Arabic Fusion

Baklava Cinnamon Rolls

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One of my favorite Middle Eastern desserts is baklava, specially pistachio baklava. And my favorite American dessert is Cinnamon Rolls. So figured, why not mash them together to make a perfect marriage.  It took a few tries but I nailed it.  No Phyllo dough is required here. You’re basically taking the process of making a cinnamon roll but using a baklava filling/topping.  Check out my recipe below and my video that is embedded as well.

Baklava Cinnamon Rolls

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • ⅓ cup very warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar


  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk (room temperature)
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (may need more or less


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup ground pistachios
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1/4 cup baklava water (see below)

Baklava Syrup/water

  • 2 cups sugar and 1 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosewater


  1. 2-3 cups Powdered Sugar
  2. 1 cup crushed pistachios
  3. 1/2 cup Baklava Syrup


Dough Instructions
  1. In a measuring cup stir together water, ¼ teaspoon sugar, and yeast.
  2. Let mixture sit for a few minutes until it is puffy and foamy.
  3. Add in ½ cup sugar, whole milk, melted butter, almond extract, and eggs.
  4. Mix until combined
  5. Pour yeast mixture into the large bowl and mix them together.
  6. Mix in salt and baking powder.
  7. Pour the wet mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer.

  8. Add the flour and mix within the stand mixer using a dough hook. Mix flour 1 cup at a time.

  9. Once dough has formed place the ball of dough into a large, lightly greased bowl.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm location.
  11. Let sit for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

How to make filling

  1. To make the filling: Combine all the filling ingredients.
  2. Mix well.

How to make Baklava Syrup

  1. Stir the sugar, water, lemon juice over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add honey.  Stop stirring, increase the heat to medium, and cook until the mixture is slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes
  3.  Let cool.

How to assemble

  1. After the dough has risen. Punch the dough down a few times to release the air.
  2. Sprinkle work surface with flour and turn dough onto floured surface.
  3. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a 12×15″ rectangle.

  4. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the filling over the whole dough rectangle.

  5. Starting on the long end, roll the dough up tightly jelly roll style.

  6. In a small bowl mix together brown sugar & cinnamon.
  7. Starting from the end furthest from you, begin tightly rolling up the dough.
  8. When done, place the roll seam-side down, and carefully slice the roll into 12 (1½-inch) sections.
  9. Place the rolls in a greased baking pan,sides touching.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm location to let rise.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until sides of cinnamon rolls are lightly golden.
  13. While rolls are cooking, prepare the glaze by combining all glaze ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.
  14. When cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, let cool for a 10 minutes and then spread on the glaze.
  15. Then eat, eat, eat, eat!

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