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Easter Flaounes

Flaounes image


Flaounes (singular flaouna) is a traditional cheese bread we make in Cyprus during Easter, with an aromatic yeasted phyllo filled with a special Cypriot cheese, called Pafitiko and eggs,  flavoured with Masticha (mastic resin), mahlepi (mahleb) and mint.

The word Flaouna, is derived from the ancient Greek word πᾰλάθη (palathi) > flado > fladoonis > flatouna > flaouna.


It is believed that flaouna is reminiscent of an ancient Greek kind of bread made with nuts, called palathi (παλάθη) .  This bread was offered to children , who went from house to house singing about the coming of swallows and spring.  This tradition continued during the Byzantine era and until recent years, flaouna was offered to children or even grown-ups, as a treat when they went from house to house to announce the resurrection of Christ or to wake up the people to go to church for the midnight mass on Easter Saturday.

The ancient palathi also contained some dried figs.

Source :  My translation, from the Cypriot EncyclopaediaΜεγάλη Κυπριακή Εγκυκλοπαίδεια. Επιμέλεια: Άντρου Παυλίδη, Λευκωσία (1984-1996).


Traditionally flaounes are made on Holy Thursday and it’s not an easy job.  The preparations usually start from the previous day and on Thursday most female members of the family get up from the crack to dawn to start preparing them. 

Flaounes shaped triange image

I have memories when I was young when we all used to help making them and then we had to take them to our neighbourhood’s “fourno” which was a traditional bread bakery with wood oven and we had to wait patiently for our turn to have ours baked.

Easter Flaouna

These cheese breads are made with a very flavourful bread dough and filled with a cheese called “Pafitiko” made during the Easter period for flaounes.  However, this can be substituted by a mixture of other Cypriot cheeses such as halloumi or kaskavalli or the Greek cheeses ladotyri Mytilinis, graviera, kefalograviera and some kefalotyri.  Kefalotyri is usually very salty, so don’t add too much.  We usually make more dough than necessary to make some koulouria, which is a very aromatic bread.

Flaouna with kannavouri image


I have just finished the procedure of making them and I made 12 medium-sized flaounes with the quantity of flour used and there was some left to make two koulouria.

collage Flaounes

The recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste as well as in Volume 2 of my e-cookbook.

Easter koulouri image


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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17 Responses

  1. Peter G

    More Cyprian delights! I don’t recall ever eating these but they sound really tasty with all that cheese Ivy.

  2. jj

    Never had these either, but yours looks great!

  3. Laurie Constantino

    I’ve never had these, but I sure would like to try them as they sound absolutely wonderful. Another winner, Ivy!

  4. Mike of Mike's Table

    I’ve also never been exposed to this before but wow they sure look good. It seems that nearly every “Greek” restaurant I’ve eaten at growing up has not done Greek food justice. This looks really tasty

  5. Cakelaw

    These look and sound delicious Ivy. I love learning so much about traditional Greek dishes from your blog.

  6. Emiline

    I think they look wonderful. Perfect for an Easter celebration!

  7. Rosie

    Ivy these look stunning so perfect for your Easter celebration 🙂

    Rosie x

  8. Bellini Valli

    Aglaia taught me to prepare mahleb. These breads sound so delicious I may try them when I get some of the cheese. I saw some kasseri in the shop the other day:D

  9. Ivy

    Thanks everyone for commenting.

    Val, Kaseri is not suitable for Flaounes as it is a cheese that melts.

  10. Mike Costas

    I lived on Cyprus for a few months including Easter. My dad was a Greek Cypriot and our family loved the experience. These Flaounes may look and sound good, but unless the locals did something wrong, they really didn’t taste that good. We’ll have to try this recipe and see how they turn out.

    There was actually a version filled with sweets that was really good.

    Every time we went somewhere during the Easter season, the relatives were giving us more Flaounes than we could eat … a lot of fun.

    If you want a treat … go to Cyprus. It is a beautiful island paradise and the folks are wonderful.

  11. christa

    hi, we make flaunes every easter, the recipe i have has been handed down from my mother its very similar to yours. we use peccorino cheese thats available and mix with halloumi and other cheeses. we are a big family and we all get together in one home and all help including the very young members of six years and make it a fun day we produce over 250 flaunes and get the male memebers to do the mixing of the dough and also the making, and baking. we also make a large ammount of koulouria. we wish you all a happy easter

    • Nice to meet you Christa. Pecorino would be a lovely substitue for the Cypriot cheese.
      Yes, that's how we used to make flaounes as well. All the family helping. I am really happy you are still keeping our traditions.

      • Tina

        Hi , we make flaunes every easter as well. We get together with my mum, my girls and my sister and make a big batch (250+) and share them around. We use peccorino, romano and halloumi cheese. We live in Australia so these are the best alternative cheeses. They taste delicious. Have a nice Easter.

  12. Eleni Papadakis

    please a easy recipe for flaounes

    • Eleni, this is the easy recipe for flaounes:

  13. Andrea

    Mike, Flaounes can taste quite bad if they are not made correctly. But when they are made good, they are the best food available in my opinion.

    I tend to use a mix of greek cheeses, along with Halloumi, Anari and 50-60% mild english cheddar. It’s very difficult for me to sit here and convince people to sub some greek cheese for english cheddar because Flaounes are really hard to make.

    I suggest making a small batter with some dried english mild cheddar and making a few to know for next year. They really taste great with this cheese in my opinion.

  14. Flora

    Yes Flaounes are made for Easter—what is Easter without a flaouna–but—-traditionally no baking is done on Good Friday the holiest days of the Greek Orthodox calender—in my house and my aunts homes all preparations began on Holy Wednesday for baking on Thursday