Baklava Cheesecake (Cheesecake τύπου μπακλαβά | Cheesecake tύpoy Mpaklabά )

This Cypriot-style baklava cheesecake recipe combines the best features of both sweet treats into one decadent dessert- a rich and creamy, yet light and fluffy, cheesecake filling is wrapped in layers of crisp, flaky phyllo and spiced crushed nuts, and drenched in a cinnamon and clove-infused honey syrup.  Serve as the sweet finale to a Greek mezze dinner,  or enjoy it a delicious indulgence all on its own.

You can use other nuts besides almonds in this recipe (walnuts and pistachios work particularly well), or try using a blend of nuts (I generally use half walnuts and half almonds). I find that the addition of a couple green cardamom pods also enhances the spice-infused honey syrup, as does a little rosewater (add in once the syrup has cooled to preserve the light floral scent).



  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon

Nut Mixture:

  • 1 cup almonds, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar


  • 6 layers phyllo pastry
  • 100 g. unsalted butter, melted (about 1 stick)
  • 5 Tbsp. nut mixture


  • 500 g. cream cheese
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 250 g. sour cream



1. To make the syrup: Boil all ingredients until reduced to 1 cup; chill in fridge until ready to use (prepare the syrup first).

2. To make the nut mixture: Mix all ingredients together (if using whole nuts, you can pulse ingredients briefly in food processor to crush the nuts).

3. Assemble the base: Brush butter onto base and sides of a 28cm (roughly 11”) spring form pan. Line pan with layers of phyllo pastry, gently pressing phyllo into sides of pan and brushing each layer generously with butter. Trim excess phyllo at edge of pan, drizzling the cut edges with a little butter. Sprinkled 5 tablespoons of the nut mixture evenly across the top of the phyllo.

4. Mix the filling: In a mixer, beat together cream cheese, flour, cornstarch, caster sugar, and vanilla. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating continuously. Add sour cream. Remove from mixer and fold in egg whites.

5. Bake the cheesecake: Pour filling into phyllo base and sprinkle remaining nut mixture on top. Bake at 130° C (about 265° F) for 1 hour 45 minutes. Turn off oven, open door, and allow cheesecake to settle for 10-15 minutes before removing from the oven (the cheesecake will puff up during baking, but will shrink back as it cools). Remove from oven and pour cold syrup over cheesecake. Allow to cool completely before removing from spring form pan.

Cook’s Notes: You can make a substitute for super-fine caster sugar by blitzing regular sugar in a food processor for a few pulses. When working with phyllo, you may find it helpful to keep the sheets covered with a damp kitchen towel to keep the delicate pastry sheets from drying out and becoming brittle while you build the layered baklava crust. If your phyllo does rip, brush the ripped spot lightly with butter and gently pat a little extra phyllo into place (you may end up using more than six sheets of phyllo, but it’s okay). I recommend lining the inside of your spring form pan with a “collar” of parchment paper like you would for a soufflé, since this super-fluffy cheesecake tends to gain a bit of height as it bakes (you don’t want the cheesecake to spill over the edges). A round of parchment placed on the bottom of the pan will also make it easier to remove the cheesecake after baking. Just brush the inside of the pan with butter to help the parchment adhere, and then brush the other side of the parchment with butter to help the phyllo stay in place. When the cheesecake is done, remove the pan, and simply peel away the parchment. If you use the parchment collar to keep your cheesecake from spilling over during baking, you can skip the step of trimming the phyllo before baking- in fact, it’s better if you leave the pastry nice and tall. You can always trim the edges back after baking, and the crumbled bits of crispy pastry can be used to decorate the top of the finished cheesecake before you pour the syrup over it.