Melomakarona (μελομακάρονα)

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Greeks like to have an array of sweets, cookies, appetizers out for offering to the revolving door guests during the Christmas holidays.

I’ve already shown you Kourabiedes and now you get to see the other standard offering, Melomakarona. I’m sure you can read the ingredients list but here are the flavour tags for this simple cookie…orange, walnut, honey, clove, cinnamon….a party in the mouth!


Melomakarona (μελομακάρονα)

recipe update from December 2007
(makes about 50)

For the syrup

7 cups sugar

8 cups water

2 cups honey

2 cinnamon sticks

2 wide strips of orange peel

For the dough

5 cups pastry flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup coarsely ground walnuts
zest of 1 orange
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove


Wet Ingredients

1 1/2 cups olive oil

3/4 cups sugar

Beat until melted

2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. honey


Add baking soda into a glass with orange juice
1/2 cup orange juice

3/4 tsp. baking soda

Ground walnut topping

6 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups of ground walnuts

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground clove

Pre-heated 350F oven

  1. For the syrup, add all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil and lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, take off the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Into a large bowl, add your wet ingredients (except for baking soda and orange juice). Mix for 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Combine the flour with the other dry ingredients. Once sugar is dissolved, add the baking soda/orange juice mixture then add dry to wet ingredients. Use you hands to mix the dough.
  4. Using your hands, roll the dough into small balls (about the size of apricots), then form them into quenelle shapes.
  5. Take your box grater (the side used to zest) and place a cookie on top of it. Press the cookie down a bit to form a grid pattern on the top of the cookie. Repeat this process for all the cookies.
  6. Place your cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated oven (middle rack) for 30 minutes.
  7. Using a large slotted spoon or Spider, drop the hot cookies in batches into the cool syrup for 10 minutes to absorb the syrup then flip for 3 minutes on the other side. Reserve on a cooling rack and repeat until all the cookies are dunked in syrup.
  8. For the topping, add the above ingredients in a bowl mix well with a spoon. Brush each cookie with the remaining syrup and then sprinkle each cookie top with the walnut topping. Allow to cool.
  9. Store in a cool, dry container for up to a month.

Got leftover Melomakarona? Try this Cheesecake with Melomakarona crust!

© 2010 – 2015,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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48 Comments for “Melomakarona (μελομακάρονα)”



The ingredients in your cookies are wonderful. I love how you put them across the grater :)
You made 100!? Wow, and you didn’t save me one. Thanks ;)



Yum Peter! I love the way you used your grater to make the markings! Cool!
I want to wish you a very “Happy New Year”! Looking forward to all of our visits in 2008!

Laurie Constantino


Absolutely beautiful Melomacarana Peter! They are one of my favorite cookies ever. I always poke mine with a fork — next year I’ll try your grater trick!



We have a similar dessert here in Turkey. It’s called “Kalburabasti” (without the walnut topping) but a great idea to mix walnuts with cloves!



By the way “kalbur” is the name of the stuff on which they press the dough to give the pattern, or using the grater as u use :)



WOW! I wondered how my mother had those dots in them…Its the Grater (secret)…who knew to ask?? I just eat them! One day I will make them, so have that recipe on hand….Looks Delicious! They are my favorite Greek dessert!


I just had these homemade from a Greek family 3 days ago. One word, heavenly! Peter a very Merry Christmas to you and your family! BTW, your mom is awesome, such talent in your kitchen!


I love, love love melomakarna! I tried making it once and they turned out bad – I think it was the semolina flour being too course. I never knew about that grater trick, so, thanks! Can you send me some of yours? PS. Plus 5 for using a cup of olive oil!


Oooo, this looks perfect. I like how you roll the cookies on the rasp part of the cheese grater, I’ve always pressed a fork onto mine. And the cold syrup/hot cookie idea – I think my problems have always stemmed from using hot syrup and cold cookies…I think I might just have to try this recipe tomorrow! Thanks!


Love those melis… mom makes them a little differently and she pressed them in a mold instead of rolling on the grater.. very yummy cookies.


No sabes como me hubiera gustado encontrar esta receta hace unas semanas, si quieres visitar mi blog en mi última entrada tengo la receta de melomakarona, christopsomo y kourabiedes, a pesar de no haberlas probado nunca espero no haberme apartado mucho de las recetas originales…ahora veo que las melomakarona son mas alargadas que las que hice yo :D….un beso!!!


Yesterday I made melomakarona with the assistance of three little fellows -5, 4, 2.5 and a 1.5 years old boys and girls- and their mothers and it was great!! Laughs and honey and cinammon smells all over the place. As for the melomakarona, they are great too!
Yours look yummy as well!!

Many happy returns! :)


Cette recette est déjà dans mon carnet gourmand je la réalise dès que possible
En attendant de te lire je te souhaite une belle semaine
Bise, Valérie.



My Yaya had made these for me for a long time. I have never learned to make them my self.
I would like to watch a video on this do you have one or do you know where i can find one.

thank you

Michael C


Ohhhhhhh! The thought of these sends shivers up and down my spine! The first time I had these was actually in Toronto. I forget the name of the place now, though fortunately I could probably find my way back. Oh my god, these are mind-blowing. Greek desserts in general are to-die-for, but these melomakarona… I was like weak in the knees when I first bit into one :) I’m tempted to try my hand at making them. Even if they come out bad, they can’t come out THAT bad since they’re just so good :)



I love melomakarona but unfortunately your recipe did not turn out for me. I bake a lot and your instructions were not clear. I will go back to my tried and true recipe for melomakarona. So disappointed.


Hi Lisa, sorry to hear this recipe disappointed you. I re-read the ingredients, steps and I don’t see where i was vague or unclear. I made Melomakarona today as well and I used this recipe with success.



I just finished the first batch and taste tested…YUM. My mother-in-law will be proud I’m sure. I tried your recipe after the success I had making kourabiedes with your recipe. Thank you! Merry Christmas.



Can you please edit/revise the instructions. I spent a long time preparing these (not to mention the ingredients are expensive) to have them come out like bricks even though I’ve made them fine in the past. Carefully looking over things it turns out I followed the instructions exactly, and the instructions didn’t say anything about adding oil at any point, so I never did =)


Rich, from time to time these omissions occur and thankfully with a blog, these can be edited/revised…thank you and sorry they didn’t turn out for you.