Tropical Baklava Recipe

Coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts made all of my vegan baklava dreams come true. Bite through the flaky layers of fillo and this sweet treat transports you to a tropical beach.

I won’t refer to this process as baking, it’s more like just making something, meaning there’s no chemistry for me to screw up. The recipe is  not traditional but you can follow the method and use whatever filling you prefer to create your own perfect baklava masterpiece.

Tropical Baklava Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts make this vegan twist on baklava taste like a tropical vacation.
Serves: 24
  • 1 pound organic fillo dough
  • 3 cups raw macadamia nut pieces
  • 2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 8 rings candied pineapple
  • ¾ cup + 4T coconut oil
  • ½ cup vegan honey
  • ½ cup + 3T ginger syrup
  • 9x13 baking pan
  • pastry brush
  1. Thaw fillo dough according to directions on package and allow to rest in the package at room temperature while you assemble the filling.
  2. Chop candied pineapple rings into a small dice.
  3. Pulse raw macadamia nut pieces in the food processor until finely chopped.
  4. Add nuts, pineapple and shredded coconut to a large mixing bowl.
  5. If you want to be ambitious, you can make your own syrup but I used this awesome ginger syrup.It just gives a nice spike to the sweetness of the dessert.
  6. Mix 4T coconut oil + 3T ginger syrup, pour over nut mixture and mix well.
  7. Fillo dough can be a little tricky to work with since it dries out quickly. Get a damp(not wet) to cover the dough as we assemble the baklava. My towel seemed a little too wet, and I didn’t want the filo to get soggy, so I used a dry towel and then the damp one over it.
  8. Coat a 9x13 baking pan with coconut oil. Make sure you get the sides and corners as well as the bottom of the pan.
  9. Start with 2 sheets of fillo,then brush with coconut oil.
  10. Add another 2 sheets of fillo and brush with oil again.
  11. Continue this process until you have a total of 8 sheets on the bottom layer.
  12. Brushing each layer with coconut oil is really important if you want the end result to be light and flaky. I tried a shortcut method and that ended up being a very expensive mistake. So my advice is take the few extra minutes to brush each layer with oil.
  13. Add a third of the nut mixture and spread evenly in the pan.
  14. Add another 2 sheets of fillo and brush with oil again.
  15. Continue this process until you’ve used all the nut filling.
  16. Cover the nut filling with 2 sheets of fillo and brush with oil.
  17. Add another 2 sheets of fillo and brush with oil again.
  18. Repeat until the top layer has a total of 8 layers of filo.
  19. So you’ve got 8 sheets on the bottom, 3 layers of filling and 8 layers of fillo on top.
  20. Cut the baklava into squares, triangles or diamonds before baking or it will be a disaster if you try and cut it later.
  21. Bake at 350F degrees for 45-50 minutes. The baklava should be a golden brown color.
  22. As soon as you remove the baklava from the oven, pour a mixture of BeeFree Honee+ ginger syrup mixture down the cuts (this will keep the top layer of pastry crisp)
  23. The hardest part will be waiting for at least an hour (preferably 4-6 hours but let’s be real, who can wait that long) for the baklava to soak up all the sweet sexy syrupy goodness.
  24. Store in an airtight container.

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  1. Wondering if this would work with maple syrup instead of the ginger syrup and bee free honey?

  2. Ok, I MUST comment on those…
    My grocery store used to have vegan baklava on stock, really good, sugar free and vegan, then they stopped selling them. Apparently, they didn’t sell much, even though I did my very best (buying them myself and telling all my friends about them). It was sad, but then I found your recipe…
    I made them yesterday and turned out delicious! It took me a while to get to work (I thought it would be really hard) and it was so worth it. My husband said they’re bakery quality!! (and better than the one’s from the store!)
    Thank you for your recipes Cobi! (and for making me discover ginger syrup…yummy!!)

    • Aloha Marta! Isn’t ginger syrup ah-mazing? I’m so glad the recipe wasn’t too intimidating because I have to say, it’s so worth the effort. <3

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