20 Traditional Greek Desserts To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Welcome to a world of sweet indulgence! If you believe that life is too short to skip dessert, this blog post is just for you. Greek desserts are known for their irresistible sweetness and unique flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

From creamy custards to nutty pastries, there’s no shortage of delightful treats in the Greek culinary repertoire.

In this comprehensive Greek dessert guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the very best Greek sweets that will satisfy your sweet tooth like never before. So sit back, relax, and get ready to explore the mouth-watering world of Greek sweets!

Galaktoboureko – Greek Custard Pie

Galaktoboureko - Greek dessert

Galaktoboureko is a Greek sweet made with semolina custard and phyllo dough. It is typically served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.

This delicious treat originates from the island of Crete, where it is also known as kaltsounia. The word galaktoboureko comes from the Greek words for milk (galaktos) and pie (bourki).

The semolina custard is what makes this dessert so special. It is made by simmering milk, sugar, and semolina flour together until thick and creamy. Then, eggs are beaten into the mixture to create a smooth and rich custard filling.

The phyllo dough used in this recipe is also unique. It is paper-thin and delicate, yet it holds up well to the moist filling. To ensure your phyllo dough turns out perfectly flaky and crisp, follow the recipe instructions carefully.

Whether you enjoy it for breakfast or as a dessert, galaktoboureko will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Baklava – Layered Phyllo 

Bulgarian Desserts - Baklava
Baklava is a traditional Greek pastry with phyllo dough, honey, and nuts. It is believed to have originated in the Ottoman Empire, and it is now a popular dessert throughout Greece. Baklava can be made with a variety of different nuts, but pistachios are the most common. The phyllo dough is layered with chopped nuts and soaked in syrup or honey before being baked.

Baklava is often served at weddings and other special occasions. It is also a popular holiday dessert, and many Greeks enjoy eating it during Christmas and Easter. Baklava can be found in most Greek bakeries, and it is usually sold by the slice.

Loukoumades – Fried Honey Doughnuts

Street food in Athens - Loukoumades

There’s nothing quite like a warm, fried doughnut covered in honey and cinnamon. And in Greece, these delicious treats are called loukoumades! While they may be simple to make, these little bites are absolutely packed with flavor – and sold as street food in Greece. 

To start, you’ll need to make a basic dough using flour, water, yeast, and sugar. Once the dough has had a chance to rise, it’s time to start frying! You’ll want to use a deep fryer or pot filled with oil so that the loukoumades can float while they cook. Once golden brown and crispy on the outside, it’s time to drain them on paper towels.

Now for the best part: the honey glaze! Just mix together some honey, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice until it forms a smooth sauce. Drizzle this over your fried doughnuts, and enjoy!

Halvas – Semolina Pudding

Halvas - Semolina Pudding

Halvas (semolina hard pudding) is a traditional Greek pudding that is made with semolina flour, water, sugar, and sometimes nuts or raisins. It is typically served with a drizzle of honey or cinnamon on top.

The word halvas comes from the Ancient Greek word for “sweetmeat,” and it is thought to have originated in the Middle East. It was later introduced to Greece by the Romans and became a popular dessert during the Byzantine era.

Halvas can be found in many forms throughout Greece, including sweet and savory versions. The most common type of halvas is made with semolina flour, but other types of flour can also be used, such as rice flour or chickpea flour.

In addition to being a popular dessert, halvas is also believed to have medicinal properties. It is often given to people who are ill, as it is thought to help boost the immune system.

Kourabiedes – Greek Almond Cookies

Christams In Greece - kourabiedes

Kourabiedes are Greek cookies that are made with butter, flour, sugar, and almonds. They are often served at weddings and other special occasions.

These cookies are not too sweet, and the almond flavor is very pronounced. The texture is soft and crumbly. Kourabiedes are best when they are fresh, but they can also be stored in an airtight container for a few days.

If you are looking for a traditional Greek dessert to make at home, kourabiedes are a great choice.

Bougatsa – Greek Breakfast Pastries

What to eat for breakfast in Greece - Bougatsa

Bougatsa is a traditional Greek breakfast pastry made with phyllo dough, semolina custard, and cheese. The dough is filled with custard and cheese, then rolled into a log shape and baked until golden brown. Bougatsa can be served plain or dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon. It’s also common to see bougatsa served with fruit jam or honey.

Diples – Greek Sweet Pastry With Honey

Diples or thiples traditional greek Christmas dessert -

Greek desserts are some of the most delicious in the world. From traditional baklava to modern loukoumades, there is something to satisfy every sweet tooth. One of the most famous Greek desserts is diples.

Diples are a type of pastry made from thin sheets of dough that are fried and then rolled in honey and cinnamon. They are often served at weddings and other special occasions.

If you’re looking for a delicious, sweet treat, diples are a great option. They’re sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Portokalopita – Orange Cake

Portokalopita - Orange Cake

Portokalopita, or orange cake, is a delicious Greek dessert that is perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth. This cake is made with fresh oranges, eggs, flour, sugar, and butter and is often served with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. Portokalopita is a traditional Greek dessert that is sure to please everyone at your next dinner party or family gathering.

Kserotigana – Fried Pastry

Kserotigana are a type of fried pastry that is popular in Greece. They are made by frying a dough that is made from flour, water, and yeast. The dough is then rolled out into a thin sheet and cut into strips. These strips are then fried in oil until they are golden brown. Kserotigana are often served with honey or syrup.

Rizogalo – Greek Pudding Made With Rice

Bulgarian Dessert Mlqko s Ori - Rice pudding

Rizogalo is a Greek rice pudding that is typically made with short-grain rice, milk, and sugar. It is often flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, and sometimes lemon zest is added for additional flavor. Rizogalo can be served either hot or cold, and it is a popular dessert throughout Greece.

Gliko Tou Koutaliou – Spoon Sweets

Gliko tou Koutaliou - Spoon sweets

Gliko tou Koutaliou, or spoon sweets, are a type of Greek dessert that is made from boiled fruit and sugar. The fruit is typically stewed in a syrup made from water and sugar, and then it is strained and left to cool. Once cooled, the fruit is placed in small dishes or glasses and served with a spoon.

Spoon sweets are a popular Greek dessert and can be found in most restaurants and cafes. They are often served as a welcome treat for guests or as a dessert after a meal. Spoon sweets can be made with any fruit, but some of the most popular varieties include figs, apricots, quince, and oranges.

Vasilopita – Tradional Greek Cake

Christmas In Greece - Vasilopita

Vasilopita is a traditional Greek cake that is served on New Year’s Eve. The cake is round and has a coin hidden inside. The person who gets the piece of cake with the coin is said to have good luck in the new year.

The cake is made with a variety of different ingredients, including flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and baking powder. It is often flavored with vanilla or orange juice. Vasilopita can be decorated with nuts, candied fruit, or icing sugar.

Karithopita – Walnut Cake

There are few things as quintessentially Greek as karithopita (walnut cake). This traditional dessert is made with a simple batter of eggs, sugar, flour, and baking powder, into which chopped walnuts are folded. The resulting cake is moist and nutty, with a delicate flavor that pairs well with a cup of coffee or tea.

Karithopita is often served on special occasions such as weddings and baptisms, but it is just as delicious and enjoyed at home with family and friends. If you’re looking for a classic Greek dessert to add to your repertoire, karithopita is a wonderful option.

Kantaifi – Shredded Phyllo Pastries

Kantaifi aka Kataif Balkan dessert

Kantaifi is a traditional Greek pastry made from shredded phyllo dough. It is often filled with nuts and spices and served with sweet syrup or honey. Kantaifi can be enjoyed as part of a traditional Greek dessert or as a standalone treat.

MORE TRADITIONAL GREEK DESSERTS TO DEVOUR
  • Greek Milk Custard Pudding – Custard tart drizzled with orange syrup
  • Melomakarona – Biscuits/cookies drizzled with honey
  • Revani/Samali – Yogurt sponge cake with a hint of lemon
  • Koulourakia – Greek cookies that every grandma knows how to make, containing tahini, nut butter, chopped nuts
  • Amygdalota – Almond cookies similar to marzipan
  • Pasteli – A blend of sesame seeds and honey/sugar often served as a healthy snack

Wrap Up On Greek Sweets

Traditional Greek desserts are truly something special. From traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation to modern twists on classics, there is a wide variety of treats available for those with a sweet tooth.

Whether you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing or looking for something decadent and indulgent, Greek sweets have it all! So go ahead and satisfy your sweet tooth today by trying out some of these fantastic Greek dessert recipes!

Chasing the Donkey - Balkan travel blog includes affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through these links, we receive a commission without any additional cost to you. We appreciate your support helping to keep this site free. Find our disclaimer & privacy policy here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.