Pistachio and apricot baklava cake

With all the well loved flavours of baklava layered between moist cake, this tastes as good as it looks.

  • 1 hr 50 mins cooking (+ refrigeration & cooling) *
  • Serves 16
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Pistachio and apricot baklava cake
  • 500 g honey Greek yoghurt
  • 375 g butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups (370g) caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup (50g) cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (45g) shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup (90g) honey
Spiced apricot syrup & puree
  • 3 cups (750ml) water
  • 450 g dried apricots
  • 2/3 cup (240g) honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 green cardamom pods, crushe
  • 5 whole dried cloves
Flaky filo layers
  • 1/2 cup (70g) shelled pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 15 sheets filo pastry
  • 150 g butter, melted


Pistachio and apricot baklava cake
  • 1
    Place the yoghurt in a fine strainer lined with muslin or paper towel; place over a jug or bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease 3 x 20cm sandwich pans; line bases and sides with baking paper.
  • 3
    Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and cardamom in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at the time. Stir in sifted flours and baking powder, then stir in milk. Divide mixture evenly among pans; smooth surfaces.
  • 4
    Bake cakes for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Leave cakes in pans for 10 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire racks to cool.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, make spiced apricot syrup and puree: Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to the boil. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until apricots are soft. Strain apricots over a medium heatproof jug; reserve syrup. Discard spices. Cool apricots for 5 minutes. Process apricots and half the reserved syrup to form a smooth puree. Cool puree and remaining reserved syrup.
  • 6
    Make flaky filo layers: Line three oven trays with baking paper. Process pistachios, sugar and spices, using the pulse button, until chopped finely. Lie one sheet of filo pastry on a clean work surface. Cover remaining sheets with baking paper, then a damp tea towel. Brush pastry lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the nut mixture. Top with another sheet of filo; repeat layering nine times to form 10 layers. Layer remaining five sheets of filo with butter and nut mixture. Cut the five-layered pastry in half crossways to form squares. Brush the top of one square with butter, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons nut mixture; top with remaining square. Using a cake pan as a guide, cut two 20cm rounds from the rectangular layered filo and one 20cm round from the square layered filo. Place rounds on oven trays.
    Using your hands, crumple stacks to create more height. Bake filo layers for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Carefully separate filo layers.
  • 7
    Pulse pistachios in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Shake nuts through a coarse sieve over a bowl; reserve fine and larger pieces separately. Brush cakes liberally all over with remaining reserved syrup (from spiced apricot syrup and puree) until all absorbed. Holding the base of a cake with one hand over a bowl, press finely chopped nuts around side of cake. Repeat with remaining cakes.
  • 8
    Place one cake on a stand or plate; spread with ½ cup of the apricot puree. Top with a third of the filo layers, some facing up and some facing down, to create height. Spread ½ cup of the yoghurt over pastry.
  • 9
    Repeat with remaining cakes, apricot puree, filo layers and another ½ cup of the yoghurt. Decorate the top with remaining yoghurt and coarsely chopped pistachios; drizzle with honey.


*You'll need to start this recipe a day ahead. You'll also need a few oven trays to bake the filo layers, or bake them in batches reusing the same tray.

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