Melomakarona – Greek Christmas Cookies

Ingredients (makes 100 delicious melomakarona)

– 900 g all purpose flour
– 240 ml olive oil
– 240 ml sunflower oil
– 160 ml fresh orange juice
– 200 g granulated sugar
– 50 ml cognac
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 2 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp ground cloves
– zest of two oranges

For the syrup – 400 g sugar, 400 mil water, 100 ml honey, 1 orange, a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, 1 cinnamon stick

For drizzling over the melomakarona –  100 ml honey, 200 g walnuts (finely chopped or put them though a blender)


First start by making the syrup. Put the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, the orange (cut in half) in pan over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, until the sugar melts. Remove from the heat, add and stir in the honey and lemon juice. Leave the syrup on one side until you are ready to use.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees centigrade.

For the melomakarona you need to follow the steps:

  1. In a bowl add the olive oil, sunflower oil, orange juice and sugar. Whisk for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Follow by adding in the bowl the cognac, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground clove, zest of two oranges. Whisk so everything is combined.
  3. Finally, sift the flour into the bowl.
  4. Using your hands mix everything together gently by making sure the mixture comes together. Be careful not to overwork the mixture. The mixture should be oily and soft.
  5. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper – mold the melomakarona in oval or round shapes about 15 g each (be mindful not to overwork the dough). Try and keep them similar so they cook evenly.
  6. Place your melomakarona on the tray and using the back of a fork push lightly the top of the cookies  and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Once the melomakarona are cooked, take them out of the oven and let them cool down completely.
  8. Now place the pan with the syrup (remove the cinnamon stick and orange) over a low to medium heat and warm through.
  9.  Add the cooled melomakarona to the syrup in batches ( i do 3 or 4 at a time) to soak for 20 seconds.
  10. Carefully remove them from the syrup and place on a plate – scatter with chopped walnuts and drizzle with honey.
  11. Repeat until you have finished.

The melomakarona will keep well for a couple of weeks ( they never last that long in our house). They are soft, flavorsome and I am sure you will enjoy making and eating them!