Baklava cheesecake has become a popular dessert choice lately and I can see why. Who doesn’t love Baklava? Who doesn’t love cheesecake? Who wouldn’t want to eat both Baklava AND cheesecake at the same time? It’s everywhere and it’s good.
Over the holidays, I decided to give it a try. I found a recipe from Sprinkle Bakes and the cheesecake came out looking like a piece of food art. I was satisfied with this dessert just by looking at it. Despite how beautiful it looked, my feeling of accomplishment was swept away went away when I attempted to serve the cheesecake and destroyed it’s perfection. I could not understand why the cheesecake in the picture looked perfectly cut into neat slices while mine looked like a crumpled ball of filo and cream sprinkled with nuts. That’s when an idea popped into my head: Baklava Cheesecake Cupcakes.
I often get seemingly brilliant ideas when I make something and it doesn’t come out just right, but never test them or test them and realize they won’t work as I had hoped they would. This time was different. This time, the crazy idea beat out the original cheesecake-beautiful, delicious AND easy to serve. Success all around.
Tip: Are you a visual learner? Follow Sophaki Cooks on Instagram and find a time lapse video of me making these!
BAKLAVA CHEESECAKE CUPCAKES
Adapted from Karin Calloway
1 1/2 c walnuts
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Cream Cheese Filling:
16 oz cream cheese
1/2 c honey
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 lb package of filo, thawed
12 oz (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
chopped walnuts for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven is preheating, spread walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, place nuts in a food processor to finely chop. Combine with sugar, ground cinnamon and ground cloves. Set aside.
Mix cream cheese and honey in a bowl until smooth. Add lemon juice and vanilla bean paste to bowl mixing well. Add eggs individually, mixing in between each addition. Set aside.
Using a pastry brush, grease a 12 count muffin tin with melted butter or line with foil baking cups. Gently unroll filo dough and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Be sure to keep the stack of filo sheets covered as you remove sheets for use.
Remove one sheet of filo and place on a clean, flat surface. Brush with melted butter and fold in half. Remove another sheet of filo and place half of the sheet over the first, folded sheet. Brush with butter and sprinkle with a approximately one heaping tablespoon of nut mixture. Fold in half so that the two sheets of folded filo are the same size on top of each other. Carefully pick up the stack and gently fold into a cup as you place it in the muffin tin. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture into the filo cup. Fold the edges of the filo cup over. Repeat for each cupcake and place in oven to bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.
While cupcakes are baking, prepare the honey syrup by bringing the ingredients to a boil. Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves. Pour syrup over hot cupcakes once they come out of the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate.
These cupcakes can be prepared one day early and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.