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Easy Recipe: Traditional Greek Butter Cookies (Kourabiedes)

One bite and you’ll fall in love with this delicious Greek butter cookie recipe. They are a perfect holiday treat, a great addition to a cookie platter, or an easy recipe to make any time of year. 

Greek butter cookie recipe

What are Kourabiedes?

Kourabiedes are also known as Greek Butter cookies. The word comes from the Arabic language and simply means “cookie”. They are similar to Russian Tea Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, and Snowball Cookies. You’ll find this traditional Greek cookie in almost all Greek households at Christmas time.

Greek butter cookie recipe

What does a Greek Butter Cookie taste like?

This delicious Greek cookie has a crumbly and delicate texture that is similar to shortbread. The cookie gets its signature flavor by adding bits of toasted almond, and a dash of rosewater. A light dusting of powdered sugar applied after baking creates a delicious cookie that melts in your mouth.

Using rosewater in Greek butter cookies (Kourabiedes) adds an authentic Greek touch to the recipe because it is a traditional and distinctive flavoring commonly used in Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Simple ingredients in this Greek butter cookie recipe

Ingredients for making Greek butter cookies

The flavors in this cookie come from using simple, delicious ingredients. Pure butter, toasted almonds, and just a dash of rosewater give it a delicious traditional Greek taste. Here’s a rundown of all the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Powdered sugar
  • Egg yolk
  • Almonds
  • All-purpose flour
  • Vanilla extract
  • Rose water

How to make Greek butter cookies

I love making this cookie dough in the food processor. It helps keep the butter cold and create the perfect shortbread texture. If you don’t have a food processor, you can make this recipe in a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer. You’ll just want to work quickly in order to keep the butter mixture cold. Greek butter cookies

To make the dough, cream butter, and powdered sugar on medium speed until it has a crumbly texture. Then add the oil and egg yolk, followed by the vanilla extract and rosewater. Gently incorporate the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix the dough. 

Toast the almonds for more flavor

If you want the most delicious almond flavor, you can toast the almonds before adding them to the cookie dough. To do this, roughly chop the almonds (or pulse them briefly in the food processor before starting your dough.)  Allow the almonds to cool completely before adding them to the dough so they don’t melt the butter. 

toasting almonds for Greek butter cookies

How to shape Greek butter cookies

There are various ways to shape the dough. The most common include slightly flattened discs or round shapes. If you’re feeling creative, and want to transform your Christmas cookie platter, try shaping the dough into crescent shapes or S shapes. For an extra touch, consider brushing the cookies with an egg wash before baking and omitting the powdered sugar after.

For this recipe, I’ll be portioning the dough into 1 oz round shape balls, and flattening them slightly to help them bake evenly.

shaping cookies

How to bake shortbread-style cookies

Unlike traditional cookies, shortbread-style cookies should come out of the oven when they are still slightly soft. You can check for doneness by looking for a light golden brown color across the top of the cookie. Be careful not to overbake these cookies because they can get an unpleasant, bitter taste when baked too long.

Place the cookie dough balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Give them a little space so they bake evenly and don’t touch. I like to make a small dent in the center to help the cookies bake with a nice even dome on top. Place the baking sheet in the center of a pre-heated 350-degree oven and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes. 

Dust with confectioner’s sugar

These delicious Greek cookies get their signature look and taste by generously dusting them with confectioner sugar when they are still warm from the oven.

Dusting cookies with confectioners sugar

After you’ve baked the cookies, let them cool for approximately two to three minutes. Then, take a large bowl and fill it with one and a half cups of powdered sugar. Carefully place cookies one at a time, into the bowl and gently toss them to ensure they’re evenly coated with the powdered sugar.

Once they’re nicely covered, you can either store them in an airtight container or arrange them on your cookie platter. Just keep the cookies covered in plastic wrap until you are ready to serve. 

Greek butter cookie recipe

Greek Butter Cookies

One bite and you’ll fall in love with this delicious Greek butter cookie recipe. They are a perfect holiday treat, a great addition to a cookie platter, or an easy recipe to make any time of year.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings 24


  • A food processor makes this recipe super easy!


  • 8 Tbsp Butter 4 oz, 113g
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable oil 4 oz, 113g
  • 3/4 cup Powdered sugar 3oz, 90g
  • 1 Egg yolk only
  • 1/2 cup Toasted almonds diced into bits
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract 2g
  • 1/2 tsp Rose water extract
  • 2 1/4 cups All purpose flour 12.5oz 350g
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Optional


Toast the almonds

  • Roughly chop 1/2 cup almonds.
  • Preheat a medium skillet and toast the almonds on medium heat until golden brown. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Place the almonds on a plate to cool completely before adding them to the dough,

In a Food Processor:

  • Begin by placing the cold butter, cut into chunks, and powdered sugar into the food processor. Pulse the mixture until it reaches a crumbly texture.
  • Add the vegetable oil, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and rosewater to the processor. Continue pulsing until the mixture comes together.
  • Gradually incorporate the all-purpose flour, ensuring not to overmix the dough. It should have a smooth texture.
  • Fold in the chopped almonds and mix by hand until incorporated.

In a Stand Mixer or Handheld Mixer:

  • In a large bowl, combine cold butter (cut into chunks) and powdered sugar. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until the mixture becomes crumbly.
  • Add the vegetable oil, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and rosewater. Mix until everything is well combined.
  • Slowly add the all-purpose flour and mix until the dough is smooth. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Fold in the chopped almonds and mix by hand until incorporated.
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Ready to try this delectable Greek Butter Cookie recipe?

Give this recipe a try and experience the magic for yourself. These Traditional Greek Butter Cookies, or Kourabiedes, are a delightful treat that you can enjoy throughout the year. With their crumbly texture, almond accents, and a touch of rosewater, they’re sure to become a favorite in your cookie collection. And if you’re craving more sweet delights, don’t forget to check out some of my other tempting cookie recipes.

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This chocolate chip cookie recipe uses oil instead of butter for a delicious crispy texture. 



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