Koulourakia: Greek butter cookies recipe

Learn to make Koulourakia: Greek butter cookies.


  • 1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • ​4 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • ​2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ​6 and 1/2 -7 cups (930g) all-purpose flour

​Egg Wash:

  • 4 egg yolks plus 4 tablespoons water


  • In a tabletop mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy.
  • ​Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
  • ​Beat the eggs and yolks with the sugar mixture until fluffy.
  • Add the heavy whipping cream and beat well.
  • ​Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  • ​Zest the lemons over the flour mixture and mix to combine.
  • ​Add the flour mixture in a few batches while the mixer is beating all of the ingredients on a low speed.
  • ​Beat until well combined. Check the dough and add 1/2 cup more all-purpose flour if needed to form a dough that is soft but not sticky. Adding too much flour will create dry and hard cookies.
  • Set aside and cover with a clean towel.
  • ​Allow the dough to rest at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
  • ​Preheat oven to 400 °F, 200 °C.
  • ​Form the dough into walnut, or golf ball-sized rounds.
  • Roll each round out into about 8-inch cylinders.
  • Fold in half and twist until a braid forms.
  • Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Continue until all of the cookies are formed.

​To make the egg wash, combine the egg yolks with water and whisk well until smooth.

​Brush the egg wash over each cookie.

​Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Rotate trays (place the bottom tray on the top rack and the top tray on the bottom for even baking) halfway through baking.

Allow the cookies to cool completely.

Store them in an airtight container.