Top 10 Most Popular Cypriot Desserts
Sweets and desserts have a special place in Cypriot cuisine. They don’t only follow meals but also accompany a Cypriot coffee. Traditional sweets in Cyprus have a long history dating back even to Byzantium.
As with other Cypriot foods, the local sweets and desserts have been influenced by the island’s many conquerors. Many sweets have influences from Greek desserts, such as the galaktompoureko, as well as from the Middle East and Turkey, such as baklava and other desserts made with syrup and nuts.
Traditional Cypriot cuisine is heavily affected by seasonality, and that doesn’t leave sweets out, often depending on which fruits and other products are in season and available in each area.
International desserts are widely available and popular in Cyprus, but here are the Cypriot sweets and desserts that remain at the forefront of the delicacies offered on the island.
1. Glika Tou Koutaliou (Spoon Sweets)
Spoon sweets can be made from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as kidoni (quince), walnut, and cherry, or even fruit peel, such as watermelon and bergamot. They are preserved with thick syrup in large jars.
The tradition around spoon sweets is that they are offered to house guests and visitors, served on a small plate with a spoon and a glass of cold water. Practically all Cypriot households have a few jars of spoon sweets in their fridge.
Soushoukos or soutzoukos is one of the most iconic traditional Cypriot sweets. It’s made by dipping threaded almonds or walnuts in palouze (boiled juice of white grapes).
This process can take days, as after every time the shoushoukos is dipped in the palouze, it’s left to dry before dipping it again to create a thick sausage-like sweet.
3. Pitta Tis Satzis
This pastry gets its name from the metal utensil satzi in which the dough is cooked. The dough is rolled into thin layers and shaped into circles or folded into squares.
Even though this type of pitta is also used in savory treats, it is most popular in its sweet version, where it’s filled with honey and cinnamon and sometimes with sugar. You can find this snack in every kiosk and shop in Cyprus.
4. Loukoumi Geroskipou
Loukoumi, known as Cypriot Delight, is made from water, sugar, and cornstarch and comes in various colors and flavors, sprinkled with powdered sugar. Sometimes these jelly-like delights have small pieces of toasted almonds or other ingredients for added flavor.
Its production in the village of Geroskipou has received a Protected Geographical Indication due to the unique process that has been passed from generation to generation.
If you ask anyone in Cyprus, they will admit they have stopped at least once on the side of the road to get loukoumades. They are a favorite in Cyprus, popular at fairs and celebrations, traditionally on Epiphany day after Christmas, but you can find them anywhere, all year round.
These small balls of dough are deep fried until puffed up and crunchy, and are then drenched in syrup.
Pourekia are a pastry sweet, traditionally made with thin puff pastry and filled in with anari (a Cypriot soft cheese), mixed with cinnamon and sugar. They are sprinkled with powdered sugar and can be enjoyed warm or cold.
Pourekia can also be filled with cream, and they are also popular in their savory version where they are filled with halloumi, mushrooms or minced meat.
Mahallepi is one of the most traditional and refreshing summer desserts. It’s made by heating water with corn flour, without added sugar, and it’s always served chilled.
It is topped either with rose water and sugar, or with triantafyllo (rose cordial syrup), making it a mouth-watering aromatic dessert for the summer!
Tashinopitta (or tahinopita) is a kind of bread made with layers of fyllo dough, and filled with tahini, cinnamon, and sugar. It has a distinctive sweet taste due to the tahini, and it’s also traditionally appropriate for the Christian lenten, since it does not contain eggs, milk or oil.
It is available at all Cypriot bakeries all year round.
Pisies can be considered the Cypriot version of pancakes and are quite easy to make. They are small, thin pittas (pies), fried and then covered in syrup or honey. They are topped with cinnamon, sugar, and ground almonds, making for a delicious snack.
Last but not least, daktila, literally meaning fingers (or translated as ladies fingers), are one of the most popular and representative Cypriot sweet pastries. They are made with very thin fyllo pastry, and filled in with ground almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of blossom water.
They are fried well and dipped in syrup. They are very crunchy and delicious.
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