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Cypriot Flaounes - cheese filled Easter bread

Flaounes: Cypriot Easter Dessert

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  • Author: Noreen
  • Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 18 people 1x


Flaounes: Cypriot Easter Dessert with coconut sugar and sesame seeds.




  • 1½ cups pastry flour
  • 1½ tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon mastic, ground in mortar and pestle into powder
  • 1 teaspoon mehlep, ground in mortar and pestle into powder (you can swap for ground cardamom or ground fennel)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1½ teaspoons (a 4 oz packet) of dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash


  • ½ cup pecorino romano cheese, finely grated
  • ½ cup halloumi chese, finely grated
  • ½ cup parmegano reggiano, finely grated
  • 1 handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • 1 teaspoon mastic, ground in mortar and pestle into powder
  • 1 teaspoon mehlep, ground in mortar and pestle into powder (you can swap for ground cardamom or ground fennel)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 eggs


Stage 1 – Pre-Prepare Flaounes Filling

  1. Start by adding your chopped mint into a large mixing bowl
  2. Next, grate your pecorino romano (or a similar sheep’s milk cheese) into the bowl. Follow by grating your halloumi and parmegano reggiano (or a similar hard cow’s milk cheese) into the bowl
  3. In a mortar and pestle, grind your mehlep down into a powder and add to your bowl
  4. Next, grind down you mastic in the mortar and pestle. Be sure not to over-grind the mastic, otherwise it will become gummy and sticky and definitely not a powder! Add to your bowl once done
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of your baking powder and mix everything together with your hands
  6. Then, add your three eggs one-by-one to the filling, and mix well in together with your hands
  7. As you mix in the eggs, the flaounes filling will begin to bind together. After all the eggs have been mixed in, shape your filling into a ball and cover the bowl. Set aside at room temperature for at least 2 hours but ideally overnight

Stage 2 – Prepare the Dough

  1. Before preparing the dough for your flaounes, first uncover your filling (which has been set aside for at least 2 hours) and add your raisins and remaining 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Mix well in with your hands, then re-cover and set aside as you tend to your dough
  2. For the dough, start by taking a small saucepan over medium-low heat and adding your milk. You want to get the milk warm but not boiling hot. Think of it having it be slightly hot to the touch of skin but not scalding
  3. When the milk is warm, pour half of the milk (~1/4 cup) into a bowl with your sugar. Stir in the yeast (gently.. you don’t want to kill the yeast) and set aside for 10 minutes as the yeast activates
  4. For the remaining ¼ of milk in the saucepan, add 1 egg whisk well in. Turn off the heat before whisking so as to not cook the egg by accident. Set aside once it’s all whisked in
  5. Next, sift your flour into a large mixing bowl, then add your salt, mastic and mehlep to the dry mixture
  6. Taking your pieces of butter with your hands, mix and mash the butter into your flour mixture with your hands. You want to ideally get the butter mixed in with as tiny clumps in as possible
  7. After the butter is mixed in, create a mini well in the middle of the bowl and pour your activated yeast and milk/egg mixture into the middle
  8. Mix everything well until you get a dough that is fairly thick and can be shaped into a ball. Sprinkle your dough with flour, cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours

Stage 3 – Create Your Flaounes

  1. Start by slightly wetting your sesame seeds with water and placing onto a plate. Set aside next to your filling and eggwash until it’s time to create the flaounes itself
  2. Then, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and set aside a baking tray either greased or with parchment paper. And now, you can begin with the actual flaounes
  3. Once your dough has risen a little, knead it down and roll it into the shape of a log
  4. Cut the dough into small ½ inch pieces, each one of which will be an individual flaounes
  5. Take one piece of your dough and roll it thinly to about a 1 cm thickness. If you’d like, cut a circle cleanly
  6. Then, take the dough and rub it into the wet sesame seeds, which will stick as a result
  7. Take a ~1 teaspoon spoonful of your filling and place into the middle of your dough
  8. Brush the outer rim of your dough (around the filling) with your eggwash
  9. Once the eggwash has been brushed, fold one part of your dough into the center. Follow by folding the other two sides of your dough into the center as well. Your flaounes should have the shape of a triangle with overlapping corners
  10. Continue and repeat with all your pieces of dough until you’ve created all your individual flaounes
  11. Place your baking tray of flaounes into the oven and bake for 45 minutes. If you’d like, you can brush the flaounes with some extra eggwash a few minutes prior to taking out of the oven to greater ensure a golden brown color
  12. Take out of the oven, let cool and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 4 hours, 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: Cypriot