Greek Holiday Cookies

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch


6-1/2 dozen

Updated: Jul. 18, 2023
Koulourakia are a traditional treat in Greece, where they are usually made for Easter and other celebrations. I enjoy making these buttery, golden Greek cookies to keep me in touch with my heritage. —Nicole Moskou, New York, New York
Greek Holiday Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add 2 eggs; beat well. Beat in orange juice and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. Roll dough into 1-1/4-in. balls. Shape each into a 6-in. rope; fold in half and twist twice. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the remaining 2 eggs; brush over dough. Bake at 350° for 7-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire racks.

Koulourakia Recipe Tips

What is a koulourakia cookie?

These cookies are a traditional Greek food, and they aren't overly sweet. Expect a light crunch and tender crumb with hints of vanilla and orange.

What are other types of Greek cookies?

Greek cuisine has no shortage of sweet indulgences. Try kourabiedes, which are Greek butter cookies, or melomakarona, which are made with cinnamon, walnuts, Cognac and orange zest. For even more sweet international treats, check out these other Christmas cookies from around the world.

What variations can I try for this koulourakia recipe?

This koulourakia recipe uses baking powder and baking soda instead of traditional ammonia baking powder, which you can order online or find at Greek or Middle Eastern grocers. You can add a bolder citrus flavor by zesting an orange peel into the dough or on top of the cookies. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for extra texture, too.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 79 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 19mg cholesterol, 53mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

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