Festive Delights: Melomakarona Gemista - Greek Christmas Honey Cookies with a Surprise Filling

 Melomakarona gemista is another variation of this beloved Christmas cookie. Melomakarona gemista (μελομακάρονα γεμιστά in Greek) is the name of these Greek Christmas honey cookies, but this time with filling.  For this recipe, the standard measuring cup has been used, with a metric cup being 250 milliliters. 

This melomakarona gemista recipe, which gives around 80 cookies, takes 1 h 10 min to prepare and 25-30 min to bake.

Melomakarona gemista

Melomakarona Gemista - Ingredients

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of orange juice


  • ½ pound of walnuts, chopped coarsely
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves


  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1½ cups of water
  • 1 cup honey
  • The zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 5 whole cloves

Melomakarona Gemista - How to Make

  1. Beat butter, oil, sugar, salt, and vanilla for at least ½ hour. 
  2. Add the orange juice. 
  3. Sift the flour, soda, and baking powder. 
  4. Add flour mixture gradually to creamed mixture, mixing by hand until the dough can easily be shaped.  
  5. The dough may require a touch more flour, depending on how tight so trust your judgment. 
  6. Combine all filling ingredients and blend thoroughly. 
  7. Take a small amount of dough (the size of a large walnut), flatten, and add ¼ teaspoon of filling, fold and mold into crescents. 
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  9. Grease a couple of baking sheets with vegetable oil or line them with parchment paper. 
  10. Bake at 180°C for 20 -25 minutes. Cool.
  11. Bring syrup ingredients—sugar, water, lemon rind, cloves, and cinnamon stick—to boil until slightly thickened. 
  12. Remove from heat, and add honey, and lemon juice. 
  13. Dip cookies in very hot syrup until syrup penetrates. 
  14. Drain and sprinkle while hot with additional ground cinnamon and chopped walnuts.
You can always keep your melomakarona gemista fresh for a long time of period by covering them with cling film wrap or storing them in an airtight container. If you are into more traditional tastes, check out this melomakarona recipe. Merry Christmas.