Koulourakia Pasgalina: Easter cookies

The most important religious holiday of the year in Greece is almost here: Easter! At midnight fireworks start the Easter Sunday full of dancing, singing and especially: eating! Since Greek Orthodox Easter – due to a different calendar – usually falls one to five weeks after Catholic (Protestant) Easter, this year we celebrate Easter Sunday next week.

Traditional Easter cookies

The Holy Week leading up to Easter is filled with traditions. Of course many of them have to do with food. When I was young on Tuesday in the Holy Week my family house always smelled heavenly. This is the day that my mother baked the traditional Easter cookies: Koulourakia Pasgalina. There was simply no Easter without them.

My mother taught me how to make these cookies and I am very happy to share this recipe with you. Koulourakia Pasgalina are best enjoyed warm and fresh out of the oven, but even cooled down it’s hard not to eat them all at once.

Next week all over Greece people will be baking these delicious cookies. I hope you will make them for your Easter party!




We shape the Koulourakia Pasgalina into different forms, like these…



….And these!


You can’t make enough of these delicious cookies, so have fun baking!


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  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a big bowl, sift the flour with the vanilla, baking powder and soda. Create with the flour mix a hal. In a small pan melt the butter and poor it in the hal you have created of the flour mix and crumble that with the tip of your fingers.
  2. Using the mixer beat the eggs and sugar until white, light and fluffy. The dough will be soft and malleable but it should not be sticky. You should be able to pinch off a ball of dough and roll it into a cord or thin tube. If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit more flour. Allow the dough to rest a bit before rolling into shapes.
  3. To shape the cookies, pinch off a piece of dough. Roll out a cord or thin tube of dough about the length of a dinner knife. Fold in half then twist two times. You can also make a coiled circle or an “S” shape.
  4. Beat the remaining two eggs in a bowl and add a splash of water to the egg. Brush the cookies lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake cookies on parchment paper or on a lightly greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until they are nicely golden brown.