Melomakarona - The Greek Christmas Treat with Olive Oil and Honey

Christmas is nearly here! Time to make and treat Melomakarona. The most traditional and my personal favorite Christmas sweet made with olive oil and honey. There are so many “Melomakarona” recipes. What I like in this one, is that no sugar is added, plus I don’t need a mixer. Just one bowl, my hands and 20 minutes. Make them together with your little ones and let your house smell of orange, honey, cinnamon and cloves.


Hands on: 20 minutes

Portion: 40 small melomakarona


how to make no sugar melomakarona with olive oil

For the syrup

2 cups honey

2 cups water

1 cinnamon stick

1 whole clove

For the honey cookies

200gr (7 ounces) fresh orange juice

280gr (9.9 ounces) olive oil

600gr (21.2 ounces) all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

grated zest of one orange

For the garnish


Chopped Walnuts or pistachio nuts (optional)


How to do it

  1. In a pot, add all of the syrup ingredients. As soon as the syrup begins to boil, lower the heat at medium temperature and remove the foam formed at the surface using a big spoon. Then boil the syrup in medium-low temperature for 10 minutes.

  2. Keep in mind that you want to prepare the syrup 3-4 hours before you begin making the honey cookies so that it has enough time to completely cool by the time the cookies come out of the oven.

  3. Preheat the oven to 180o C (350o F) fan.

  4. In a large bowl add the orange juice and the baking soda. Small bubbles will form at the surface due to the soda.

  5. Then add the olive oil, the cinnamon, the clove and the grated orange zest. Mix the ingredients using your hand.

  6. Time to add the flour. Do it slowly, and mix very gently using your hands. Do not mix too long (more than 15 seconds), because the mixture will split. Mix just to combine all the ingredients.

  7. Shape the mixture into small balls. Press the balls down with your hand to form round cookies (4 cm diameter).

  8. Transfer to a baking pan lined with parchment paper.

  9. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden and crunchy.

  10. When ready, remove from the oven and immediately add the honey cookies to the cool syrup, flipping them with a slotted spoon to absorb the syrup for approximately 5-10 second per side. Do so in 2-3 batches. Do not syrup all of them at once.

  11. Remove the cookies with the slotted spoon, place them on a platter and let them cool completely.

  12. When they are cool, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with grated walnuts or pistachios.