Kalitsounia Easter Cakes (Καλλιτσούνια)

And, here`s another treat……….

Kalitsounia (Small)



1 kilo all purpose flour

1 cup olive oil

1 cup milk

1 cup sugar

4 medium eggs beaten

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground coriander

Grated rind of one orange


1 kilo sweet mizithra (curd) *

1/2 kilo anthotiro (a traditional Cretan whey cheese)

5 dsst spoons sugar

1 dsst spoon ground cinnamon

4 small egg yolks

10/12 large mint leaves chopped finely

Sesame seeds


Put the flour into a bowl with the sugar, baking powder, coriander and grated orange peel and stir lightly.  In another bowl, mix the olive oil, milk and eggs.  Pour this mixture into the flour steadily, stirring as you go.  Once the mixture is all in the flour, as with most things Cretan, it demands a “hands on” approach, so make sure your sleeves are rolled up and begin working with your hands.  It should be a firm, but moist mixture, not sticky.  Once it has been worked well, cover and put to one side to rest.

Kalitsounia (6) (Small)

Grate the anthotiro into a bowl, throw in the mizithra, this is soft so it will break down easily by hand.  Add the mint leaves, the sugar, cinnamon and egg yolks, and once again get your hands into the bowl and begin working the mixture.  It should be sticky, but not runny.

Roll out the pastry to 2 – 3 mm thick and cut out with a small cutter.  Being oil based, the pastry is good to work with and the board doesn`t need flouring.

Kalitsounia (5) (Small)

Place about a heaped dsst spoon of mixture onto the cut out pastry.

Kalitsounia (3) (Small)

Pull up the sides and squeeze lugs around the filling, making a little crown shape.  Spread the filling evenly in the crown.  Place on greaseproof paper. Glaze the filling and the pastry rim with egg white, sprinkle sesame seeds and a little ground cinnamon over.

Kalitsounia (2) (Small)

Bake at 180 degrees for 24/25 minutes, or till golden coloured. Store in the refrigerator once cooled.

Kalitsounia (1) (Small)

*It is called sweet mizithra.  It is in fact, not sweet, but it`s title differentiates it from the sour mizithra, which is in fact, sour.