The Greek Christmas Desserts you need in your life

by - Saturday, December 21, 2019

Oh yes, it's that time of the year again! My absolute favourite time of the year!


This year Christmas is even more important to all previous in our home, since it's Andromeda's very first and we want to make it special, not just for her but also because it's going to be the only year she gets to have full attention - next year she will be pestered by her younger brother Orion, I'm sure of it!

Being Greek and abroad, I have limited access to certain things that bring up memories and make Christmas the special holidays they are to me. One of those things is the way the house smelled of orange and cinnamon when mum was making the syrup for the melomakarona and how the family would divide in two camps, camp Melomakarona and camp Kourampiedes (I've always been part of the latest). 

Now that I'm a mum myself I want to "recreate" those memories with my children and my man, and I couldn't think of a better way to do it than bring those all-too-familiar smells to me in our family home by baking the desserts myself! 

And since I love sharing with all you lovely people, here are the recipes my family has been following for what seems to be an eternity!



  • 250gr. goat's butter
  • 110gr. icing sugar for the biscuit mix
  • 100gr. almonds
  • 600gr. self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • a few vanilla drops
  • 25ml. spiced black rum (or cognac or dark vodka)
  • 150-200gr. icing sugar for serving

Before we start make sure the butter is soft and at room temperature. Add the butter and the icing sugar together in your mixer and mix for about 10 minutes, until they form a soft butter cream. Get the almonds on a baking sheet and put them in the over to roast for 15 minutes, after you've preheated it on 160 degrees Celcius. Slowly add the flour, baking powder and vanilla extract and carefully mix. Don't do what I did and try to do this in a mixer, it's best if it's done first with a wooden spoon and then with your hand. Take the almonds off the over and break them into smaller pieces with the help of a pestle and mortar. Add the almonds and the rum in and mix well. Your batter should be soft and crumbly, but able to hold shape when you squeeze it in your hand, similarly to shortbread. Shape into small balls (either bite size or double that but not bigger), place them on a baking tray and bake for about 20-25 minutes on 160 degrees. When golden brown take them out and leave them to cool before you cover them with icing sugar and serve.



  • Plain flour (as much as the mix requires)
  • 2 cups of coarse semolina (or 3 cups of fine semolina)
  • zest from an orange
  • 1 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. icing sugar
For the syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup clear honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • peel from one orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick

I'll start with the most important tip when it comes to melomakarona. In order for them not to crumble when the syrup is added, you need to make sure to have one item hot and the other cold. If your syrup is hot then your biscuits need to be cold OR the other way around. I personally prefer having the cookies hot and the syrup cold because I hate getting splashed with hot syrup!

But let's start!

Add all the ingredients needed for the syrup in a pot and boil for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool without removing the orange peel and cinnamon stick (the longer they're in, the more flavour they will infuse into your syrup).
Add the sunflower oil and the sugar in a bowl and mix until the sugar dissolves fully. Add the orange juice, orange zest, semolina and baking powder and mix well. Your batter should be quite wet by now. Start adding flour gradually and mix well, keeping in mind that your batter needs to become firm enough to shape but not to stick on your hands when you do so. Don't worry if it looks quite oily, it's absolutely normal and you don't have to overcompensate with the flour, otherwise your biscuits will not taste as nice. Mix the crushed walnuts with the cinnamon and icing sugar and put the mix on the side. Start shaping the biscuits, making sure to press your thumb on the middle and create a sink hole that you fill with the crushed walnuts mix. Pinch the batter together and cover the stuffing, then give the biscuit its final shape before you put it on a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, but before you put the biscuits in to bake take a fork and press it on the surface of the biscuit a few times to create little holes. These are needed later, when you dip your biscuits in the syrup. Bake for about 30 minutes, right up to the point when they are turning golden brown, then get them out of the oven and dip them in the cold syrup while they are hot. Leave them in for a couple of minutes before pulling them out to allow them to absorb enough syrup. Put them aside for about 30 minutes before serving.

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