Seasonal Chef Recipe: Orange-scented Koulourakia


Koulourakia, a Greek Easter cookie comes in many shapes and varying degrees of texture and taste. Essentially though, its a delicious sweet cookie made anytime of year, but in particular for the Easter dinner table. Click this link to read more about my inspiration for making koulourakia.

Orange-Scented Koulourakia
Makes about 5 dozen

½ lb sweet butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
2 teaspoon dry orange zest
2 cups flour, plus 1 cup reserved, see comment
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water
Sesame seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter for about 5 minutes until it’s pale and fluffy. Scraping down the sides. Add the sugar and beat for another 3-5 minutes. Scraping down the sides occasionally.
  3. Add the orange juice, zest and vanilla. Beat until the juice is fully blended. Scraping down the sides.
  4. Sift 2 cups of flour with the baking powder, soda and salt. Add the flour slowly incorporating fully after each addition, scraping down the sides. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Add the last cup of flour as needed. You should be able to roll the dough easily.
  5. With a small cookie scoop or spoon roll about 1½ tablespoons of dough into a 6” log. Twist and place on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.
  6. Mix 1 tablespoon of water with the reserved yolk. Brush each cookie and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The cookies should be golden brown on the bottom and top. Once removed from the oven let them rest for 2 minutes before placing on a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).


  1. The ingredients only call for 2 cups of flour, but the directions say “Sift 2 cups of flour with the baking powder, soda and salt… Add the last cup of flour as needed.” Should the ingredients say 3 cups?

  2. Hi Randy,
    Yes, it is a total of three cups: Three cups, two plus one reserved. You want the dough to be pliable and soft, but not sticky and not hard. My suggestion is to mix in the two cups first and see how the dough is looking. Then add the balance. Let me know how they turn out!

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