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Melomakarona: Greek Christmas Honey Cookies

Every holiday season, there are some traditions I can’t live without. Decorating the tree, buying presents for my loved ones, and of course making Greek Christmas cookies! And one of the Christmas cookies Greeks I truly love to make (and eat) along with kourabiedes is melomakarona. Melomakarona is a delicious egg or round shaped honey cookie made mainly from flour, olive oil, and honey. It is so delicious that you cannot eat only one at a time. Apart from that, they are just perfect! I got this melomakarona recipe with semolina from my mother.

You do not make melomakarona every day and they are made for the biggest holiday of the year! As you will share them with your loved ones, try to use the best ingredients! For this traditional melomakarona recipe, I have used the following ingredients: flour, semolina, sugar, orange zest, cognac, cinnamon, and olive oil. After baking, melomakarona are immersed for a few seconds in syrup made of honey and sugar dissolved in water. Finally, they are topped with bigger pieces of chopped walnut. There is also a dark chocolate-covered melomakarona variation of this traditional Greek Christmas cookie which is absolutely delicious. Its Greek name is μελομακάρονα.

melomakarona recipe

Melomakarona Recipe – Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Greek olive oil (170 g)
  • 2 1/2 cups of fine semolina (375 g)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (45 g)
  • 1 spoon of cinnamon (10 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of clove (2,5 g)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (8 g)
  • 2 vanilla extracts (10 g)
  • 3 cups of flour (300 g)
  • 45 g of cognac
  • 105 g of orange juice
  • 14 g of orange zest
  • 5 g of baking soda
  • 120 g of crushed walnuts
  • 1 spoon of sugar mixed with cinnamon

Syrup – Ingredients

    • 1 cup of honey (270 g)
    • 1/2 cup of sugar (90 g)
    • 150 g of water

Melomakarona Recipe – Instructions

  1. Start this Greek Christmas honey cookies recipe by making the syrup at least 3 to 4 hours before you start making the melomakora. Take a pot and add the water and sugar and bring to boil over high temperature. Remove from heat, add the honey and stir well. Remove any foam and allow syrup to cool down.
  2. Preheat oven to 170 °C. 
  3. Sift the flour in a bowl.
  4. Add oil and sugar to a bowl and mix with a wire whisk.
  5. Mix baking soda with orange juice.
  6. Add the cognac, orange zest, orange juice, cinnamon, clove, honey and vanilla extract to oil mixture.
  7. Slowly add the semolina and flour. Knead the mixture until it becomes a unified mixture.
  8. Take a baking pan and grease it with some olive oil or cover it with some parchment paper.
  9. Use a tablespoon as a measure, scoop out small, equal-sized pieces of dough and shape them into round or oblong cookies. Place the melomakarona one inch apart in the baking pan. Take a fork and lightly push the top of each melomakarona and make some holes only on the top. Keep doing until the dough is over.
  10. Bake for around 20 minutes at 170 °C  until each honey cookie is lightly browned and cooked through.
  11. Dip into syrup not more than 3-4 melomakarona each time while they are still hot.
  12. Remove them with a skimmer spoon and place them on a platter.
  13. Sprinkle them with crushed walnuts and the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

I hope you enjoy this melomakarona recipe. Stay tuned for more Greek desserts! May you all have a Merry Christmas!

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