This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
If you’re a fan of baklava, you’re going to love these easy vegan baklava cookies! They’re made with a rich, buttery cookie dough, then topped with a sweet, and sticky nut filling and baked until golden. You won’t be able to eat just one of these Mediterranean-inspired cookies!
Table of Contents
As much as we love our classic vegan cookie recipes, we also love recreating our favorite desserts in handheld cookie form. After developing Cinnamon Roll Cookies, Cannoli Cookies, Apple Pie Cookies, and Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie recipes, it was time to put a new spin on one of our favorite Middle Eastern desserts: baklava!
Our traditional Vegan Baklava recipe is such a crowd favorite that we knew it would make an equally delicious cookie. The cookie dough is adapted from our classic vegan sugar cookies, recreating the same buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture as the flaky layers of phyllo dough. Then, the center of each cookie is filled with our date-sweetened baklava filling for a thumbprint-style cookie to remember. Get ready to enjoy the flavors of baklava in a fraction of the time!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the Sugar Cookie Dough
- Vegan butter: Just like in our traditional baklava, we swapped the dairy butter with vegan butter in this cookie recipe. We typically use vegan butter sticks from brands like Country Crock or Earth Balance, but any vegan butter of choice will work. If you are using salted butter, we recommend omitting the added salt.
- Flax egg: In most of our vegan cookie recipes, we use a flax egg as the egg replacer. It’s one of the easiest homemade vegan eggs to make and binds cookie dough together beautifully.
- Sugar: Our original vegan sugar cookies are made with granulated cane sugar to keep them light in color. To make these cookies more moist and rich in flavor, we opted for brown sugar. If preferred, feel free to opt for coconut sugar or white sugar in a pinch!
- Orange zest: Fresh orange zest adds a boost of fresh, unique flavor that compliments the sweetness of the baklava filling. If you have it, you can also substitute orange blossom water or try lemon zest for a similar, citrus twist.
- Flour: Instead of phyllo dough, this baklava dessert is made with all-purpose flour as the main ingredient. We have not tested a gluten-free version of these baklava cookies, and unfortunately can’t confirm a gluten-free flour blend will work well. If you decide to give it a try and have success, please leave a comment down below for others!
- Baking soda: The leavening agent of choice in this cookie recipe. In addition to helping the cookies rise and spread properly, baking soda also helps to encourage browning, making the cookies perfectly golden.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon and ground cardamom add warmth and sweet, citrusy, notes to the cookie dough that complement the cinnamon and sweet syrup in the filling.
For the Baklava Topping
- Vegan honey: Real honey isn’t vegan, but vegan-friendly honey exists! Try this brand or make your own from scratch using this easy Vegan Honey Recipe. You can also swap the vegan honey syrup with date syrup or agave if needed or preferred!
- Sugar: Granulated sugar adds sweetness without overpowering the flavor in the vegan honey and Medjool dates.
- Cinnamon stick: Adding a cinnamon stick into the syrup as it simmers helps to infuse warm, aromatic cinnamon flavor into the dessert!
- Nuts: We used a mix of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, but any combination of chopped nuts will do.
- Medjool dates: While not traditionally found in baklava, finely chopped, fresh Medjool dates add stickiness, and natural sweetness, and perfectly complement the rich, caramel-like notes in the cookies.
- Mixing bowls
- Electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
- Plastic wrap or reusable wrap
- 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized cookie scoop
- Small pot
- Baking sheet(s)
- Parchment paper or silicone baking mat(s)
- Wire rack (for cooling)
How to Make Vegan Baklava Cookies
- Soften the butter. Make sure to set the butter at room temperature 30 minutes before starting. This will help soften the butter to room temperature.
- Prepare the flax egg. In a small bowl, combine the non-dairy milk and ground flaxseed meal and mix to combine. Set the mixture aside for 10-15 minutes to thicken.
- Cream the butter and sugar. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the vegan butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and orange zest until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add wet ingredients. Next, add in the flax egg and vanilla, and cream again to combine.
- Sift in the dry ingredients. Using a fine mesh strainer, first sift in the baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt and mix to combine. Lastly, sift in the flour. Switch to a spatula, and fold the flour into the cookie dough gently by hand, until well combined.
- Chill the cookie dough. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or reusable wrap and place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 1/2 hours, or up to overnight.
- Prepare the simple syrup. While the cookie dough chills, prepare the topping. In a small pot or small saucepan over medium heat, melt the vegan butter. Once melted, add the vegan honey, sugar, and a cinnamon stick. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer the syrup for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. After 3-4 minutes, remove the cinnamon stick and mix in the nuts and dates. Set aside.
- Scoop the cookie dough into balls. After the dough has sufficiently chilled, scoop the dough using a 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized cookie scoop. Roll the dough between your hands until a smooth ball forms, and transfer each dough ball to the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Using your thumb or a tablespoon, make an indent in the middle of each cookie.
- Add the filling. Once all of the dough is rolled, scoop a heaping teaspoon of the nut mixture into the indentation of each cookie.
- Bake. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake the baklava cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until cracks begin to form around the edges and the bottoms are golden brown.
- Enjoy room temperature. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Then serve immediately while fresh and enjoy!
These rich and decadent cookies are the perfect dessert and pair well with a warm cup of coffee or tea, or a scoop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream. We particularly love them during the holiday season, but these baklava cookies are delicious any time of year! Serve them for any special occasion or celebration and watch them disappear!
Leftover cookies will keep best in an airtight container at room temperature. Baked cookies may also freeze well, but we have not personally tested it and cannot confirm.