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sesame olive oil cookies 5

Vegan Greek sesame and olive oil cookies (koulourakia)

These traditional vegan Greek sesame cookies (koulourakia) are made with olive oil or another vegetable oil. You only need a bowl and a whisk to make them.

Course cookies, Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean, vegan
Keyword koulourakia, olive oil, Sesame
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 36
Calories 104 kcal
Author The Hungry Bites


For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (220 grams) olive oil (or half olive and half vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) raki or grappa or vodka
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon extract
  • 3 1/2 cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour

For the sesame coating

  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl mix the sugar, the ground cinnamon, baking powder, the baking soda and salt. Add the olive oil, the orange juice, the raki (or grappa) and the cinnamon extract and whisk for one minute until the sugar is dissolved.

  2. Keep half cup of flour aside and add the rest 3 cups to the bowl. Mix until a soft dough is formed. Let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes and if it is sticky add the rest of the flour gradually until a soft, pliable dough is formed.

  3. Prepare the sesame coating: Put the sesame seeds in a fine sieve, rinse and drain. Add the one tablespoon sugar and mix well (this will help the seeds to stick on the cookies).

  4. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C)

  5. How to shape the cookies:

    Spread some sesame on your work surface.

    Take a piece of dough the size of a small walnut and knead it in your hands for a few seconds. Roll it out to form a 4-inch “snake” the thickness of your little finger. If the dough crumbles knead it some more to develop more structure.

    Pass it over the sesame to coat it, and place it onto a lined baking sheet making an S-shape. You can also make little circles.

  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden.

    Let them cool on a rack.


Recipe Notes

These cookies are not very sweet. If you like them on the sweeter side you can add 2 extra tablespoons of sugar.

Raki is a Cretan spirit similar to Grappa. If you don’t have any of these, substitute with vodka.

You can make these cookies with a bowl and a whisk (or even a fork) but you can certainly use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you find it more convenient.

The dough can be crumbly sometimes, but kneading every piece between your hands helps to smooth it out and develops more structure.


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