Home » Recipes » Hand-Shaped Cookies » Melomakarona




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4.8 rating based on 12,345 ratings
4.8/5 (11)
Course: Hand-Shaped CookiesCuisine: GreekDifficulty: Easy

Melomakarona are a traditional Greek citrus-spice cookie made moist and flavorful by lightly soaking in a honey syrup, then sprinkled in ground nuts. Known as Finikia in some regions of Greece, where they deep fry them.


  • For the cookies:
  • 1-1/4 cups butter

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons Metaxa (a Greek spirit), cognac, whiskey, or Ouzo (another Greek spirit), which will impart a slight anise flavor

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (if you have some semolina on hand, you can replace 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour with 1/4 cup semolina – this helps them absorb the syrup better)

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

  • For the syrup:
  • 1 cup water

  • 2 cups honey

  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts or almonds


  • Make the cookies:
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt butter; let cool slightly. Place egg yolk, orange juice, cognac (or whatever liquor you’ve got on hand), sugar and baking soda in a blender; mix at medium speed until combined. With the motor still running, slowly drizzle in the melted butter through the hole in the top of the blender cover. Mix at high speed until mixture has thickened and resembles mayonnaise, about 2 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, cloves, and cinnamon. Add orange zest. Mix in the egg yolk-butter mixture and knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. (Dough will be stiff.) Shape dough by the tablespoonful in the palm of your hand, squeezing slightly to form an oblong egg shape. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and press the tops lightly with a fork, making a crisscross pattern. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Make the syrup:
  • While the cookies are baking, prepare syrup: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in honey, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool till only slightly warm. Dip cookies in warm syrup for a few seconds. Place on cookie sheets until syrup soaks into cookies. Sprinkle with nuts and let cool. These cookies taste best the next day and keep well when stored in an airtight container.


  • Alternate spellings: melomacarona, melomacarono (singular), melomakarono (singular), μελομακάρονο, Finikia, Phinikia.
  • Reviewers: please help us out and note the yield! Thanks!



Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)

This is the best recipe I have tried. My family always asks for these. I usually make a batch, but always have to make more. They go fast.
- Toronto, Ontario

I made this about 4 years ago and they were delicious. I "lost" the recipe and tried another one and the cookies were too soft and fell apart in the honey mixture. So glad I "found" this again!
- A Baker

This is the best Melomakarona recipe!! I have been using this for five years in a row. My family asks for these every Christmas. Don't look any further this is the best!! Love it!
- A Baker

Love this cookie! Won me the "best tasting cookie" award at our cookie exchange 2 years in a row! :)
- Amy in Phoenix

well for a history project last year we we had to pick a country and do a project on it and i picked greece and if we made food we got extra credit so i made these and EVERYONE loved them!
- jocelyn in new mexico

I tried this recipe and made a couple of substitutions: I used about 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil instead of 1/4 cup of butter, and I used a few drops of brandy essence instead of the whiskey. The result was absolutely sensational! It's exactly like the ones that I have bought from the Greek food store at the market. Thanks so much for sharing this excellent recipe.
- A Baker

Im a student in Sweden and pretty much useless when it comes to cooking! I was very impressed that i actually made this and it was tasty too! This is excellent!
- Nefeli in Greece

the most DELICIOUS cookie you could ever make. theyre all gone within 15 minutes when i bring them to holiday parties!
- sam in cali

Hello, we are a young Greek couple leaving in the UK and every Christmas we make melomakarona. Usually there's something missing or the recipe is not sucessful. We tried your recipe for the first time tonight (15/12/06) and it is perfect. It didn't take a lot of time, we did not make a mess, nor did we have to "experiment" with the amount of flour, something which usually happens to us because the dough gets sticky. The taste is excellent and we are really pleased! We'll surely make it again.
- Lena and Yannis in Greece

My husband is Greek and after 12 years of marriage and 5 different recipes, he proclaimed this one "perfect". The search is over, this is now a permanent addition to my Christmas repetoire. I used brandy instead of whiskey, and soaked the cookies a little longer (about 30 seconds or until they seemed to have absorbed a little syrup). Also, I drizzled a little extra syrup on top of the cookies after sprinkling the walnuts on -- this helps them adhere to the cookie, then dusted with cinnamon.
- A Baker

This is a great authentic recipe - simple to prepare and decadent. My inlaws are Greek (from Athens) and they were unanimously impressed. I made 9 dozen at Christmas and all were consumed. I would DEFINITELY make these again, probably for Greek Easter.
- A Baker
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