Baklava with Cinnamon and Sunflower Seeds (Nut-Free) - The Chef Upstairs


1 cup shredded coconut  

½ cup dried apricots  

½ cup golden raisins (or currants)  

½ cup sunflower seed  

¼ cup caster sugar (granulated would work too)  

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon  

16 sheets phyllo dough pastry, thawed in the refrigerator  

200 grams unsalted butter, melted (about 8 Tbsp)  

For the Syrup:  

1 tablespoon honey  

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon  

1 teaspoon finely grated orange  

1 cup sugar  


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a (7” x 10”) glass pan. If using a larger pan (9” x 13”) double the recipe ingredients.  

2. Place coconut, apricots, raisins and sunflower seeds in a food processor. Add sugar and cinnamon. Process until finely chopped. Mixture will be clumpy.  

3. Place pastry on clean work surface. Cover with a damp towel to prevent from drying out. Brush 1 sheet pastry with melted butter. Fold in half. Press into pan. Trim excess dough from edges to fit the  side of the pan. Sprinkle ½ cup coconut mixture evenly on top of pastry.  

4. Brush another sheet of pastry with melted butter and fold in half. Press into pan on top of the first layer. Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons coconut mixture. Repeat process this process with remaining pastry sheets, butter, and 2 Tablespoons coconut mixture per layer, trimming edges as you go to fit the side of the pan.  

5. End layering with a pastry sheet buttered and folded in half. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the  stacked layers of pastry into thirds lengthwise. Then cut crosswise diagonally to make 16 diamond shaped pieces.  

6. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 F for about 10-15 more minutes or until golden brown. Note: fruit mixture will darken faster than pastry. 

7. While baklava is baking, make syrup. Place honey, cinnamon, orange rind, sugar and 2/3 cup cold water in sauce pan over medium-heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes or until syrup is slightly thickened. Pour hot syrup over hot baklava. Cool in pan. Serve and enjoy! 

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