning of pastry.)

Orange-scented Syrup

  • 1 cups (5 ounces) of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 teaspoon rose water
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange flower water


  1. Combine sugar, honey, water and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until slightly thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Stir rose and orange flower water to cool syrup. Add more, a few drops at a time, to taste. (Flavor will mellow out after it sits for a while.)



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