Koulourakia with orange (Νηστίσιμα κουλουράκια με πορτοκάλι)

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Koulourakia with orange (Νηστίσιμα κουλουράκια με πορτοκάλι)

Koulourakia with orange are a Greek vegan cookie, perfect for dunking!

Our parents make so many types of koulourakia (Greek for cookies that are great for dunking into coffee or milk) that it is almost hard to keep track of them all.  To help differentiate one koulouraki from the other, they often refer to a key ingredient.  So here, we present to you koulourakia with orange…because, you guessed it, they contain a fair bit of orange juice.  They also often refer to different koulourakia by the person who prefers them over all others.  So these, along with being koulourakia with orange, are also affectionately referred to as “Georgia’s favourite”.

This recipe was revised October 2021, to make it even more delicious!

Koulourakia with orange (Νηστίσιμα κουλουράκια με πορτοκάλι)

Another lovely peculiarity of these particular koulourakia is that they are perfectly vegan.  This makes them ideal for a mid-morning snack, an afternoon sweet break, or an after supper dessert during periods of lent…or if you are vegan.  They are sweet, crunchy, and hardy enough to withstand repeated dunking in a lovely cup of Greek coffee, mountain tea or milk.  It’s no wonder Georgia loves them; we’re pretty sure you will too.

Helpful hints

There are no complicated techniques in this recipe, no unusual ingredients.  What you will notice is that the dough is a bit oily – this is perfect because the dough holds together well.  The resultant cookies however are not greasy at all; they are perfectly delicious.


You will know that your dough is ready to be shaped into cookies when you can easily make a ball which holds its shape in your hand, and the dough does not crumble when you roll it into a log.  The dough will feel soft in your hands, almost velvety and fluffy.


You can choose to use sesame seeds, or not.  Our parents usually make 1/2 the cookies with the sesame seeds and the rest without.  It is totally up to you.  In order to coat the koulourakia with sesame, follow the directions in the recipe below. It’s super easy.


Our parents always make this particular koulouraki in the shape pictured.  You of course, can shape them any way you like.  You can make circles, braids, straight koulourakia…it is up to you!  But, try to keep them all about the same size, so that they cook evenly.

Koulourakia with orange (Νηστίσιμα κουλουράκια με πορτοκάλι)
Koulourakia with orange (Νηστίσιμα κουλουράκια με πορτοκάλι)
Koulourakia with orange (Νηστίσιμα κουλουράκια με πορτοκάλι)

If you do not want to include the ouzo in your recipe (perhaps someone drank it all), you can replace it with equal amounts of additional orange juice.

Looking for some more cookie recipes? How about these?



Lemon ricotta cookies

Koulourakia with orange (Νηστίσιμα κουλουράκια με πορτοκάλι)

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Koulourakia with orange (Νηστίσιμα κουλουράκια με πορτοκάλι)
Koulourakia with orange (Νηστίσιμα κουλουράκια με πορτοκάλι)

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4.80 from 10 votes

Koulourakia with orange

Koulourakia with orange are a Greek vegan cookie, perfect for dunking!
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: #greeklentenrecipes, greek vegan desserts, koulourakia, orange cookies
Servings: 90 cookies
Author: Mia Kouppa


  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
  • 3 cups (750 mL) vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (500 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) ouzo or cognac see notes
  • 2 tbsp (30 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) vanilla powder heaping
  • 1,350 grams sifted, all-purpose flour (9 cups approx)
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) sesame seeds optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Using a mixer, beat together the sugar, and oil for 5 minutes.  Add the orange juice, and mix for another couple of minutes (if you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand held mixer will do nicely).
  • Add in the ouzo and mix again, for a minute or so.
  • Add two cups of your sifted flour to your mixing bowl, and with your bread hook attachment, mix to combine. Add the baking powder and vanilla powder.   Mix well.
  • Remove 1/2 cup of your measured sifted flour and keep aside. You probably won't need it.
  • Continue to add the flour, one cup at a time, mixing well  after each addition. Alternatively, at this point, if you choose, you can use your hands to knead the dough.
  • The dough should be soft and almost pillowy, but should hold its shape and be easy to roll. Watch video here. You want to avoid adding in too much flour. You want to get to the point just where the dough is pulling away from the side of the mixing bowl, as it's mixing. As soon as you have about 2 cups of flour left, add it slowly. As soon as you see the dough pulling away from the side, it's done. Watch video here. If you're not sure, don't add the extra flour you set aside.  Let the dough rest for about 10-20 minutes. Here's another video.
  • Take about 1 tablespoon (32 grams) of dough and make a log. Keep in mind, that the dough will feel oily..this is ok. It's a greasy dough. Then, create a thin “S” shape. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in middle rack of oven for about 25 minutes, turning halfway.
  • If you are going to use the sesame seeds, spread some of them on the counter or cutting board (wherever you will be rolling your koulourakia).  Roll out your dough and create your log on top of the sesame seeds; this way they will get embedded in the dough. Continue as above: Create an “S” shape.  Try not to let the ends of the cookie become too thin, because they will burn during baking. Place on parchment lined paper and bake in middle rack of oven for about 25 minutes. Here's a video of our mom shaping them.
  • When the koulourakia are golden brown on the underside, and puffy and golden on top, they are ready.
  • Allow them to rest for about a minute and then remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  • Enjoy, alone or with a nice cup of coffee!


If you'd rather not add ouzo or cognac, you can replace with equal amounts of orange juice.
You may notice that as your koulourakia are on the baking sheet waiting to be baked, some oil may seep out of them; don't worry, they will bake up just fine.
Please note: although the dough is greasy; once the koulourakia are baked; they don't taste greasy at all.  
Koulourakia will keep for a couple weeks in a covered container on the counter. Alternatively, you can keep them in the refrigerator for longer storage.

28 thoughts on “Koulourakia with orange (Νηστίσιμα κουλουράκια με πορτοκάλι)

  1. Ever since I heard about them, I have trolled the local Parc Ex bakeries, – I found only 1 bakery who would sell them – calling regularly to ask when they would be sold but I have to wait since they are only sold once a year, closer to Easter. Yesterday, I stopped at Afroditi on St Roch just to buy the vanilla variety since I could not wait. I will buy orange juice and then make a 1/2 portion of these cookies. Thanks for the hard work – great description and photos!

  2. When I suddenly remembered that I had 3 oranges and knowing that this recipe would be easy, I started immediately. 3 oranges makes a cup and a half of juice. So, I made 3/4 recipe – 65 cookies. I had thought that the oiliness would make oily cookies – then I reread your tip – that it should be a bit oily. My first batch I did at 350 degrees (used oven thermometer) for 25mins and the second, I set my time for 20mins – barely softer. Next time I make these, will set my timer at 18mins – 2 minutes to react – to make 20mins. PS the video helped knowing what texture to produce. Tasty and pretty cookies – I just made little logs that I poked at with a fork. I used a teaspoon measure (heaping) to get the tablespoon quantity. I am happy to use vegetable oil instead of butter – wonder if it is healthier. Thank you for sharing your family recipes. I don’t know Georgia but she knows a good cookie!

    1. That’s great that you adjusted the cooking times to produce the texture that you love best!! Great work! And thanks for the feedback; we always hope that videos, pictures and notes will help (along with the recipe of course). And Georgia definitely does know her cookies!! 🙂

    1. Yes 🙂 In fact, the flavour of the ouzo is very mild and certainly not overpowering. Just enough to give a little interesting flavour 🙂

  3. This is a repeat recipe for me – but with a personal variation! I finished my last of the 65 cookies today (from march – see below) and knowing how easy it is to make them, I made them again. 350 degrees (used oven thermometer) for 17 minutes: perfect! I wonder if the cookies continue to cook after they are taken out since they are just right – barely soft and not as crispy as the last time. 2 large oranges made enough orange juice for a 3/4 recipe again but I made 69 smaller cookies this time. Here is the personal variation: switched 1/2 of the flour with whole wheat and a couple of tablespoons of wheat germ. Not quite your recipe description but very good. I used extra v olive oil and put the sesame seeds into the cookies. Three tins: My husband and I should be good for another month. These cookies will be my go-to recipe for cookies.

    1. That’s amazing Marina!! Love how you take our recipes and adapt them a little bit. Your changes sound great…and healthy 🙂 Thank you so much for your continued support and for all of your lovely comments. Hope you get to enjoy some beautiful sun today!

  4. Hi there. I saw a similar recipe in Stavros’ Kitchen and the cookies contained anise seed. But I couldn’t find the ingredients list! This looks similar. Can you tell me how much anise seed I would add? Thank you!

    1. Hi Sheryl. Thanks for stopping by. Given that we don’t use anise seeds in our cookies, it’s hard to say exactly. We would probably start with about 2/3 to 1 tablespoon and go from there. Remember, it’s easy enough to add more, kind of impossible to remove if you’re put too much. Good luck!

  5. What sort of flour do you use, in Australia we only have plain flour and self raising flour

  6. I totally failed you 🙁. I halved the recipe. The dough would not form so I kept adding flour. I added a lot of flour to get the dough right. Cookies cooked fine but not really tasty. What did I do wrong. Thanks and Happy Easter 🐣

    1. Hi Georgia, oh that’s too bad! These koulourakia are a little tricky. Perhaps too much flour was added, making them dense, and overtaking the orange flavour? It’s hard to know for sure. We’re sorry you had a bad experience with them.. We hope you had a wonderful Easter.

    1. Super Joanne! We hope that you love them! Also, if you go to our Recipe List and scroll down to the bottom, the last category of recipes is Nistisima (Lenten recipes). None of these contain eggs, and so you may find more to enjoy there. xoxo Helen & Billie

  7. I have a Cypriot partner and I would love to make this for him. I am so happy I found your page with recipes 😊 my only question is if I haven’t got any of those alcohol, can I just skip it and it won’t mess up the way it will turn out? I mean the texture of it 🤔 thank you so much ☺️

    1. That’s amazing Angelika! Hope that your partner loves them! You can easily substitute the alcohol for more orange juice – the texture will not be impacted (the flavour will be…but they’ll still be delicious!) Enjoy! xoxo Helen & Billie

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