Delight in Tradition: Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls Recipe

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Embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Turkish cuisine with an exquisite recipe that brings the rich tradition of baklava into your kitchen in an elegantly rolled form—Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls. This delectable variation of the classic baklava wraps the crunchy, nutty goodness of pistachios in whisper-thin layers of phyllo pastry, all soaked in a fragrant syrup that bridges continents and centuries in every bite. Known for its perfect blend of textures and flavors, this dessert is a testament to the artistry of Turkish baking and a beloved treasure among sweet connoisseurs worldwide.

Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls stand out with their unique shape, making them not only a delight to savor but also a visual treat, perfect for gracing the tables at festive gatherings, intimate dinners, or as a special treat to brighten everyday moments. The combination of finely ground pistachios rolled within crisp, buttery phyllo, and drenched in a sweet, aromatic syrup, results in a dessert that’s both rich and surprisingly light. This guide aims to demystify the process, offering step-by-step instructions to recreate this iconic sweet at home, inviting you to delve into the subtleties of Turkish culinary traditions and to share in the joy of creating (and indulging in) a masterpiece that has captivated hearts and palates for generations. Join us as we unfold the secrets to making your very own Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls, a journey of flavors that promises to be as rewarding as it is delicious.

Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls Recipe

turkish pistachio baklava rolls recipe

Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls, also known as “Saray Sarması” or “Fistikli Sarma,” offer a delightful twist on the classic baklava, featuring the same flaky pastry and sweet syrup but rolled into elegant cylinders and packed with pistachios. Here’s a recipe that captures the essence of this Turkish delight.


For the Baklava Rolls:
  • 1 lb (450g) Phyllo Dough, thawed
  • 2 cups (250g) Pistachios, finely ground
  • 1 cup (225g) Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (optional)
For the Syrup:
  • 2 cups (400g) Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) Water
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) Honey
  • 2-3 strips Lemon Peel
Preparing the Baklava Rolls:
  • Prepare the Filling: In a bowl, mix the finely ground pistachios with ground cinnamon (if using) until well combined.
  • Prepare the Phyllo Dough: Lay one sheet of phyllo dough on a clean surface. Brush lightly with melted butter. Place another sheet on top and brush again with butter. Cut the sheets into strips about 3 inches wide.
  • Add the Filling: Place a small amount of pistachio filling at the end of each strip. Don’t overfill to ensure easy rolling.
  • Roll the Baklava: Roll the dough tightly from the filling end to form a small cylinder. Place each roll seam-side down in a buttered baking tray. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and filling. Ensure the rolls are not touching to allow even baking.
  • Bake: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Before baking, brush the tops of the rolls lightly with more melted butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Preparing the Syrup:
  • Combine Ingredients: In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in water. Add lemon juice and lemon peel, bringing the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add Honey: Stir in the honey and simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool slightly. Remove the lemon peel.
  • Pour Over the Baklava: As soon as the baklava rolls come out of the oven, evenly pour the warm syrup over the hot baklava rolls. Allow the baklava to absorb the syrup and cool down.
  • Let the baklava sit for several hours (ideally overnight) before serving to fully soak up the syrup.
  • Garnish with additional ground pistachios for a decorative touch.

These Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls are a perfect blend of crunchy, sweet, and nutty flavors, making them an exquisite treat for special occasions or as a luxurious dessert to enjoy any time. The rolls present beautifully and offer a satisfying texture with every bite, representing the rich culinary heritage of Turkey.

Expert Tips

turkish pistachio baklava rolls recipes

Here are some expert tips to help you perfect your Turkish pistachio baklava rolls:

  • Quality Ingredients: Start with fresh, high-quality pistachios and phyllo dough for the best flavor and texture in your baklava rolls. Freshly shelled pistachios will provide the most vibrant green color and robust flavor.
  • Phyllo Dough Handling: Thaw the phyllo dough according to package instructions, and handle it gently to prevent tearing. Keep it covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap while you work to prevent it from drying out.
  • Butter Brushing Technique: Brush each layer of phyllo dough generously with melted butter or clarified butter (ghee). Ensure that every inch of the dough is evenly coated to achieve a golden, crispy texture in the finished baklava rolls.
  • Pistachio Filling Consistency: Grind the pistachios coarsely to maintain texture and crunch in the filling. Mix them with a small amount of sugar and spices such as ground cinnamon or cardamom for added flavor complexity.
  • Even Rolling: When rolling the baklava, spread the pistachio filling evenly across the phyllo dough to ensure a consistent filling in every bite. Roll the dough tightly to create neat, compact rolls.
  • Sharp Knife for Cutting: Use a sharp knife to slice the rolled baklava into individual portions before baking. This will ensure clean cuts without squishing the delicate layers.
  • Syrup Saturation: Once the baklava rolls are baked and slightly cooled, drizzle the cooled syrup over them. Allow the syrup to soak into the rolls fully, saturating every layer with sweetness.
  • Resting Period: After soaking the baklava rolls in syrup, let them rest for several hours or overnight at room temperature. This allows the flavors to meld and the pastry to absorb the syrup fully, resulting in a more delicious and moist dessert.
  • Garnish with Care: Garnish the baklava rolls with finely chopped pistachios or a sprinkle of powdered sugar for an elegant presentation. This adds visual appeal and enhances the nutty flavor.
  • Storage Tips: Store the baklava rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to several days. If storing for longer periods, freeze the rolls in a well-sealed container, and thaw them at room temperature before serving.

By following these expert tips, you can create Turkish pistachio baklava rolls that are perfectly crispy, flavorful, and irresistible. Enjoy the sweet taste of tradition with every bite!

Why This Recipe Is Just So Good…

This Turkish pistachio baklava rolls recipe stands out for several reasons, making it exceptionally delicious:

  • Perfect Balance of Flavors: The combination of crispy, flaky phyllo dough and rich, nutty pistachio filling creates a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. The sweetness of the honey syrup complements the nuttiness of the pistachios, resulting in a perfectly balanced dessert.
  • Authenticity: This recipe stays true to the traditional Turkish method of making baklava rolls, ensuring an authentic taste and experience. By following time-tested techniques and using quality ingredients, you can recreate the true essence of Turkish baklava.
  • Skillful Preparation: From handling the delicate phyllo dough to rolling it with precision, this recipe requires careful attention to detail. Each step is designed to achieve the perfect texture and flavor, resulting in baklava rolls that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
  • Versatility: While pistachio is the star ingredient in this recipe, you can easily customize it by using other nuts or adding spices like cinnamon or cardamom for a unique twist. This versatility allows you to tailor the recipe to your personal taste preferences.
  • Cultural Significance: Baklava holds a special place in Turkish culture and cuisine, often being served during festive occasions and celebrations. By preparing this recipe, you’re not just making a delicious dessert but also connecting with a rich cultural heritage.
  • Visual Appeal: With its golden-brown exterior and vibrant green pistachio filling, Turkish pistachio baklava rolls are as visually stunning as they are delicious. Their elegant appearance makes them a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
  • Sensory Experience: Eating Turkish pistachio baklava rolls is a multi-sensory experience, from the sound of the crispy layers as you bite into them to the aroma of honey and nuts that fills the air. Every aspect of this dessert is designed to delight the senses.
  • Nostalgic Comfort: For many, baklava evokes fond memories of family gatherings, holidays, and special occasions. By indulging in this classic Turkish dessert, you’re not just satisfying your sweet tooth but also nourishing your soul with a taste of nostalgia.
  • Perfect for Sharing: Baklava rolls are often served as a communal dessert, making them perfect for sharing with family and friends. Whether enjoyed after a meal or served with tea or coffee, they’re sure to bring joy to any gathering.
  • Timeless Appeal: Turkish pistachio baklava rolls have stood the test of time as a beloved dessert for centuries. With their irresistible flavor and cultural significance, they continue to enchant and delight dessert lovers around the world.

Storage Instructions

To maintain the freshness and flavor of your Turkish pistachio baklava rolls, follow these storage instructions:

  • Cool Completely: Allow the baklava rolls to cool completely at room temperature before attempting to store them. This helps prevent condensation from forming inside the storage container.
  • Airtight Container: Place the cooled baklava rolls in an airtight container or a tightly sealed storage tin. Make sure the container is clean and dry to prevent any moisture from affecting the texture of the baklava.
  • Room Temperature: Baklava rolls can be stored at room temperature for several days, typically up to a week, without losing their freshness. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator, as the cold temperature can cause the pastry to become soggy.
  • Layer Separation: If stacking the baklava rolls in layers, place sheets of parchment paper or wax paper between each layer to prevent sticking and preserve the crispness of the pastry.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Store the container of baklava rolls in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Exposure to heat and light can accelerate spoilage and cause the baklava rolls to become stale.
  • Re-Sealable Bag: If storing individual baklava rolls, place them in a re-sealable plastic bag or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap before placing them in the container. This helps maintain freshness and prevents the rolls from drying out.
  • Freezing (Optional): If you need to store the baklava rolls for an extended period, you can freeze them for up to several months. Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw frozen baklava rolls in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
  • Serve at Room Temperature: Before serving, allow the baklava rolls to come to room temperature for the best texture and flavor. This allows the pastry to regain its crispness and the flavors to fully develop.

By following these storage instructions, you can ensure that your Turkish pistachio baklava rolls stay fresh and delicious for as long as possible, allowing you to enjoy their delightful taste over several days or weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

turkish pistachio baklava roll

Let’s delve into some expertise-level questions and answers regarding the preparation of Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls to enhance your understanding and execution of this delightful dessert.

Q: Do I have to use pistachios, or can I use other nuts?

A: While pistachios are traditional and offer a distinct flavor and color, you can certainly use other nuts like walnuts, almonds, or a mix. Each type of nut will give the baklava rolls a different taste profile, so feel free to experiment with your favorites.

Q: My phyllo dough keeps tearing. What am I doing wrong?

A: Phyllo dough is very thin and can tear easily if it dries out or is handled too roughly. Make sure to keep the unused sheets covered with a damp towel to prevent them from drying. When brushing with butter, use a soft brush and gentle strokes. If it tears, don’t worry; just overlap the pieces slightly, as the layers and syrup will help hide any imperfections.

Q: How tight should I roll the baklava?

A: Roll the baklava snugly but not too tight, as the filling needs a bit of space to expand slightly when baked. Rolling too tightly can cause the rolls to burst open, while too loose may result in the rolls falling apart.

Q: Can I make the syrup in advance?

A: Yes, the syrup can be made in advance. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Warm it slightly before pouring over the hot baklava rolls to ensure it absorbs properly.

Q: How thick should the syrup be?

A: The syrup should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not so thick that it doesn’t soak into the baklava layers. If it’s too thin, it won’t sweeten the baklava adequately; if too thick, it may not absorb well, leaving the baklava dry.

Q: How do I know when the baklava rolls are done baking?

A: The baklava rolls are done when they are golden brown and crispy to the touch. This usually takes between 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C), but start checking a few minutes early since oven temperatures can vary.

Q: The syrup makes my baklava too sweet. Can I reduce the amount?

A: Yes, you can adjust the sweetness by reducing the amount of sugar in the syrup. Alternatively, adding a bit more lemon juice can help balance the sweetness with its acidity. Adjust according to your taste preference.

Q: Can I freeze baklava rolls?

A: Yes, baklava rolls freeze well. Place them in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving, and if desired, briefly warm in the oven to refresh the crispness.

Q: How long can I store the baklava rolls, and how?

A: Baklava rolls can be stored at room temperature for about a week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Place them in an airtight container to prevent them from absorbing moisture or odors. For longer storage, refer to the freezing instructions above.

Q: Can I use something other than honey in the syrup?

A: While honey adds a distinct flavor to the syrup, you can substitute it with additional sugar or maple syrup if you prefer. Keep in mind that this will change the flavor profile slightly.

Q: What’s the secret to achieving the perfect crispiness in the phyllo dough for baklava rolls?

A: The key to crispiness lies in the buttering and baking process. Ensure each phyllo sheet is adequately brushed with melted butter, which helps the layers separate and crisp up during baking. Baking at the right temperature, 350°F (175°C), until golden brown ensures that the moisture evaporates, leaving the rolls crispy. Additionally, pouring hot syrup over hot rolls allows them to absorb the syrup while retaining their crisp exterior.

Q: How can I prevent the phyllo from drying out while I’m working?

A: Phyllo dough dries out quickly when exposed to air. To prevent this, cover the unused sheets with a damp cloth or plastic wrap while assembling the rolls. This keeps the sheets pliable and easy to work with by maintaining their moisture.

Q: Can I use a food processor to grind the pistachios? How fine should they be?

A: Yes, a food processor is an efficient way to grind pistachios for baklava filling. Pulse the pistachios until they are finely ground but not turning into a paste. The goal is a texture that’s fine enough to spread evenly without being so coarse that it creates a gritty texture in the filling.

Q: Is there an alternative to honey in the syrup for dietary reasons?

A: If honey isn’t suitable due to dietary restrictions or preferences, you can substitute it with additional sugar or try maple syrup for a different flavor profile. The important part is achieving the right syrup consistency and sweetness level that complements the nutty filling.

Q: What’s the best way to cut the phyllo dough into strips?

A: Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter for cutting the phyllo dough into strips. Lay the sheets flat on a cutting board, and make clean, vertical cuts at the desired width. Ensure the sheets are fully thawed and gently press down to cut through multiple layers at once if needed.

Q: How long can Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls be stored, and what’s the best way to store them?

A: Properly stored, baklava rolls can last up to 2 weeks at room temperature in an airtight container. Avoid refrigerating as the humidity can soften the crisp layers. For longer storage, you can freeze the rolls for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving to preserve their texture.

Q: My syrup sometimes crystallizes after pouring it over the baklava rolls. How can I prevent this?

A: Crystallization can occur if the sugar isn’t fully dissolved or if the syrup cools too rapidly. Ensure the sugar is completely dissolved in the water before bringing it to a boil, and add a small amount of lemon juice to the syrup. The acid helps prevent crystallization. Also, using warm syrup on hot baklava helps maintain an even consistency.

By addressing these expert-level concerns, you can enhance the quality of your Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls, ensuring they turn out deliciously crisp, properly sweetened, and beautifully presented every time.


As you take your last bite of these Turkish Pistachio Baklava Rolls, savoring the sweet, nutty flavors and the memories of a culinary journey through the streets of Istanbul or the cozy kitchens of Anatolia, you’ll appreciate the magic of this timeless dessert. With each layer of flaky pastry and each crunchy bite of pistachio, you’ve experienced a piece of Turkish culture and tradition. Whether enjoyed with a cup of strong Turkish coffee or shared with loved ones during festive gatherings, these baklava rolls offer more than just a sweet treat—they’re a celebration of the rich tapestry of flavors and stories that make Turkish cuisine so beloved around the world.

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Macaria Valerie

About the author

With over 15 years of experience in the culinary world, Macaria Valerie has developed a unique niche expertise in the art and science of rice cooking. Born in Taipei and raised in San Francisco, Macaria's passion for perfectly cooked rice is a blend of her Taiwanese roots and modern culinary techniques. She has traveled across Asia, gathering traditional rice recipes and cooking methodologies. Macaria is not just about plain rice. She's explored the depths of risotto in Italy, paella in Spain, biryani in India, and sushi in Japan. Yet, she believes that the core of these dishes lies in mastering the basic foundation - the rice. In her popular blog, "Expert Reviews Best Rice Cooker", Macaria shares not only her favorite rice recipes but also reviews the latest in rice cooker technology. She's been a consultant for major kitchen appliance brands, aiding in the development and testing of their rice cooker lines. In her spare time, Macaria conducts workshops and classes, ensuring that the art of cooking perfect rice is accessible to everyone. Whether you're aiming for a simple bowl of fluffy white rice or venturing into the intricate world of flavored rice dishes, Macaria Valerie is your go-to guide in the rice cooker niche.

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