From delicate cakes and pies to crunchy or chewy honey-dipped cookies, Greece’s sweet treats offer their fair share of sinful pleasure. Primarily made with honey, nuts, cream and fruit, these scrumptious treats will surely tempt even the pickiest sweet tooth.
Sweet bougatsa (or bougatsa with cream) is a staple street food or snack. It can be found virtually everywhere and is made with large handmade phyllo sheets buttered and folded over multiple times before the creamy custard filling is added. Served warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon and powdered sugar, bougatsa goes perfectly with a warm cup of coffee.
Diples (Fried Turnovers)
Diples (meaning fold) are a traditional dessert made from thin sheets of dough. These are rolled into thin strips, cut into rectangles then folded while being fried in hot oil. Once they have cooled down, the sheets are then dusted with cinnamon and ground nuts and drizzled with honey.
Halva can be made via a few different methods – either with semolina flour or sesame (or nuts), with added raisins and cinnamon. This delicious and highly-textured dessert is a famous Greek sweet that you shouldn’t miss.
Melomakarona cookies are simply delicious. No – scratch that – they are divine. These soft cookies are dipped in honey or syrup and covered with grounded walnuts. Mostly served during the Christmas holidays in Greece, melomakarona are decadent and scrumptious cookies everyone should have once in their lifetime.
You know Christmas is around the corner when you start seeing kourabiedes and melomakarona sold everywhere in Greece. This other holiday treat is similar to an almond shortbread cookie. Very easy to make, these are heavily dusted with powdered sugar.
Portokalopita (orange cake)
Fluffy and flavorful, portokalopita combines flavors of fresh orange and cinnamon. Made with yogurt, this cake, thought to originate from Crete, is another Greek dessert to try and adopt for life.
Baklava is probably the epitome of Greek dessert. This rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo dough filled with chopped nuts is sweetened and dampened with syrup or honey, although the numerous variants call for pistachios, almonds or other nuts.
Galaktoboureko (Greek custard pie or milk pie)
This traditional dessert is made from layers of filo dough with melted butter, filled with a super creamy custard and dipped in syrup. Some preferred it chilled but for purists, it’s all about the warmth.
Along with baklava, ekmek kataifi (or simply kataifi) is one of the most popular Greek desserts. It is made with a special type of pastry called kataifi, which is similar to angel hair pasta. With its nutty center hidden within strands of pastry, kataifi is then put into an oven to be baked and then dipped into sweet, sticky syrup. Like many other desserts, the recipe calls for walnuts or almonds, but you could definitely incorporate pistachios as well.
Loukoumades are another sweet street food staple. These small golden balls of fried dough are similar to doughnut holes, dipped in syrup or chocolate and sprinkled with a variety of items. The aptly named Lukumades coffee shop on Aiolou serves some of the best loukoumades out there.