13 Easy Greek Desserts

Greek food is one of the world’s simplest and most delicious cuisines. If you think of Greek food, then you’ll probably think of olive oil, delicately seasoned salads, and maybe souvlaki, the delicious meat skewers.

13 Easy Greek Desserts

However, that’s not all there is to Greek food. The birthplace of Western civilisation also has a great range of desserts as well, even if some of them aren’t as well known as they should be outside of Greece.

In this article, we’re going to take you through some of the very best of them. So sit back, relax, and get ready to enjoy some great easy Greek desserts.

Baklava

It’s just the first dessert on our list and we’re already courting controversy. Why? Well, because the origin of baklava is fiercely contested between several different countries and cultures. Greece and Turkey are two of the most prominent of these.

Different theories put the origins of the dish in Ancient Greece, the Roman, Byzantine, and Persian empires. Some even claim is comes from as far away as Central Asia.

This is something that’s actually quite common in dishes from this part of the world. This is because the region has spent a lot of its history politically unified in some way or another, by the Roman, Byzantine, and then Ottoman empires.

As a result, many similar recipes can be found in what are now separate countries.

Wherever it comes from, two important things are definitely true. One is that baklava is popular in Greece, and the other is that it tastes absolutely delicious. So what is baklava, exactly?

It’s made of many layers of very thin filo (phyllo) pastry, soaked in honey or syrup and stuffed with finely chopped nuts. This makes it a deliciously rich treat. This recipe uses walnuts, as is traditional in Greece. However, you can use pistachios (traditionally more popular in Turkey) if you like.

You could also use almonds, or even a mixture of all of them. It’s sometimes thought of as a complicated dish to make. In fact, it’s actually quite simple, so there’s nothing stopping a home cook from doing it.

That’s as long as you buy your filo and don’t make it from scratch, of course.

Is reading about our easy Greek desserts making you hungry for a Greek meal? Check out our guide from the Best Greek Restaurants in Sydney.

Revani Cake

Revani cake is a kind of cake made from semolina. Like baklava, it’s popular not only in Greece but around the rest of the Eastern Mediterranean as well. It’s also sweet and syrupy, with a lovely light, fluffy texture.

Some versions are flavored simply with vanilla, but you can try other things if you want to experiment. This recipe includes coconut flakes and ground pistachios, to be served sprinkled over the cake at the end. This is a great addition, and both the flavor and texture go nicely with revani cake.

Rizogalo (Greek Rice Pudding)

The name of this rich, creamy dessert comes from its two main ingredients – rizi (rice) and gala (milk). It’s a simple dessert without too much in the way of complex flavouring. The main seasoning is vanilla, and there’s also a strip of lemon rind added to give a pleasant citrus flavour in the background.

It’s also topped with ground cinnamon to serve, but this is just as much about presentation as flavor. One useful thing about this dish is that it’s very easy to make in large quantities, which is ideal if you’re cooking for a large party.

Some say that for best results, rizogalo should be made with short grain rice, like the arborio rice used for risottos. However, there are others who prefer it with longer grained rice. You can try both to see which you prefer.

Galaktoboureko

This is another Greek dessert that uses filo pastry, but it’s not the same thing as baklava. You can think of it as a kind of Greek custard pie. It’s seasoned beautifully with cinnamon, lemon, and vanilla. Galaktoboureko is also popular in Turkey and Syria.

It’s actually quite similar to mille-feuille, but instead of the custard being added later, it’s baked in with the pastry. As with other desserts made from filo pastry, you can make your own from scratch if you want, but it’s also easy to buy some from a store if you don’t have much time. And after all, these are easy Greek desserts!

Do you have a passion for desserts, but like to try new things? Perhaps our article on Traditional Japanese Desserts will inspire you.

Halva (Greek Semolina Pudding With Raisins)

This is a completely vegan dish – no milk, butter, or eggs to be found here – so it’s a dessert that everyone can enjoy. It’s sometimes called 1:2:3:4 because it uses one part oil, two parts semolina, three parts sugar, and four parts water. It’s obvious why this treat is one of our easy Greek desserts.

This version uses cloves and cinnamon to add a fragrant, spicy note to the pudding. It also includes raisins and sliced almonds.

You can try adding in other things that you think will go with a cake. Chocolate chips are not traditional and we’re not saying you should add them, but… Anyway, it’s topped with a cinnamon, clove, and lemon syrup to add moisture and even more great flavour.

Are you lactose intolerant? Try our Dairy-Free Desserts for some ideas.

Portokalopita (Greek Orange Cake With Syrup)

This orange cake is so moist due to all the delicious orange syrup that it’s soaked in. Aside from the orange itself, there’s a nice hit of cinnamon to give it a spicy warmth too.

We meet up with our good Greek friend filo pastry again in this dish. But this time, it’s crumbled up into small pieces rather than lying in sheets. Oh, and just so you know, it’s traditional to serve portokalopita cold, not hot. This helps to stop it from crumbling too much as you eat it.

Can’t get enough of oranges? We have 26 Easy Orange Desserts for you to consider.

Loukoumades (Deep Fried Greek Doughballs)

There’s quite an interesting story behind loukoumades – they’re one of the first desserts ever recorded in history. In the very first Olympic Games, back in 776 BC, the winners were given something called “honey tokens”. These were balls of dough, fried and covered in honey.

This is exactly what loukoumades are. They taste kind of like donuts, but are much easier to make. They’re also flavoured with cinnamon, and you can roll them in things like finely chopped pistachios as well.

This particular recipe also coats them in maple syrup, which is delicious, though not necessarily very Greek. You can replace it with a simple sugar syrup if you don’t have maple syrup.

Melomakarona (Greek Honey Cookies)

These honey cookies are a delicious Greek treat traditionally served at Christmas. They’re richly spiced, and the wonderful smell of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon as they cook is almost as good as the part where you eat them!

Only almost, though. The finished cookies are soft, moist, and soaked in an amazing honey syrup. You can garnish them with walnuts and powdered spices, if you like. However, we also couldn’t blame you if you just wanted to get to the eating part!

Do you know much about the food of the Philippines? Take a look at our post on Filipino Desserts for some insights.

Vasilopita Cake (Greek New Year’s Cake)

From Christmas to the new year. This cake is traditionally served at midnight on New Year’s Eve/Day to welcome the new year and celebrate the life of Saint Basil.

It’s also traditional to add a coin into the cake through the base after the cake’s baked. Whoever finds it is said to be granted luck for the coming year. Feel free to avoid this step if you’re worried about it being a choking hazard, though.

Many of the ingredients here are basic ones for baking – eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla – so you probably have a lot of them already.

This recipe also includes both the juice and zest of oranges to give it a wonderful, sharp, citrus flavour. It’s then finished off with a vanilla tinged sugar glaze to make it even more irresistible.

Karidopita (Honey & Walnut Cake)

This is an excellent cake that’s really easy to make. So we had to have it on our list of easy Greek desserts.

It contains a lot of ingredients that will be very familiar to you by now if you’ve been reading down this list – cloves, cinnamon, and honey, among others.

You make the cake itself separately from the honey syrup. While the cake is in the oven is the perfect time to make the syrup that flavours it. When you take it out, you’ll poke holes in it to allow the syrup to soak in.

The result is a wonderfully sweet dessert with rich spiciness and a lovely earthy background taste from the walnuts to keep it grounded and balance it.

Is the talk of cake making you think about bakeries? Here are some of the best in Brisbane.

Pasteli – Honey Sesame Bars

We know that the Ancient Greeks ate honey and sesame, so it’s a safe bet that they made something like this delicious dessert-snack too. The honey is the star of this show, so make sure not only that you use good honey, but that you use one that you like as well.

Different honeys have different tastes, so try out a few. When you’re done choosing your honey, decide what else you’re going to put into this bar. Sure, sesame seeds, but there’s nothing stopping you from adding in some other things too, if you want.

Chopped nuts of all kinds are a good bet, but you can try whatever you think will fit.

Galatopita – Greek Custard Pie

More literally, the name galatopia translates to “milk pie” (you might remember that “gala” means milk). In any case, this tasty dessert is simple and light. Perfect for our list of easy Greek desserts.

It uses those common Greek seasonings of lemon and vanilla as flavourings, and you can use powdered cinnamon and sugar to serve it with. Its top coating turns a golden, caramel colour when it’s baked and becomes a bit crunchy, so it might remind you a little bit of crème brûlée.

Stafyli Gliko (Spoon Sweets)

There are so many different kinds and varieties of these Greek sweets that you’d need a book to keep track of them all. They’re traditionally served on spoons (hence the name) with a glass of water.

They’re made from all kinds of preserved fruits (and sometimes vegetables) and different Greek islands often have their own specialties. Sour cherries, lemon blossoms, and figs are just some of the things you might see used to make these spoon sweets.

They take a while to make, but the process is very simple. It’s also easy to customise exactly what flavours you want to include, so you can make your own personal variety.

Are you a fan of exotic fruits? Maybe our piece on Persimmon recipes will interest you?

Final Thoughts

As you’ve just seen, Greece has more than a few delicious desserts to offer the world. One of the good things about our easy Greek desserts is that many of them use a lot of the same ingredients. So if you make one, then it will probably be easy for you to make others in the future.

With that temptation in mind, get going and explore the world of Greek desserts!

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