Whoever is Greek and whoever isn’t should know that Easter in Cyprus is associated with “Flaounes”. Flaounes are savoury cheese pies baked for Greek Orthodox Easter, traditionally made on Good Friday they are part of the fast-breaking meal after Lent when meat and cheese are not eaten. Eaten at breakfast and also exchanged as gifts of friendship and goodwill, they are made in semi-sweet and sweet variations. This Cheese pie recipe is passed on from generation to generation and is a tradition that gathers the whole family together in which preparation and baking take place. My Aunty Eleni has fine-tuned her recipe to make us look forward to hers year after year.

Jot it down:



  • 1 kg durum wheat flour
  • 1 small cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. crushed mastic
  • 1 tsp. crushed mahleb
  • 1 cup yeast
  • 2 ½ cups warm water


  • 1 kg special Cypriot cheese (Pafitiko)
  • ½ cup yeast
  • 1 tsp. of crushed mastic
  • 1 tsp. crushed mahleb
  • 12 eggs (approx)
  • 4 tbsp. semolina
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cups crushed mint leaves


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sesame seeds



  1. Put the yeast in a bowl with a little water, a little flour and work it with your fingers to mix. It should become a loose dough. Cover it and leave it for a few hours to rise. Add the salt, mastiha, mehleb and the rest of the flour to the yeast. Gradually add warm water to the mixture and start kneading the dough. Once done, cover it with a tea towel and leave it for a few hours to rise.
  2. In the meantime, grate the cheese and put it in a bowl. Place the yeast, semolina and four eggs in a bowl, mix and leave for a few hours. When ready, mix in the cheese, mastic, mehleb and the rest of the eggs slowly (and if need be) till the mixture can be moulded into a ball without breaking apart. Finally, add the raisins and the mint.
  3. When the dough is ready, flatten it with a rolling pin into round shapes and place a large ball of filling in the centre of each one. Fold three or four sides of the dough into the middle and with a fork push the corners to secure them.
  4. Put the flaounes on a baking tray. In a bowl beat two eggs and gloss the finished flaouna, then sprinkle sesame seeds on the top. Bake in a preheated oven (180 ° F) for about 35 minutes.