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Tahinopita (A Cypriot Lenten Pie)

tahinopita (tahini bread)


Tahinopita (plural tahinopites) is a Cypriot Lenten Bread, filled with tahini, sugar and cinnamon.  

In the title I stress the word “Cypriot” Tahinopita because I searched the web for information about the Cypriot tahinopita(tahini bread)  but could not find this recipe anywhere.

The only recipe I found was a Greek cake made with tahini and 90% of the recipes found were exactly the same (copy – paste) from someone who originally wrote it and the others just copied it. 

I had to make a few phone calls to my sisters in Cyprus who did not have a recipe themselves but they asked other relatives and found out a recipe which they gave me.

The traditional Tahinopita we make in Cyprus is layers of phyllo dough and in between each phyllo there is the a tahini mixture with sugar and cinnamon.

In Cyprus these were street food and I remember back when we used to buy tahinopita at school, from street vendors who had a three or four wheeled cart which was covered with a sort of a window dressing and sold them in the crowded parts of the city.  

Nowadays you can find them anywhere, in supermarkets, mini markets, confectioneries, bakeries etc.  I am not sure if there are any street vendors any more because I have been away from Cyprus for many years and during my visits there I have never seen any.

This is a great breakfast pie, or snack with a very spicy flavour and very nutritious as well.  It is “strict fasting” or “Lenten”, meaning it contains no dairy, eggs, or oil and is suitable for “fasting” days in the Orthodox Church. Very satisfying with a cup of your favourite coffee.


tahinopita cut

You will find the recipe in my cookbook “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!”

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

signature Ivy

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36 Responses

  1. Peter M

    Ivy, I have yet to try Tahinopita….the flavours sound good!

  2. Ivy

    ….and it smells even better.. you should try it!

  3. Laurie Constantino

    I have a recipe for this that I’ve been meaning to try, although it is slightly different than yours. For example, the recipe I have doesn’t have either mastixa or maxlepi in it. Now I can’t decide if I should make your recipe or the one I’ve been meaning to do!

    I’ve also made many times an Armenian recipe for something similar, although smaller and harder, more like cookies than bread.

    As you say, the smell is amazing, and I love the taste of tahini with pretty much everything. Thanks!

  4. Ivy

    Laurie I think that if you like the taste of mastiha and mahlepi try it because it gives a nice aroma to the dough.

  5. Nick A.

    ivy, thanks you for the recipe. I looked all over the internet and I was able to find only a recipe for a “cake” like tachinopita. Even when I called relatives in cyprus nobody was able to give me some good instructions. Sounded like a secret for the bakeries over there. One question though. When you do the 2 snails after that you put one on top of the other and roll the pin over them again until they are thin… right?

  6. Ivy

    Hi Nick,
    You’ve got it right. Also, please bear in mind that the temperature I bake them is according to my oven, e.g I usually bake a cake at 180 degrees celcius for about an hour +. Compare this with the time you need to bake a cake and adjust accordingly.

  7. Eva

    Hi Ivy…
    just to say thanks for posting this recipe for me and i hope next time they will have not only great taste but also great raising:)i shall lover the teperature too…
    i shall keep trying…

  8. Ivy

    Hi Eva, I am sure next time you will get them right. It is important to leave them to raise in a hot spot. As for the temperature I always bake at 180 degrees but I am not sure if the temperature inside is right. It takes me about 1 hour + to bake a cake. So I think you’ll figure it out. Happy New Year.

  9. desi

    Hi Ivy,
    Like the others i just wanted to say thanks for posting a recipe for Tahinopites as we know them, i will be trying to make them tomorrow.
    Also wanted to let you know that there are still street vendors selling tahinopites and tyropites.. from the same little motorbike carts..YAY!! they remind me of my childhood, and somehow things always taste better from there 🙂

  10. Ivy

    Hi Desi. Thanks for commenting and letting me know about tahinopites and tyropites. I sure miss them. Hope to see you around again.

  11. Amazing! I can see so much similarity with the Armenian version! I think yours is so scrumptious because it uses phyllo dough not just plain pita bread dough. I can’t wait to try it! Thank you!

  12. cécile

    Hello Ivy !

    I'm curious about your recipe ! My boyfriend has been living during 8 years in Nicosia and is always talking about tahinopita and I would like to surprise him preparing some but the only recipes I found on the net are Greek ones and they don't seem to match with what he experienced.

    Could you please send me by email your fabulous recipe ? thanks a lot Ivy !

    Cheers Cécile


  13. anna

    Hi Ivy,, could you please send me the recipe for these tahinopites , these are my husbands most favorite things to eat,, I usually buy them from the paniyiri at St Andreas church, the ladies make them and sell them, or the Paniyiri tou krasiou,, , will make every effort to make them hust as you tell me,Thanks again ,,he willbe over the moon,

  14. hello
    i v looked everywhere do find tahinopitta recipe and that was the only web tha look the tahinopittes i know! can someone sent it to me pleaseeeeee!

  15. maria kyriakou

    i am finding it a nightmare to find a recipe for these and i woud really appreciate if you could send me yours to try. its my mums birthday and ive offered to try and cook her anything she wants and this being her favorate was what she wants.

    my emaill is maz1131984@hotmail.com
    my mum asked the bakers in cyprus if she could watch them being made and the answer was no (: it does seem to be a big secret over there.

    • Maria, I will e-mail you.

  16. katerina

    I would love to have the recipe too if you are so kind to email it to me at poulao1@hotmail.com.
    Thank you

  17. Sofie

    Could you please send me this recipe as well? It looks delicious and I would love to try it!!

    Thank you so much

  18. mary

    please send me the recipe for taxinopites, Ive googled them and cant seem to find the ones I want, the one I want looks like the first picture you have, and the pastry is made with yeast, can you email it to me please at mary66_@hotmail.com so I can try them out. thankyou.

    • I shall be publishing a cookbook soon and this recipe will be included in the book. Hope you can wait for a while. Thanks for writing to me.

      • Andrew jacovou

        Hi ivy, will I be able to find your recipe book in Australia?

        • Ivy

          Hi Andrew. Thanks for contacting me and yes it will be available online.

  19. susan

    i finally found what i wanted and it looks great and im dying to make it, but where can i view the recipe i can not find it here.

    Could you please help me

  20. susan

    Hi Ivy
    could you please send me the recipe for these tahinopites , these are my most favorite and my kids,, I usually buy them where she goes dancing, but i want to give it a go, im not from a greek background but my husband is so im sure he will love it!.

    Thanking you in advance 🙂

    • I shall be publishing a cookbook soon and this recipe will be included in the book. Hope you can wait for a while. Thanks for writing to me.

  21. marina

    Hello Ivy,
    I would love to have this recipe as it sounds the most authentic. My brother in-law is English and he would love to have a go at making them.
    thanks in advance
    marina miltiadou andrews

    • Ivy

      The recipe will be included in my cookbook (in English) which will be published soon.

  22. Jen

    I currently live in Cyprus, and have for 2 years. I have asked many Cypriot friends and no one makes them at home, they all buy them – I would love to have your recipe- as these are my absolute favorite confection of anything else I have tried- I love the chewy-ness of them! Could you send me your recipe? jpope1124@gmail.com

  23. Ria

    Hi Ivy
    This sounds exactly like how I remember tahinopites when I was younger. Please could you send me the recipe? ria.pappas@gmail.com

    • Ivy

      Ria this recipe will be in my cookbook for Cypriot recipes.

  24. Andrew jacovou

    When when when ???????

    We allllll want it!

    • Ivy

      Andrew, hopefully before Christmas. You'll see it published on the blog.

  25. Jon

    Please send me recipe too.

    • Ivy

      This recipe will be included in my cookbook, which hopefully will be published soon.

  26. Andi

    I’ve made tahino pittes but I want them to me sticky and sweet on the outside like the bakeries .how would l do this

  27. Marilena Constantinou

    I live in california, both of my parents are Cypriot, and this is one of my favorite things to eat whenever I go to Cyprus, thank you so much for the recipe!!!!!! Αγαπη απο την Καληφορνια!