The Game-Changing Ingredient To Spice Up Your Baklava

For anyone who's used to making cupcakes and brownies, the thought of making a pastry like baklava from scratch may seem daunting. But the truth is, baklava isn't as complicated as you might think. In fact, it consists of only three main components: phyllo dough, chopped nuts, and honey syrup. From this three-ingredient base, as The Mediterranean Dish shares, you can experiment with all kinds of nuts and different flavors. Middle Eastern baklava, for example, uses rose water in the honey syrup, while Greek baklava is typically spiced with cinnamon. It's common to also use cloves and sugar, and a varying combination of pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts. Taste Atlas adds that Bosnian baklava includes raisins, and some Turkish baklava uses vanilla.

Baklava is already tasty enough in its simplest form — with just phyllo, nuts, and honey — but if you really want to amp up the flavor of your homemade pastry, a bit of seasoning or spice goes a long way.

Try pumpkin pie spice in your baklava

You might assume that pumpkin pie spice should be reserved for, well, pumpkin pie, but it's actually a versatile spice mix, and one that works particularly well in baklava, recipe developer Miriam Hahn told Tasting Table. Pumpkin pie spice, as Live Well Bake Often shares, is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Being that cinnamon and cloves are already traditional baklava ingredients, you don't have to worry about making your baklava taste like a thanksgiving dessert. The addition of ginger, nutmeg, and allspice simply adds an extra layer of warm, rich flavor.

Per Hahn's instructions, pumpkin pie spice is best incorporated into baklava by mixing it with the nuts after they've been toasted. Hahn uses 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon of plain cinnamon per 3 cups of nuts. Once the nuts are seasoned, they can be added to the phyllo dough to ultimately create a delicious batch of baklava.