For when you want and you're feeling

Baklava Butter (Walnut and Pistachio Nut Butter)

Mix up your pantry with this recipe for Baklava Butter! Made primarily with ground walnuts and pistachios, it’s a nutty and creamy spread with flavors inspired by the traditional Greek pastry.

side view of a jar with baklava butter on a slate table

Baklava Overview

To begin, what is baklava?

Baklava is a layered pastry dessert made with sheets of phyllo dough and chopped nuts, sweetened with syrup or honey. It was one of the most popular pastries of the Ottoman Empire, and its origins before this have been disputed.
Today, it is a common treat in Iranian, Turkish, Balkan, Greek, and Arab cuisines. It can also be found in regions of Central Asia, Northern Africa, and the South Caucaus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia). Whew!
It is usually prepared by layering sheets of phyllo dough in a large pan and alternating between additions of melted butter, pastry, and chopped nuts. However there are many regional variations and styles.

So, what is baklava butter?

Baklava butter is a nut butter spread made from ground pistachios, walnuts, cashews, maple syrup and cinnamon. It takes its name and flavor inspiration from this special pastry, along with many of its ingredients. Think of it like peanut butter, minus the peanuts.
This recipe is an inspired take and not meant to mimic true baklava.

side view of a triangle of baklava with whole pistachios
Here is an example of a piece of baklava with whole pistachios!

What does it taste like?

Baklava butter tastes like the filling of the pastry – it has warming notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, a touch of sweetness from pure maple syrup, and tons of nutty depth from toasted pistachios and walnuts. Cashews add richness and body, nearly mimicking the actual butter and vegetable oil in the pastry. And don’t forget that hint of salt at the end, which brings everything together.

side view of an open glass jar of pistachios

Some Details on the Ingredients You’ll Need

Cashews – If possible, use raw nuts as we will be roasting them all together. Cashew whole or half pieces will work.

Pistachios – I prefer to buy shelled pistachios and take the shells off at home (it’s cheaper and their color is more vibrant. However if this is not an option for you, pre-shelled is just fine.

Walnuts – Whole or half pieces will also work here (always be sure to store nuts in the fridge or freezer as they have a tendency to spoil.

Vanilla extract – Pure vanilla extract is best here as it adds just a hint of warmth and a flavor we associate with sugar.

Sea Salt – As always, this helps bring out the flavors of everything else.

Spices: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and/or Cardamom – I definitely recommend adding cinnamon here, but feel free to omit nutmeg and/or cardamom if it’s not available to you. All of these flavors play off of each other for ~cozy vibes~.

Maple Syrup – This is optional! If you decide to add it (I normally do because, yum), be sure to stir in BY HAND after the food processor has created the smooth nut butter. Any kind of liquid processed alongside the nuts can react with their natural oils and cause a nut butter like this to “seize.” This would render it an unappealing texture that is hard to come back from.

overhead shot of a jar of baklava butter with a knife stuck in it

What to Eat with Baklava Butter

As alluded to above, this recipe can be used in place of other nut butters (peanut or almond) in many other sweeter dishes. For example:

  • Try it in a sandwich with jam for a new twist on a PB&J.
  • Spread it on toast for a filling breakfast.
  • Swirl it into oatmeal for a flavor boost and some healthy fats.
  • Swap it for the peanut butter in this recipe for Tagalong Cookies.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s a bit outside of what I usually post but thought it was fun.

piece of toast spread with baklava butter
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overhead shot of a jar of baklava butter with a knife stuck in it

Baklava Butter (Walnut and Pistachio Nut Butter)

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1.5 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Mix up your pantry with this recipe for Baklava Butter! Made primarily with ground walnuts and pistachios, it’s a nutty and creamy spread with flavors inspired by the traditional Greek pastry. Vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free! 


Units Scale
  • 1/3 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, un-toasted if possible
  • 1/2 cup raw walnut pieces
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg or cardamom
  • 12 TBS maple syrup, optional for stirring in at the end

Equipment: Food processor 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add cashews, shelled pistachios, and walnuts to a large baking sheet. Toast until fragrant, 5-10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Watch carefully as they can burn easily! Meanwhile, get out your food processor and set it up.
  2. Remove nuts from oven and let cool slightly. Add cooled nuts to the food processor and pulse to combine until you have a meal-like texture. 
  3. To food processor, add vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg/cardamom if using. Let blend until a smooth paste forms. If you blend too long the fats may separate, so try to stop once the baklava butter has a spreadable consistency. 
  4. Remove baklava butter from the food processor, taste, and stir in (by hand) maple syrup, if desired. 


Nutrition information calculated without maple syrup. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Spread
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 TBS
  • Calories: 46 calories
  • Sugar: 0.4 grams
  • Sodium: 28.2 milligrams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 1.8 grams
  • Fiber: 0.6 grams
  • Protein: 1.4 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams

Keywords: baklava, pistachio, walnut, nut butter, nuts

Portrait of Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Emily (Frigon) Meyers is the founder of Garlic Head, a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets while saving time and money. She is a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan. Garlic Head does not focus on labels - it focuses on creating food that everyone can enjoy.

Emily earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University along with degrees in Economics, Spanish, and Global Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and websites including The Food Institute, VegNews, Buzzfeed, and the Boston Globe.

Meet Emily here.

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