This Baklava Ice Cream Sundae has all the flavors of fresh homemade baklava, but comes together in a fraction of the time. Layer crispy, flaky phyllo, with vanilla ice cream then top it with cinnamon-scented pistachios and walnuts. A good drizzle of warm honey gives this sundae the final touch!
I recently tried ice cream with baklava at a Greek festival in downtown Atlanta. The minute I tried it I knew I had to create my own Baklava Ice Cream Sundae at home. It has all the things I love about baklava —cinnamon, walnuts, pistachios, crispy phyllo and honey, but without the time commitment.
My husband loves this recipe and it’s definitely a new favorite dessert of mine. I’d put it right up there with Baklava Cheesecake. When my daughter has friends over, it’s so easy to make a sundae bar. I just set out the ingredients and let the kids build their own Baklava Ice Cream Sundae. This ice cream dessert looks special, tastes delicious, and is so fun to make (and eat)!
This sundae recipe only calls for 4 to 6 sheets of phyllo dough, so you will have leftover phyllo. You can pop the leftover phyllo back in the freezer or use it to make dinner. Try a savory pie, like Spanakopita or Pastilla Skillet Chicken Pie. Looks like you have both dinner and dessert covered!
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What is Baklava?
Baklava is a sweet and decadent pastry with layers of delicate, flaky phyllo pastry, generously filled with aromatic pistachios or walnuts, and drenched in a luscious honey syrup.
Originating in the 15th century, Baklava has today become a symbol of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. You can find variations throughout Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Iran, and Lebanon, just to name a few.
Considering the iconic Ice Cream Sundae dates to 19th century America, this Baklava Ice Cream Sundae is a meeting of two beautiful food cultures, hundreds of years in the making!
What You’ll Need to Make Baklava Ice Cream Sundaes
The ingredients for this Baklava Ice Cream Sundae are just as easy to buy at the grocery store as your run-of-the-mill ice cream sundae! Though the traditional flavors of baklava are quite distinct, I do offer a few substitutions wherever possible to give you plenty of options:
- Extra-virgin olive oil: As you may already know, I use EVOO for just about everything. I like to use our Koroneiki olive oil from Greece for this recipe because it has a light fruity finish. There is some confusion about frying in olive oil, but their shouldn't be. To learn more about frying with olive oil ready my Guide to Cooking with Olive Oil.
- Phyllo dough: You can find phyllo dough, which is sometimes spelled filo or fillo, in the frozen section of most grocery stores near the pie crust.
- Walnuts & shelled pistachios: I like to use a combination of walnuts and pistachios. They’re the most traditional nuts for baklava, but lightly roasted crushed hazelnuts would also work.
- Ground cinnamon & brown sugar: Used to sweeten and flavor the nuts. I like brown sugar’s caramel flavor, but you can substitute with any granulated sugar you have on hand. If you don’t have cinnamon, you can leave it out, or substitute with a pinch of ground cloves.
- Vanilla ice cream: Vanilla ice cream lets the baklava flavor shine without competition, but you can experiment with other ice cream flavors you love.
- Honey: The warm drizzle of honey is one of the best parts of baklava. Use a high quality wildflower honey, like our Alfa Honey from the Greek island of Crete.
Tips for Making Baklava Ice Cream Sundae
This dessert recipe is very easy, the only cooking involved is frying the phyllo dough. Here are my tips to set you up for ice cream sundae success:
- Thaw your phyllo: Transfer the phyllo from the freezer to the fridge the night before you want to use it. This way it will thaw before frying and yield evenly crisp phyllo.
- Keep the nuts somewhat intact: Crush the walnuts and pistachios until all of them are broken down to a few different sizes. Think gravel not sand.
How to Make Baklava Ice Cream Sundae
This Baklava Sundae is ready to go in just three steps. Scoop, drizzle, and serve yourself, or set it up like an ice cream sundae bar and let everyone serve themselves.
- Fry the phyllo sheets: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add about ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil. When it’s shimmering and hot, add the torn phyllo dough piece in batches. Fry the pieces turning them over, until crispy and golden brown (about 1 to 2 minutes per side). Repeat until you’ve fried 4-6 sheets of phyllo dough, using tongs to transfer the crispy pieces to a large paper towel-lined plate.
- Season the nuts: In a small bowl, mix together ½ cup crushed walnuts, ½ cup crushed pistachios, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar until combined.
- Assemble and serve: Add a bit of the crispy phyllo to the bottom of four small serving cups. Top with one scoop of ice cream, followed by a tablespoon of the nut mixture, and a drizzle of warmed honey. Add more of the crispy phyllo and repeat in the same pattern, adding a scoop of ice cream, more nuts, and a drizzle of honey to finish. Serve immediately.
What To Serve With This Baklava Ice Cream Sundae Recipe
This decadent Baklava Sundae is all the dessert you need! The sweet, rich flavors will satisfy even your most avid sweet tooth.
If you’re looking to build out a whole dinner party menu, serve this Baklava Ice Cream Sundae as a final course after lighter fare, like Roasted Branzino with a side of Lemony Rice and Traditional Greek Salad.
Other Desserts We Love
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A drizzle of this luscious honey adds the perfect finishing touch to your baklava ice cream sundae.
Baklava Ice Cream Sundae
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4-6 sheets phyllo dough, torn into pieces the size of a deck of cards
- ½ cup crushed walnuts
- ½ cup crushed pistachios
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 large tub (8 scoops) vanilla ice cream
- ½ cup honey warmed
- Fry the phyllo sheets: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat about ¼ cup of oil until shimmering. Once the oil is hot, add the phyllo and fry, turning, until it’s crispy and golden brown on both sides (about 1 to 2 minutes per side). Use a pair of tongs to transfer the crispy phyllo to a large paper towel-lined plate lined to drain any excess oil.
- Season the nuts: In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, pistachios, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
- Assemble and serve: In four small serving cups, add a bit of the crispy phyllo to the bottom. Top with one scoop of the ice cream, followed by a tablespoon of the nut mixture, and a drizzle of warmed honey. Add more of the crispy phyllo and repeat in the same pattern, adding a scoop of ice cream, more nuts, and a drizzle of honey to finish. Serve immediately.
- To warm the honey: Set the honey in its glass jar (or transfer to a glass container with a lid) into a bowl filled with warmed water. Wait until the honey becomes loose enough for drizzling.
- Alternative serving option: Set this up as an ice cream sundae bar. Fry the phyllo dough and prepare the nuts, honey, and ice cream and allow everyone to assemble themselves (this works especially well for serving a large crowd! Simply double, triple, or quadruple the recipe.
- Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams and spices.
Oh. My. God! I died and went to heaven!!
Can the Phylo be baked or air fried?
Sure, Kate. That should work!
This looks fantastic! I want to make this for a large family BBQ. Would it be ok to make the phyllo dough the night before?
Absolutely. That should work just fine.
This is insanely delicious. I may like this more than baklava. Easy to do and it went over really well. Thank you thank you thank you.
I agree, it’s better than Baclava!
Love all your recipes.......Thank YOU, for making my life easier !
It's our pleasure, Mary! Thanks so much for your sweet message.