Lemon Greek Easter Cookies {Koulourakia}

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 Sweet little cookies just in time for Easter!

Rich, buttery Easter cookies with a hint of fresh lemon!  These cookies are perfect for dunking into your coffee or tea!

Buttery twists with a hint of lemon!  The perfect partner for your coffee or tea!  www.lemonsforlulu.com

My Greek family does things a little differently for Easter.  No, we don’t break plates and spray Windex over everything, but we do have traditions that are all our own.  It never occurred to me that my Easter was a bit odd until I got into school.  At that point, I decided it best just to embrace our uniqueness!

Butter cookies with a hint of lemon, just perfect for Easter! www.lemonsforlulu.com

One thing to note about Greeks and Easter is we have our own date.  Yessirree.  There are three factors which decide which day Orthodox Easter will be held.  1. It is based on the Julian Calendar (confession: I don’t know what the heck that even means-I just read it off of Wikipedia), 2. It must be after Passover and 3. It is always held on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.  Don’t ask why, apparently Greeks like things nice and complicated!  What this meant for me growing up was I got TWO Easter baskets!  That’s all that matters isn’t it?

Buttery cookies with a hint of lemon, perfect for dunking and snacking! www.lemonsforlulu.com

The second thing about Greek Easter is my mom always makes about 4,982 loaves of braided Greek Easter bread (they taste quite similar to Challah) that she will stuff in her freezer (and now mine).  The first loaf is always devoured with enthusiasm!  By the time we get to the last loaf, sometime in November, it’s just not as exciting, you know what I mean?

Lemon Greek Easter Cookies www.lemonsforlulu.com

Finally, it would not be Easter without our RIT Dyed Red Easter Eggs!  Yes, you heard me.  RIT Dye, as in craft dye!  If my parents weren’t the model of health I would fear these eggs!  Oh who am I kidding, I’m terrified of those eggs and always put mine back when no one is looking.  I tell my kids they are strictly for our egg cracking ceremony and are NOT to be consumed (I say this out of earshot of my mother of course)!  And this brings me to the egg cracking ceremony.  Doesn’t every one have an egg cracking ceremony?  No?  Well, you will want one after you read this.

It goes a little something like this, each person holds an egg, small end down and you go around in a circle smashing your egg into another person’s egg.  If your egg cracks, it is considered weak and is out of the game.  Then you repeat the process with the larger end of the egg.  The one without a crack on either side of their egg is supposed to have good luck.  It gets a little competitive and heated with egg shells raining down all over the place.  We all know no one really ends up having good luck as a result of an uncracked egg, but we all want the bragging rights just the same.

Lemon Greek Easter Cookies www.lemonsforlulu.com

The last thing about Greek Easter in my house is my mom always makes these Easter cookies!  They are hands down my favorite!  They are not a very sweet cookie.  Their flavor reminds me of a biscotti, but they are buttery and softer than a biscotti.  I added a lemon to mine to freshen them up.  Just a touch of citrus can take an ordinary cookie and make it taste out of this world!  I added a milk wash and sprinkled my cookies with the new Domino Sugar Flip Top Quick Dissolve Sugar.  The sugar crystals melt right into the milk; giving the cookie the right amount of sweetness in each bite.

I loved these new canisters.  I poured a little sugar straight from the flip top and into my coffee and a little into my cereal, a little into my oatmeal, a little into my mouth…. you get the idea!  These canisters are so easy and so convenient, who needs a sugar shaker?  By sprinkling a little sugar where I need it straight from the container, my mornings become a little more “frenzy free”.   Be sure to leave a comment below to enter to win a coupon for your own Domino Sugar for free (a $3 value)!


Shortbread cookies with a hint of cinnamon and drizzled with a pumpkin spice glaze. www.lemonsforlulu.com

Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies


Maple Glazed Biscotti

Maple Glazed Biscotti





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Lemon Greek Easter Cookies {Koularakia}
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 whole lemons, zested,
  • Juice from two lemons
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoon milk
  • ¼ cup Domino sugar for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening until creamy. Add eggs and sugar. Continue to beat on medium until mixture is light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Add lemon zest and juice. Carefully add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Batter will be thick.
  3. Work with small pieces of dough at a time; roll dough into strips about 5 inches long and ½ inch thick. Make a “u” with dough strip, cross one side over the other and twist into a twisted rope shape. Arrange cookies on a lined baking sheet. Brush cookies with milk and sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly browned.
  4. Makes 6 dozen



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37 Responses

  1. These cookies are gorgeous! Love the extra sprinkle of sugar and learning about your family’s traditions too.

    • Thank you Erin, my family is quirky but I love them!

  2. My greek husband would pretty much go crazy if I made these for him this Easter since we’re about 15 states away from his mom’s homemade koularakia. They’re one of my favorite greek cookies so it might just have to happen this year :)

    • One of my absolute favorite Greek desserts too Gina! Thank you!

  3. Francine Long

    Cannot wait to try these cookies – they look wonderful.

  4. My family is greek as well….and yes….we do the same egg cracking ceremony and make the same Koulourakia…except my grandmother always put anise in hers!!! Yours look beautiful and amazing!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  5. This is so interesting to me! Sounds like an awesome Easter! Plus two Easter baskets…who’s going to turn that down? Wish I could enjoy one of these cookies and a cup of coffee with you!

  6. I’ve never heard of these cookies, but they look delicious!!

  7. these look wonderful!

  8. I’m lovin’ this recipe; can’t wait to make them :o) Thanks for sharing; I just pinned to my food board!

  9. These look so perfect. I love lemon cookies, so perfect for spring. Found this post on Pin Junkie link party. Pinned.

  10. These look so beautiful and delicate!

  11. Loved learning about your Easter family traditions. These braided cookies look so pretty Tanya, I love a buttery cookie and the sprinkled sugar sounds like the perfect touch :)

  12. These look amazing! I love the idea of the egg-cracking game! What a fun family you must have! I’m pinning these yummy cookies! Have a great weekend!

  13. I wish I had one of these right now! They look wonderful:) Every time I come over to your site I get so hungry!

  14. These sound yummy! I also will have to try the maple biscotti. I love dip-able foods! It’s still a bit cold here, so hot chocolate in the morning is the perfect compliment to biscotti. Thanks for sharing via Six Sisters Stuff link party.

  15. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    These cookies are so pretty!
    I’ve been working on desserts for Easter, and think these would be a lovely addition.
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Have a great weekend,

  16. You had me at “like a biscotti, but buttery and softer.” That sounds like my kind of cookie. We Italians have something similar called “around the finger cookies” that we bring out for Christmas. (Actually I don’t know if that’s what they’re called, but that’s what we call them). Anyway, I have to give these a try–they look like the perfect tea cookie.

  17. Tanya, your family sounds like so much fun! I love these cookies, they are adorable and contain lemon…that makes them perfect in my book. :)

  18. These are so pretty! I love lemon and lemon cookies, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen cookies shaped like this. Very cool!

  19. Never had a Greek cookie before and will be putting this on my “must make” list. Also loved your egg cracking tradition. Visiting from Marvelous Mon. Linkups

  20. Love hearing about your traditions Tanya! These cookies look similar to ones my Italian grandmother made – they look delicious! and I love lemons :-)

  21. YUM YUM!! I would be thrilled if you would hop over to my Easter/Passover Recipe Roundup and share this awesome recipe with us! You can find it here:http://mommasangelbaby.com/?p=2132. Hope to see you there! HUGS & Happy Easter!

  22. Stella

    It’s almost a year form this recipe post but I just saw it and I loved both the recipe and the traditions you keep although you are not in Greece. :) I wanted to tell you about the eggs, I dye them with food color so it’s ok to eat them. You boil them in clear water and you put 2 lt hot water in a bowl with 6 tbs vinegar and 2 tsp food color (if it is paste color I use 1/2 tsp) so you can make as many colors as you want and as soft or deep color as you wish. :) You put the eggs hot in the hot dye and let them 5-10 min.


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