Traditional recipes

Greek Easter biscuits recipe

Greek Easter biscuits recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Biscuits and cookies

These tasty biscuits are especially delicious if dusted with icing sugar or one half is coated in dark chocolate.

24 people made this

IngredientsServes: 60

  • 450g butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 125ml milk
  • 1kg sifted plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 egg

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Sift together flour and baking powder and set aside. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add 4 egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each one. Add milk and flour.
  2. Work with the hands until dough is smooth. Add grated orange rind. Dough should be stiff so add additional flour if needed.
  3. Break off small portions of dough and roll out into pencil-size strips about 28cm long. Fold each strip into thirds, sideways, and press lightly together at ends.
  4. Place biscuits on ungreased baking tray. Brush tops with beaten egg. Bake at 180 C / Gas mark 4 for 18 to 20 minutes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(12)

Reviews in English (6)

by SISSI808

Wonderfully delicious cookies! They taste a bit like shortbread, but also delightfully tangy. In my test batch (1/4 of the original recipe yield), I substituted freshly squeezed orange juice for half of the milk. Also, I just brushed the cookies with the whites from the egg yolk, instead of wasting a whole egg. However, I didn't really understand what shape these were supposed to be, and I ended up making a rather odd looking thing. For a few of them, I rolled them into balls and flattened them slightly, making nice little round cookies. I put an almond in the center of some. For my next batch, I plan to make them in the shape of crosses, for Easter; my mom suggested that I make them with lemon, which I may try also.-14 Apr 2003

by CPIVES

Beware: Stiff dough is hard to roll into pencil shapes! I continually added orange juice a few drops at a time to keep the dough pliable. I also kept unused dough under a damp cloth. Even so, the dough often crumbled just as I was getting my roll to the right diameter. And boy, did it take a long time to roll all those cookies. I'm still not sure I understood what the shape was supposed to be. In the end, I thought the cookies tasted pretty bland for the amount of work involved, but my kids swear they are fabulous. My 1st grader promises they taste just like the cookies his Greek classmate brought in. Go figure.-15 Apr 2004


Koulourakia Recipe— Greek Butter Cookies

Koulourakia (or Koulouria) are one of the most revered traditional Greek desserts. Growing up in a Greek community, friends always offer the sweet butter-based cookies as a casual afternoon snack they are also fixtures at every celebration. Koulourakia are most often associated with Greek Easter, but I don’t think I’ve attended a holiday party in a Greek household where they didn’t make an appearance. We love baking them at Christmastime along with Melomakarona and Kourabiedes.

Ancient origins

Outside of soirees, they are the perfect compliment to coffee as an afternoon snack or breakfast. Legend has it that the cookies date back to Minoan times. (I haven’t seen any authoritative documentation of this, but like the sound of it.) Minoans worshipped the snake, which explains the coil-like foundation of the cookie. Logistically, if Minoans did eat these cookies, they would have probably made them with olive oil instead of butter, sweetened with honey instead of sugar, but I digress. Luckily today in Greece, you can go to any zaharoplastio and easily purchase them by the kilo — and you’ll want to fill your box because they disappear quickly.

But if you don’t live near a Greek bakery, you’ll want to make them for yourself using this easy recipe.

My sweet history of Koulourakia

Like most Greek kids, I started making these yummy cookies with my yiayia. Then I really upped my game when my mom took me down to our church during the summer to help them bake for our annual Greek festival. Our community in Dayton, Ohio made nearly all our food and pastries from scratch. I’d spend my summer break sitting among everyone else’s yiayias, my seven-year-old fingers rolling hundreds of the prized biscuits. I perfected my skills, so much so, that my mom always put me on rolling duty when she made them for our family. She’d still make me do it if I didn’t live across the country from her. Now she makes my dad help! It’s ok. He eats them all anyway.

Recipe origins

But this recipe is based on one from our dear friend in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Andriana Skinner. Yiayia Andriana was an incredible baker — a Greek pasty expert — and we’d often stop by her house in the afternoons and I would gobble down handfuls of these cookies and her powdered sugar-covered Kourambiedes while my mom visited with her and her daughters.

Making Koulourakia

There are as many variations of Koulourakia as there are Greek families. None are more “authentic” than others. This is the one that I personally like. In my cookbook: Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook, my writing partner offers her recipe that uses olive oil instead of butter. Other variations include what kind of liquor to add, or to add it at all.

In this recipe, I use Metaxa, cause that’s what I have stocked in my house. Other Greeks use Ouzo or Tsoukoudia. I’m sure they’re also great with some Mastiha liquor. My yiayia used straight-up whiskey because in the 󈨔s it was hard to find Greek liquor in Ohio. Don’t make it difficult on yourself. My mom also uses almond extract in place of vanilla cause that’s how she likes them. I think they taste great either way. I also like to add the zest of half an orange along with the 2 tablespoons of orange juice why not?

A note about flour

To find success with this recipe, first add the cup of flour that you’ve combined with the baking soda and baking powder. Then incorporate the 3 additional cups of flour. At that point, your dough should still be fairly sticky. For the final cup of flour, slowly spoon it into the mix. You probably won’t use the whole cup. Once the dough starts to pull away from the side of the mixing bowl, don’t add any more flour or your cookies might turn out tough and brittle.

Baking tips

When you place them on your baking sheet, make sure to give them some space between one another. They will puff up and spread out. That said, make them smaller than how you would like to eat them cause they definitely grow. I use a teaspoon to measure out dough balls. My mother in law makes larger ones using about a tablespoon of dough. It’s really up to you.

To see how I made mine, watch the step-by-step sequence below!

How do your make your Koulourakia? Let me know in the comments!

For another delicious Greek dessert, check out my Pasta Flora recipe! And if you want to bake more cookies, definitely try these recipes for Melomakarona (Greek honey walnut cookies), and Kourabiedes (powdered sugar dusted butter cookies).

Koulourakia — Greek Butter Cookies Step-By-Step

How to Koulourakia — Greek Butter Cookies by xtinaxenos on Jumprope.


Reviews (1327)

Most helpful positive review

Most helpful critical review

I am rating this recipe on changes made before trying the original. I know, I know, shame on me! I am only doing so as I had items in the fridge that I needed to use up! Based on other reviews, I added the garlic and onion powder, parsley and 1/4 tsp of Old Bay seasoning to the mix. In place of the water, I used buttermilk which makes a more flavorful biscuit. As soon as the biscuits were done, I brushed the butter mixture (plus chives for color) on top of the biscuits and popped them back into the oven for about 2 minutes. Full of flavor, easy to make with ingredients usually found in any cooks kitchen! 5 Stars! Read More


Greek Orange Biscuits

Every Easter my mother-in-law makes the most delicious Greek Orange Biscuits. These traditional biscuits, called Koulourakia Me Portokali, are pure heavenly goodness!

They are so full of flavor and a wonderful combination of citrus and sweetness. Choosing the juiciest oranges for this recipe will make the best biscuits! The orange zest just takes the flavor to a whole new level!

We look forward to having these every year. Light and refreshing, they go perfectly with Easter brunch. But it’s not just at Easter that we make these…they are a great breakfast biscuit to have on hand when you’re having company over. Or you’ll probably just want to save them all for yourself!


Unique Flavor And Aroma

They’re so crispy when you take a bite, and then they start to melt in your mouth. They also contain an unusual aroma, that of Mahleb. Mahleb is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of a species of cherry and is also used in our traditional sweet braided bread, called “Tsoureki” that is made in Easter as well.

This comforting sweet spice is what makes me think of Easter when I smell it. Like cloves, and cinnamon reminds me of Christmas.
And let’s admit it, what are Holidays worth, if it wasn’t for all this lovely food that we’re making? Can you imagine Thanksgiving without a turkey? Or Christmas without gingerbread? Not really…

Especially in Greece, we really like to grab every chance we get to have a “Glenti” (The word for a Greek party with friends and family) with lots of food.


Traditional recipes for koulourakia call for baking ammonia, which isn&rsquot all that common in kitchens nowadays, particularly in the States.

Baker&rsquos ammonia (or ammonium bicarbonate) is your classic, old fashioned leavener. (NOT to be confused with regular, household ammonia. Which is a cleaner. And is poisonous.)

Baker&rsquos ammonia was the primary leavening agent before the invention of baking soda and baking powder in the 19th century. It smells quite potent, so today, it is mostly used in baked goods that don&rsquot have much moisture, like crackers and cookies. (The drier the end product, the less smell lingers.) That&rsquos perfect because it tends to produce a lighter, crunchier end result than baking powder or baking soda.

The best substitue for baking ammonia is double acting baking powder, which can be used as a direct, 1:1, substitute.

If you don&rsquot have double acting baking powder, regular baking powder can be substituted as well, but double the amount of baking ammonia called for in the recipe (2:1).

For our recipe below, you don&rsquot have to worry about the math. We wrote the recipe to use the more common baking powder.


Greek Easter Cookies (Koulourakia): A recipe by George Diakomichalis

Koulourakia are traditional Greek cookies which along with tsourekia are the “trademark” of Greek Orthodox Easter.

The week before Easter every family (or almost every family nowadays) is preparing koulourakia and tsourekia. Koulourakia are vanilla and orange scented cookies, crispy outside and soft inside, not overly sweet but full in flavor.

“Let’s keep proudly representing our heritage. Easter time is nearly here and we want to fill every neighbourhood around the world with the smell of freshly baked ‘Koulourakia’,” fourth generation pastry chef and owner of Adelaide’s Kalymnos Pastries, George Diakomichalis, tells The Greek Herald.

KOULOURAKIA PASCHALINA (Greek Easter Cookies)
Ingredients:
-3/4 cup caster sugar
-125 gms unsalted butter (softened)
-3 x large eggs (2 for mix/ 1 for egg wash)
-Grated rind of 1 orange
-1/4 cup milk
-1 Tbsp Vanilla sugar/essence
-Self raising flour (approx 470gms) or until dough firm enough to work with.

  • Preheat oven 180°C.
  • In mix master/hand mixer: Whisk butter, sugar, orange rind and vanilla on high speed until well creamed
  • Slowly add two eggs and milk (on low gear) until combined
  • Add self raising flour
  • The dough should be smooth, soft and not sticky. Take a small amount of it and try to shape it to a koulouraki. If it can be shaped it is ok. If not add a little more flour.
  • Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Take small amounts of dough and shape the koulourakia, shape them and place them on the baking sheet
  • Brush with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown

You can follow George Diakomichalis’ on Facebook or Instagram on: Kalymnos Pastries, It’s All Greek To Me and Bake With George


Greek Easter biscuits recipe - Recipes

BRAIDED GREEK EASTER BISCUITS
(Koulourakia Lambriatika)

Greek home cooks do all their Easter baking on Holy Thursday. These crunchy, butter braids are a constant at the Easter table.

6 sticks unsalted butter
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh strained orange juice
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7-7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons water

Combine butter, shortening and sugar in large bowl and whip vigorously with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating after each, for a total of 10 or more minutes. Mix the orange juice with the baking powder and pour into whipped butter. Add the brandy and vanilla. Mix well. Gradually add the flour, mixing by hand until a soft, smooth dough forms. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350ºF. To form the cookies, take a golf-ball size piece of dough and roll into a 7-inch rope. Fold the rope in half and twist together. Place 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets. Lightly beat the remaining egg with 2 tablespoons water and brush over the cookies. Bake for 15 minutes or until pale gold in color. Brush again with the egg and water and continue baking another 7-10 minutes, until golden. Remove, cool on racks and serve.


Greek Easter Biscuits (Koulourakia)

These are also known as Greek Egg Biscuits.

  • 2 cups unsalted butter butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 2-1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 egg, extra
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to moderate (350 degrees F). Beat the butter, sugar, rind and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until combined between each addition. Add the juice and sifted flours and beat on a low speed until the mixture forms a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Working on a lightly floured surface, roll level tablespoons of the dough into balls roll balls into 9- to 10-inch-long logs. Fold the logs in half and gently twist at both ends. The biscuits can be left as a long twist or joined at the ends to form a ring.

Place the shapes on a greased oven tray, brush lightly with the extra egg and sprinkle with the seeds.

Bake in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes or until browned lightly. Cool the biscuits on the trays for 10 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool.

The biscuits can be made a week ahead of time. Suitable for freezing. Not suitable for microwave.


Greek Yogurt Biscuits (2-Ingredient Dough)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Greek Yogurt Biscuits are fluffy, flaky biscuits made with just 2 ingredients. Easy dough with no kneading or rising time!

Greek Yogurt is such a healthy and versatile ingredient. You can use it to make these delicious biscuits, or a Breakfast Recipe like Yogurt Waffles.

GREEK YOGURT BISCUITS

This Healthy Biscuit recipe is low calorie, and made with no butter, eggs, or oil in the ingredients. But somehow they still come out buttery and flaky from the oven. And these biscuits are the perfect to serve with any meal, or eat on their own.

Use Biscuits as a healthy bread to dip in your favorite soups like Beef and Cabbage Roll Soup, White Kale Soup, or Healthy Lentil Soup. Or make yourself some creamy gravy, for the Southern classic biscuits and gravy.

You can also enjoy biscuits on their own as a low calorie snack or breakfast. There’s simply nothing better than starting off your morning with a healthy biscuit smothered in some melted butter. Some other delicious toppings to try are peanut butter, Strawberry Chia Jam, or even Nutella. These flaky biscuits taste just as good with sweet toppings as they do savory, so have fun trying them with different meals.

EASIEST DOUGH RECIPE EVER

These crumbly biscuits are so wonderful to have on hand, you might want to bake an extra batch, and save some in the freezer. Healthy Biscuits are such an easy recipe. All you need is self-rising flour and Greek Yogurt to make this wonderful biscuit recipe. And there’s practically as few steps as ingredients in the recipe.

  • First mix the two ingredients, but be careful not to overwork the dough.
  • Drop 1/4 cup of biscuit dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • If you add a bit more flour to make the dough easier to handle you can even use a biscuit cutter for a perfect circle.
  • Bake the dough for 18 minutes, and you’re done.

It truly doesn’t get simpler than this recipe!

HOW TO MAKE SELF-RISING FLOUR

You can easily find store-bought rising all purpose flour. However it’s a lot harder to find, if you prefer baking with whole wheat flour, or a gluten-free flour. Here is an easy step-by-step guide to make self-rising flour. You can use it for almond flour, oat flour or any other gluten free flour.

You’ll simply need to mix 1 cup of your choice in flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Depending on how heavy the flour is you may have to slightly increase the amount of rising agent you use.