Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Koulourakia Portokaliou: Citrus & Spice Cookie Twists

In Greek: κουλουράκια πορτοκαλιού, pronounced koo-loo-RAHK-yah por-toh-kahl-YOO

The translation of the Greek name for these cookies is “orange cookie twists,” probably because the name with all ingredients would be too long! These cookies are made with the juice of oranges and lemons, and the zest of a clementine or tangerine, making them truly a citrus delight. Koulourakia are less sweet than other cookies and a traditional olive oil cookie – no butter – and they keep well stored in tins or frozen.

Greek Koulourakia: citrus and spice cookie twists

Greek Koulourakia: citrus and spice cookie twists

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 7 1/2 ounces of olive oil
  • 3 1/2 ounces of sunflower oil (or other seed oil)
  • 7/8 cup of sugar
  • grated peel of 1 clementine (or tangerine)
  • 8 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 4 1/2 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice (strained)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of cognac
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt


In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the olive oil, sunflower oil, sugar, and grated peel, and add all remaining ingredients except the flour mixture. Combine well.

Add the flour slowly, mixing with pastry hooks or by hand to make the dough. The dough is ready when it pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl or when it no longer sticks to the hands.

Preheat oven to 340°F (170°C).

Take small pieces of dough, roll by hand into ropes and form into shapes: spirals (photo), figure eights, pretzel shapes, etc.

Place on ungreased cookie sheets leaving space between, and bake at 340°F (170°C) for 35-45 minutes, until lightly browned. Test for doneness. Cookies should be lightly browned and wonderfully crumbly all the way through.

Cool on racks.


     These twists can be made with thin ropes, to create smaller cookies, or wider, to create bigger cookies.

When thoroughly cooled, store in cookie tins or glass containers with tightly-fitting lids, or freeze in plastic bags.

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