This Baklava Tarts recipe is perfect for parties! These easy mini baklava bites are made with maple syrup, toasted walnuts, and phyllo cups.
These Maple Walnut Baklava Bites are lightly sweetened and the perfect addition to your next holiday cocktail party!
One of the best things about the holiday season are all the appetizers and snack-type foods that appear.
It seems like any get-together comes with a variety of both savory and sweet bite-sized goodies in addition to festive cocktails. Everyone sort of turns into a foodie this time of year and it's pretty awesome.
I used to work in a Middle Eastern restaurant and it was there I discovered baklava. Baklava is a sweet Middle Eastern dessert made with nuts, honey, and layers of phyllo dough. To make baklava from scratch can be a time consuming and tedious process.
I wanted to simplify the process into a bite-size version that would be perfect for any holiday get-together. These Maple Walnut Baklava Tarts are just the ticket!
How To Make Baklava Tarts
The first step in making these bites is to prepare the filling.
The filling consists of a mixture of nuts, spices, and a sweetener. Baklava is usually prepared with honey but I went with maple syrup because it seemed more festive and winter-y for the holidays.
You can use any type of nuts you like but I went with walnuts simply because I like them.
- Chop 2 cups of walnuts (or nut of your choice) into small pieces.
- The next step is to make the syrup on the stove top. Heat 2 Tbsp. of butter on low heat in a small sauce pan on the stove top. Add ¾ cup of pure maple syrup to the butter and stir until combined with the butter.
- Add 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground cardamom, and a generous pinch of salt to the mixture. Simmer on low for about 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. The mixture will thicken a bit as it simmers.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes after cooking.
What Is Cardamom?
Cardamom is a spice that is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is used in both savory and sweet dishes in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian cuisines.
You can find cardamom in pods or ground into a powder (as used in this recipe). It's a fragrant spice that has flavors of citrus, mint, and a bit of spice.
It's absolutely delicious and can be found in the spice aisle of most supermarkets or purchased online.
If you like cardamom, be sure to check out this Cardamom French Toast!
Fill The Baklava Tarts In Phyllo Cups
- Add half of the chopped walnuts to a mixing bowl.
- Pour half of the maple mixture over the walnuts and stir to combine.
- Add the remaining half of the walnuts and the remainder of the syrup and continue to mix until the walnuts are completely coated in the syrup.
The thing that makes this recipe so easy are the pre-made phyllo shells. You can find this magical little product in the freezer section at the grocery store. You don't need to worry about rolling the dough out or tearing it as you do.
Simply place them on a baking sheet (there are 15 per package). Fill each of them with about 1 Tbsp. of the walnut filling. This recipe makes 30 baklava bites which requires 2 packages of phyllo shells.
Can These Baklava Bites Be Made Gluten Free?
This recipe created when gluten was still part of my diet and since then this site has gone gluten free. Gluten free phyllo dough is difficult to find, as there are not many pre-made brands on the market.
If you'd like to make this recipe gluten free, feel free to make gluten free phyllo dough from scratch.
Alternately, you can try gluten free puff pastry in place of the phyllo cups. Schar makes a great quality gluten free puff pastry and it can be found in the freezer section of your local grocery store or online. (It should be noted, though, that I have not tested this recipe using puff pastry).
Can I Use A Different Nut To Make These Tarts?
Yes! Feel free to use pecans, pine nuts, pistachio, almonds or any type of nut you like to make these baklava bites.
How Long Does It Take To Bake Mini Baklava Cups?
- Place the filled phyllo shells into an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees.
- Bake the baklava bites for 16-18 minutes. The tops should become nice and golden as they bake. Once the first batch is done remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool.
- Repeat with the second batch of bites.
Looking for more festive desserts? Don't miss these!
- Crispy Sugar Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Strawberry Mascarpone Tartlets
- Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake Cups
- Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies
- Pistachio Butter Panna Cotta
- Strawberry Mint Panna Cotta
Want to celebrate with festive cocktails? Don't miss these!
- Tom and Jerry Christmas Cocktail
- Pomegranate Mojito
- Bailey's Whiskey Irish Affogato
- Virgin Strawberry Mojito
- Raspberry Mule Cocktail
What To Serve With Baklava Tarts
Once all of the bites are baked and cool place them on a serving tray and zest 1-2 lemons over the top of them.
The lemon zest is what ties these things together. That little pop of citrus balances the sweetness of the syrup as well as the spices.
I love recipes like this. It's one of those recipes that feels kind of fancy but in reality took no time at all to make. It allows you to spend more time with family and friends and just enjoy the season in general.
Looking for more appetizers? Check out these recipes!
- Slow Cooker BBQ Turkey Meatballs
- Smoked Salmon Dill Crostini
- Mushroom Gruyere Mini Tarts
- Maple Glazed Spiced Nuts
- Crockpot Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs
- Spicy Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
- Kalamata Olive Tapenade
- Breaded Air Fryer Mushrooms
- Lemon Rosemary Toasted Almonds
- Mediterranean Mushroom Tapenade
- Prosciutto Wrapped Roasted Asparagus
- Gruyere Prosciutto Pinwheels
Looking For More Party Bites? Don't Miss These!
Baklava Tarts with Maple Syrup and Walnuts
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop 2 cups of walnuts into small pieces (or nuts of choice).
- Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter on stove top in a small sauce pan on low heat. Add ¾ cup pure maple syrup and stir to combine. Add 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground cardamom, and a generous pinch of salt to the mixture. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. The mixture will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add half of the chopped walnuts to a mixing bowl. Pour half of the syrup mixture and stir to combine. Add the second half of the walnuts to the bowl and top with the remaining syrup. Stir until all the walnuts are coated in the syrup.
- Place half of the phyllo shells on a baking sheet and fill with half of the walnut mixture (about 1 Tbsp. of mixture per phyllo cup).
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes. The tops of the baklava bites should become golden brown as they bake. Remove from oven and let cool. Repeat with the second batch of phyllo cups.
- Zest 1-2 lemons over the baked and cooled baklava bites.