Galaktompoureko, also written Galaktomboureko or Galatoboureko, is possibly the king of sweets for many in Greece and the one I prefer the most.   A fabulous semolina cream, rich and consistent, lies in the middle, between thin layers of crispy phyllo which is bathed in syrup.

Syrup added on top

It’s one of my favourite desserts and if I didn’t mind the calories, I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not want anything else.

In Greece and Cyprus in the old years they used to say that you are not a worthy housewife if you didn’t know how to make thin phyllo from scratch,  but nowadays it’s much easier to make galaktomboureko or other recipes using phyllo, because you can buy ready made phyllo.

Each phyllo is brushed with local ewes’ and goat butter or in case you cannot find any, clarified butter can also be used.   In the middle a semolina pudding flavoured with lemon is added.  The remaining phyllos are layered on top and when the dessert is baked a sugar syrup is added on top.

You can also make individual ones, wrapped in a roll.


Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 16


  • 125 grams (4.40 oz – about ½ cup) ewe’s and goat butter (or clarified butter)
  • 12 sheets phyllo
  • 2- 3 tbsp milk, for brushing top phyllo

Cream filling:

  • 7 cups milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 cups fine semolina
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp of lemon zest


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp Greek thyme honey
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3- 4 cloves
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Begin by preparing the syrup first so that it is not too hot when galaktomboureko is baked.
  2. Put the sugar, honey, water, lemon peel and the spices in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Mix in lemon juice and remove from the heat.
  3. In a bowl whisk half amount of sugar with eggs until creamy. Heat the milk and heavy cream with the remaining sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Add semolina, stirring for a few minutes, add the beaten eggs and mix continuously until the cream sets.
  4. Remove from the heat and cover with cling film and set aside to cool.
  5. Grease a baking pan (30 x 35cm – 14 x 12 inches) with butter.
  6. Place half amount of phyllos on the bottom of the pan, brushing each one separately, with the clarified butter.
  7. Add the semolina cream.
  8. Fold phyllos overhanging, a piece at a time, on top of the cream, brushing them with butter. Add the remaining phyllos on top of the cream, again brushing each one with butter, tacking them in or cutting the phyllos to fit the size of the pan. The last phyllo should be cut exactly the size of the pan.
  9. Brush the top phyllo with milk.
  10. Score with a sharp knife but stop before reaching the cream, into squares or diamond shaped pieces.
  11. Bake in a preheated oven to 180ο C / 350o F for about 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  12. When the galaktomboureko is ready pour over the syrup gradually, so that it is slowly absorbed and let it cool before serving.
  13. Leftover, must be refrigerated.

This and many more Greek recipes are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste as well as in my e-cookbook Volume 2.


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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6 Comments on Galaktomboureko

  1. This looks like my kind of dessert Ivy! Yum!

  2. pixen says:

    would you believe that I didn’t have the chance to taste it? I heard there’s a well known shop in Athina who made this… and I totally forgotten about it :-(

    Now, I hope to have the guts to try this recipe… I have a stack of Phyllo in my freezer waiting for my command. Wish me luck!


  3. Ivy

    Thanks Jenn,

    Pixen, Good luck. If you make it save it to post next month in my new event Sweet Pies.

  4. Galatopita says:

    […] (I used store bought), milk, eggs and semolina to make the cream and butter. It is similar to galaktompoureko but no phyllo is inserted on the top. Its plainness is what makes it so good. Vanilla flavour is […]

  5. heni says:

    My birthday is around the corner … hitting the big 30 and i have decided to make this dessert (using your recipe) as it was by far the most memorable dessert I enjoyed in all my backpacking throu Greece in my younger days.

  6. Myrto says:

    I love galaktomboureko!! Warm or cold :-)
    My recent post Mussels with red pepper- feta cheese and saffron

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