Greek Galaktoboureko Recipe

The crispy layers of galaktoboureko give way to a luscious, velvety semolina custard filling. The custard is delicately sweetened and infused with hints of lemon, creating a perfect balance of flavours. The addition of sugar syrup, which is poured over the warm pastry, adds a delightful sticky sweetness, making each mouthful a blissful experience.

What sets Galaktoboureko apart from other desserts is its unique combination of simplicity and indulgence. The semolina custard, made from ingredients such as milk, sugar, semolina flour, and eggs, is transformed into a luxurious filling that leaves a lasting impression. The phyllo pastry, painstakingly layered and baked to golden perfection, adds a delightful crunch that contrasts beautifully with the creamy custard. The drizzle of aromatic sugar syrup not only enhances the sweetness but also keeps the dessert moist, ensuring a melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Ingredients For Galaktoboureko Recipe

Ingredients for cooking galaktoboureko include: 

For the Custard Filling:

  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of fine semolina flour
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the Phyllo Pastry Layers:

  • 1 package of phyllo pastry sheets (approximately 12-16 sheets)
  • 1 cup of melted unsalted butter

For the Sugar Syrup:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)

Optional Garnish:

Step-by-Step Guide Galaktoboureko Recipe Cooking Direction

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Galaktoboureko:

Step 1: Preparing the Custard Filling

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. In a separate bowl, whisk together the semolina flour and sugar until well combined. Gradually pour the semolina mixture into the simmering milk while whisking continuously to avoid any lumps from forming.

Reduce the heat to low and continue stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon or whisk for about 8-10 minutes, or until the custard thickens and has a smooth consistency. In a small bowl, beat the eggs together with the vanilla extract until well blended. Slowly pour the beaten eggs into the custard mixture, whisking constantly to incorporate them thoroughly.

Add the lemon zest to the custard mixture and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously until the custard thickens further. Remove the saucepan from heat and set aside to cool while you prepare the phyllo pastry layers.

Step 2: Assembling the Galaktoboureko

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Brush the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking dish with melted butter to prevent sticking. Carefully unroll the phyllo pastry sheets and keep them covered with a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying out. Place a sheet of phyllo pastry in the baking dish, allowing the excess to hang over the edges. Brush it with melted butter.

Layer another sheet of phyllo pastry on top, slightly offsetting it to cover the areas that the previous sheet did not. Repeat this process, brushing each layer with butter, until you have used approximately half of the phyllo pastry sheets. Spread the cooled custard filling evenly over the layered phyllo pastry.

Continue layering the remaining phyllo pastry sheets on top of the custard, brushing each layer with butter as before. Trim any excess phyllo pastry hanging over the edges of the baking dish.

Step 3: Baking and Preparing the Sugar Syrup

Use a sharp knife to score the top layer of the phyllo pastry into diamond or square-shaped pieces. Be careful not to cut through the bottom layers. Bake the Galaktoboureko in the preheated oven for approximately 50-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crisp.

While the Galaktoboureko is baking, prepare the sugar syrup. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick (if using).

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved. Reduce the heat and let the syrup simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together. Remove the cinnamon stick and set aside.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Once the Galaktoboureko is done baking, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Pour the warm sugar syrup evenly over the entire surface of the hot Galaktoboureko, allowing it to soak into the phyllo layers.

Allow the Galaktoboureko to cool completely and absorb the syrup before serving. Optionally, before serving, dust the top of the Galaktoboureko with powdered sugar and sprinkle a pinch of ground cinnamon for a decorative touch. Cut the Galaktoboureko along the pre-scored lines into individual portions and serve.

Equipment For Preparing Galaktoboureko Recipe

To make Galaktoboureko, you will need the following equipment:

  • Saucepan: A medium-sized saucepan is essential for heating the milk and cooking the custard filling.
  • Whisk: A whisk is required to combine the semolina flour, sugar, and eggs, as well as to stir the custard mixture while it cooks. It helps in preventing lumps and ensures a smooth consistency.
  • Wooden Spoon: A wooden spoon is useful for stirring the custard filling as it thickens. It allows you to scrape the bottom of the saucepan to prevent sticking and ensures even cooking.
  • Bowl: You’ll need a bowl to whisk the eggs and vanilla extract before adding them to the custard mixture.
  • 9×13-inch Baking Dish: This specific-sized baking dish is ideal for assembling and baking the Galaktoboureko. It provides enough space for the phyllo pastry layers and the custard filling.
  • Pastry Brush: A pastry brush is used to brush melted butter between the layers of phyllo pastry. It helps in achieving a crisp and golden exterior.
  • Sharp Knife: A sharp knife is necessary for scoring the top layer of the phyllo pastry before baking. This allows for easier portioning once the Galaktoboureko is cooked.
  • Oven: Galaktoboureko is baked in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C). An oven with reliable temperature control is required to achieve even baking and a golden-brown crust.
  • Small Saucepan: A small saucepan is used to prepare the sugar syrup. It allows for easy boiling and simmering of the syrup ingredients.
  • Baking Rack (optional): A baking rack can be used to cool the Galaktoboureko after it is baked. It allows for proper air circulation, which helps in preventing the pastry from becoming soggy.

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Galaktoboureko Recipe

Preparing a great-tasting Galaktoboureko requires attention to detail, and these expert tips will help you achieve this: 

  • Thaw the Phyllo Pastry Properly: If you are using frozen Phyllo pastry sheets, make sure to thaw them according to the package instructions. It’s important to handle the sheets gently, as they can tear easily when they are still frozen or if they become dry. Keep them covered with a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying out while you work with them.
  • Brush Phyllo Layers Generously: When layering the Phyllo pastry sheets, make sure to brush each layer generously with melted butter. This helps in achieving a crispy and golden-brown exterior. The butter also adds flavour and contributes to the overall richness of the Galaktoboureko.
  • Keep the Custard Smooth: To ensure a smooth and creamy custard filling, continuously stir the mixture while cooking. This prevents lumps from forming and ensures even thickening. Be patient and stir consistently to achieve a velvety texture.
  • Adjust Sugar Syrup Consistency: The sugar syrup adds moisture and sweetness to the Galaktoboureko. The syrup should be warm when poured over the hot pastry to allow for better absorption. Adjust the consistency of the syrup by simmering it for a shorter or longer period, depending on your preference. A thinner syrup will be absorbed more quickly, while a thicker syrup will result in a stickier and sweeter dessert.
  • Let the Galaktoboureko Rest: Once you have poured the sugar syrup over the baked Galaktoboureko, let it rest for some time before serving. This allows the syrup to be fully absorbed, enhancing the flavour and ensuring a moist and delicious dessert.
  • Customize with Garnishes: While not necessary, you can add a finishing touch to your Galaktoboureko by dusting it with powdered sugar and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. This adds a delightful aroma and visual appeal to the dessert.
  • Practice Portion Control: When cutting the Galaktoboureko into individual servings, make sure to follow the pre-scored lines carefully. A sharp knife will help you achieve clean cuts without disturbing the layers. This ensures that each piece is presented beautifully and maintains its structural integrity.
  • Serve at the Right Temperature: Galaktoboureko can be enjoyed warm or chilled, depending on personal preference. Warm servings highlight the contrast between the crispy pastry and the creamy custard, while chilled servings offer a refreshing and creamy delight.

Greek Galaktoboureko Recipe

Galaktoboureko is a traditional Greek dessert featuring layers of crisp phyllo pastry and a luscious semolina custard filling, all soaked in sweet sugar syrup. This delightful treat showcases the perfect balance of creamy, crunchy, and sweet flavours, making it a beloved dessert in Greek cuisine.
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Servings 12 Portions
Calories 300 kcal


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • In a saucepan, heat the milk until simmering.
  • In a bowl, whisk together semolina flour and sugar.
  • Gradually add the semolina mixture to the simmering milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Cook for 8-10 minutes until thickened.
  • In a separate bowl, beat eggs and vanilla extract together. Slowly pour the beaten eggs into the semolina mixture, whisking continuously. Stir in lemon zest. Set aside to cool.
  • Layer half of the phyllo pastry sheets in the baking dish, brushing each sheet with melted butter.
  • Spread the cooled custard evenly over the layered phyllo pastry.
  • Layer the remaining phyllo pastry sheets on top, brushing each sheet with butter.
  • Score the top layer of phyllo into diamond or square shapes.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
  • While the Galaktoboureko bakes, prepare the sugar syrup. In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, lemon juice, and a cinnamon stick. Boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  • Once baked, remove the Galaktoboureko from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  • Pour the warm sugar syrup over the Galaktoboureko, allowing it to soak in.
  • Let the dessert cool completely before serving.


Keyword Galaktoboureko, granulated sugar, semolina flour, vanilla extract

What To Take With Greek Galaktoboureko

While this dessert is undoubtedly a star on its own, you can achieve more with the taking it with the following:

1. Greek Coffee

Start your Galaktoboureko indulgence with a cup of traditional Greek coffee. The robust flavour of Greek coffee, often enjoyed with a touch of sweetness, provides a perfect contrast to the sweetness of the dessert.

The caffeine kick also helps balance the richness of Galaktoboureko, making for a harmonious pairing.

2. Fresh Fruits

Balance the sweetness of Galaktoboureko with a refreshing burst of natural sweetness from fresh fruits. Sliced strawberries, raspberries, or a medley of berries can add a delightful tartness that cuts through the richness of the custard. Alternatively, a side of sliced oranges or a drizzle of citrusy sauce can provide a zesty contrast.

3. Vanilla Ice Cream

Take your Galaktoboureko to the next level by serving it with a scoop of high-quality vanilla ice cream.

The cold and creamy texture of the ice cream complements the warm and flaky layers of the pastry, creating a delightful sensory experience. The subtle vanilla notes enhance the overall flavour profile without overpowering the custard filling.

4. Mint Tea

Refresh your palate with a cup of hot or cold mint tea. The cool, herbal notes of mint cleanse the palate between bites of Galaktoboureko, ensuring that each mouthful is as delightful as the first. Mint tea is a classic choice that adds a touch of Mediterranean charm to your dessert experience.

5. Honey Drizzle

For an authentic Greek touch, drizzle a bit of high-quality honey over your Galaktoboureko. The amber sweetness of honey complements the custard and phyllo layers, enhancing the overall flavour complexity. Choose a local or Greek honey for an extra layer of authenticity and nuanced sweetness.

6. Nuts and Nut Butter

Add a satisfying crunch to your Galaktoboureko by incorporating nuts into your pairing. Chopped pistachios, almonds, or walnuts provide a textural contrast, while nut butter, such as almond or hazelnut, can be a decadent addition. Sprinkle the nuts over the dessert or serve the nut butter on the side for a customizable experience.

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