These Greek baklava rolls feature crispy, buttery layers of phyllo dough, a spicy-sweet walnut filling, and a delicate, orange-infused syrup. They have everything you love about classic Greek baklava with a simple, easy-to-master twist.
Greek baklava rolls, also known as saragli, are simply phenomenal. Rich, buttery layers of flaky dough are infused with a cinnamon nut mixture, rolled into cigar-shaped tubes, and baked to crispy, golden brown perfection. The whole dessert is then bathed in a honey-infused syrup that finds its way into each and every nook and cranny. It is the definition of decadence!
Saragli has all the rich butteriness and sticky-sweetness you love about classic Greek baklava but is far easier to make. Traditional Greek baklava recipes are far more labor intensive — they can have up to 33 layers of phyllo dough! In contrast, each baklava roll in this recipe requires only 2 sheets to complete. You get all the indulgence in just a fraction of the time!
Table of Contents
For more delectable dessert ideas, check out my Turkish Delight, Tahini Chocolate Bark, and this recipe for Halva. I also have an quick method baklava recipe that will impress and save you lots of time!
- Phyllo Dough – Gives the dessert its uniquely flaky, buttery texture. You can usually find it in the freezer section at the supermarket or, occasionally, it is in the refrigerated section near the biscuits. You need 16 ounces, which usually equals one box.
- Butter – The savory richness of butter really shines through in this recipe. I recommend using the best butter (or ghee) you can afford and avoiding margarine and other fake butter altogether.
- Walnuts – Walnuts are the classic choice for Greek baklava due to their earthy sweetness. Feel free to try out other nuts like almonds or pistachios if desired.
- Orange Water – Also called orange blossom water, this is optional but adds a delicate fruity sweetness. Look for it in the international aisle or at your local ethnic food market.
A Note on the Tools I Used
This recipe is much easier with a piece of wood doweling or a small cylindrical rod. I went with a 4-foot long, ⅜-inch thick dowel I bought from the hardware store. Cut in half, it gave me a couple of 2-foot dowels, and the whole project cost less than a dollar.
- Prepare Ingredients. Combine the walnuts and cinnamon and process into fine crumbs. You can either chop by hand or blitz together in a small food processor. Separate out 2 tablespoons for topping, then set both aside. Melt the butter and set aside as well. Have 2 square 8×8 inch baking pans ready.
- Prepare the Dough. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the phyllo dough out on a clean, flat surface and brush the top layer with butter. Sprinkle an even layer of the cinnamon nut mixture on top of that.
- Start the Rolls. Position a long, thin wooden dowel horizontally along the edge of the pastry nearest to you, right on top of the nut mixture. Delicately lift and wrap one sheet of the dough around the dowel. Roll the dowel, with the dough, all the way to the end of the pastry sheets and leave it there for the moment.
- Add a Sheet. Brush the new layer with butter. Place the dowel, along with the already rolled dough, along the edge of the pastry closest to you. Gently roll the dowel one more time to add the next layer. Each baklava roll will use 2 sheets total.
- Crinkle the Edges. Place the dowel and roll seam side down on the flat working surface. Use your fingers to squish and crinkle each end of the baklava.
- Remove & Repeat. Use one hand to slide the crinkled baklava roll off the dowel and into one of the 8×8-inch pans. Repeat steps 2-5 until you have used all of the phyllo sheets and filled up the baking pans. I usually get about 5 rolls per pan.
- Bake the Rolls. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until the tops of the rolls turn a nice golden brown.
- Make the Syrup. While the baklava is in the oven, combine all syrup ingredients in a saucepan and place over heat. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Add Syrup & Nuts. Remove the rolls from the oven and allow 10 minutes for them to rest. Then, evenly pour the syrup over the top, followed by the reserved walnuts and cinnamon mixture. Let the rolls rest for at least another hour before slicing. I like to slice each roll into 5 pieces.
For centuries, baklava has been wildly popular throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Some debate exists over the exact origin but there are age-old recipes for this beloved dessert in Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Persia, and — of course — Greece. Regardless of who actually invented it, each region and culture can boast its own unique spin on this sweet, flaky masterpiece.
These Greek baklava rolls feature sweet buttery layers of walnut and cinnamon, while Turkish baklava almost always features pistachios and honey. Other recipes from different regions will incorporate different nuts, flavored syrups, and other decadent ingredients. They are all drenched in deliciousness!
The best way to do this is to keep it covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap. The thin, flaky nature of phyllo dough makes it prone to cracking and drying, so be sure to keep it moist and workable!
Saragli has a surprisingly long shelf life. Kept in an airtight container, these rolls will stay fresh for up to a week at room temperature or for up to 2 weeks when kept in the refrigerator.
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Greek Baklava Rolls (Saragli)
- 16 oz Phyllo dough 18-20 sheets
- Melt butter and set aside.
- Blitz walnuts and cinnamon in a small food processor or chop by hand to fine crumbs. Reserve 2 tablespoons for topping, and set all aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. (177°C.)
- On a clean surface, lay out phyllo dough sheets and brush top layer with butter, then sprinkle evenly with heaping 1/3 cup cinnamon nut mixture.
- On edge of pastry closest to you, lay a long, thin wooden dowel horizontally on top of the walnut mixture. Gently lift one sheet of dough, wrap it around dowel to secure, then roll completely to end of pastry piece. Leave dowel at end of sheets.
- Brush another layer with butter and lift previously rolled dough on the one layer closet to you and roll one more time. You will use a total of 2 sheets of phyllo dough per roll.
- Place seam side down on working surface and using both hands on either end of dowel, squish the two ends together to make the crinkled baklava.
- Using one hand, push one end of the crinkled baklava until it slides off dowel and into an 8”x8” baking pan. NOTE: You will need TWO square baking pans to fit all of the baklava rolls. Repeat steps 2-5 until all phyllo sheets are used are prepared rolls are in baking pans.
- Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.
- While the dessert is baking, add the syrup ingredients to a saucepan and boil for 10 minutes, stirring often. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Remove baked dessert from oven and rest 10 minutes. Pour syrup evenly over baklava rolls, sprinkle chopped walnuts on top, and allow to rest for 1 hour before slicing. I typically get 5 rolls per 8×8" pan and cut each roll into thirds for 15 pieces each pan.
- I purchased 5/16″ or 3/8″ wood doweling that came in a 4′ length. It was $0.98 at Home Depot. I cut it in half and it works perfectly.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.