Easter Greek Cookies (Koulourakia) [video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Easter Greek Cookies also know as Koulourakia are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They are traditionally made around Easter but also perfect for a church day and festival.

With Easter around the corner, these beautiful and delicious cookies are a must try! You can find them on the Easter table next to deviled eggs, stuffed lamb, and paska bread.

Braided Easter Greek Cookies

Easy Koulourakia Cookies

These delicious cookies are a traditional treat in Greece but later became popular all over the world. They are quite easy to make and can be enjoyed for breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee, or as a snack. It is one of our favorite cookies because they are filling but not overly sweet. 

When we lived in Europe, we would make these quite often. My mom is an expert at making them, so I quickly picked the recipe from her. It is quite an easy recipe with a few simple ingredients required. Once you try them, you will crave for more, they are that good!

The classic Koulourakia Cookies include baking ammonia. However, since this ingredient is limited in the state and has a specific flavor that is not liked by everyone, we decided to skip this ingredient. Instead, we added some orange juice and some zest to give them some nice color and a citrusy flavor.

This trick works perfectly in this recipe, and you simply rub the zest into the sugar. We do this step all the time when we bake them and can tell you that the flavor and the orange aroma tastes and smells amazingly well. 

What are the Greek Koulourakia cookies?

Koulourakia originated from Greece and are traditionally made on Holy Saturday to be served the next morning for Easter. They later gained popularity all over Europe and the United States, and now are enjoyed at all major Greek holidays, or various festivals or celebrations. 

Also, the cookies are butter-based and can be shaped in various forms. They are sometimes egg washed and sprinkled with sesame seed. 

Homemade Easter Greek Cookies

What ingredients are in Easter Greek Cookies?

As stated above, we have made this recipe over many years and have twisted it a bit. We totally skip ammonia since and instead infuse them dough with orange zest. Below is the list of what you will need to make them:

  • Unsalted butter
  • White sugar
  • Eggs
  • Orange juice
  • Orange zest 
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder or ammonia
  • Salt

For the egg brush:

  • Egg 
  • Milk

Can you substitute baking ammonia?

Yes! If you are really a fan of ammonia and want to incorporate it in this recipe but cannot find it, then you can substitute it with baking powder, or use it instead of the baking powder.

Braided Easter Greek Cookies Recipe

Can you make Easter Greek Cookies in advance?

Absolutely! Whether you want to serve them for Easter or as a regular morning treat, they can be definitely be made ahead. The best way to store them would be in a dry, sealed container on the counter. This way, they will be good for about a week. 

How to Braid Koulourakia?

There are many different ways to braid these cookies, and all of them look great based on your own preference. However, the most important thing to consider when baking them is the dough. The dough for Greek Easter Cookies should be soft and pliable, but not sticky. Also, try to limit the flour when you roll the dough on the board. We try to use very little flour if any when rolling it. 

Another important aspect is to chill the dough. Although this is not mandatory, we came to the conclusion that chilling the dough for about 30 minutes after mixing it, will result in better cookies and also make it easier to roll them. 

Braiding the Greek Easter Cookies:

  • Start by rolling the dough into about 1-1½-inch balls.
  • Then, roll the balls into about 7-inch log shapes and form the letter “T”.
  • Starting at the top left, pick up the left portion of the letter “T” and cross it over the middle section.
  • Pick up the top right section of the letter “T” and cross it over and place it parallel to the long middle section.
  • Next, pick up the middle section and place it between the other two sections that way creating a braid.
  • Once the braid is complete, cut off the end and gently tuck underneath.

Easter Greek Cookies

Recipe tips:

  • Not everyone is egg washing the Koulourakia. Therefore, feel free to skip this step and do them without the egg wash. However, in our recipe, we do this step and believe it gives them a nicer taste and texture.
  • Use unsalted butter to control the salt level and adjust as needed.
  • Try not to use flour on your board, as you want your dough to adjust to it as you are rolling and shaping the dough.
  • You can substitute the orange zest with orange oil.

Watch recipe video:

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5 from 1 reviews
Easter Greek Cookies
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 16 cookies
Prep time: 1 hour Cook time: 12 minutes Total time: 1 hr 12 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup  unsalted butter  (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups  white sugar 
  • 3  eggs 
  • 1/2 cup  orange juice 
  •  Zest of 1 orange 
  • 6 cups  all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon  baking soda 
  • 2 teaspoons  baking powder 
  • ½ teaspoon  salt 

Egg Brush:

  • 1  egg  (beaten)
  • ⅓ cup  milk 

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  2. Add butter to a large bowl and cream it with beaters. Add sugar gradually. Add orange zest.
  3. Add eggs one at a time alternating with orange juice. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Add flour mix a little bit at a time and mix. You should end up with a soft dough.
  5. Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Shape as desired, check blog post for details on how to create the shape.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange cookies on it, 2 inches apart.
  9. Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl. Brush cookies with the egg and milk mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Calories: 353 Carbohydrates: 52 Protein: 5 Fat: 14 Saturated Fat: 7 Cholesterol: 71 Sodium: 263 Potassium: 203 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 19 Vitamin A: 530 Vitamin C: 3.9 Calcium: 96 Iron: 3.5
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Easter Greek Cookies Koulourakia

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Comments

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Tara Pittman

These would be so fun to make. They sound so delicious.

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Brianne Tursi Manz

My kids would like these. They look like a lot of fun to make and they look delicious.

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Amy Desrosiers

These cookies look so good!! I am not sure I have ever had the pleasure of trying them!

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Lisa Favre

I love the look of these cookies! They look absolutely delicious and baked to perfection - I'll have to try these out for my family.

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krystal

Wow - those are stunning. I've never had these greek cookies before but I would love to try!

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Lisa Joy Thompson

I've never heard of these Greek cookies before. They look delicious and easy to make! We'll have to try them!!!

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Claudia Krusch

They look amazing! I've never heard of them, but will definitely try them!

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Jamie | Makeup Life and Love

Oh wow these look pretty awesome. I have never heard of these cookies, but I am so going to need to try them. 

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Annemarie LeBlanc

Oh wow. I have never tried Greek cookies before but these look so good I will have to try making some. Thanks for the recipe.

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Jennifer

I’ve never heard of those cookies before! They sound delicious! 

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reesa

I have never tried these before, but they sound very similar to an Italian cookie I love.

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