Vegan Greek Olive Oil and Sesame Cookies
These vegan Greek Olive Oil and Orange Cookies combine olive oil, orange, cinnamon, and sesame seeds to make one delicious and flavorful cookie. Made in one bowl without milk, butter, or eggs, this vegan cookie recipe is crisp, not-too-sweet, with an irresistible flavor. No mixer required!
Hello from 2018 when I first published this recipe! I am coming to you with updated pictures, clearer instructions, and helpful tips to make the BEST Greek Sesame Cookies.
What are Greek Olive Oil Cookies?
Greek Olive Oil and Orange Cookies are one of my favorite cookies EVER. I can eat the entire batch all by myself. They are perfectly crisp, not too sweet, hearty, orange-y, with a touch of cinnamon. And the sesame seeds! OMG. I’m not so sure I could live without these cookies in my life.
These olive oil cookies are sold in bakeries and supermarkets all over Greece, but in my opinion they are wayyyy tastier when they are homemade. They are so easy to make and require no mixer.
Greek vegan cinnamon cookies are made with olive oil, orange juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and a splash of brandy (duh) for the optimal flavor. No eggs, butter, or milk are used, making this recipe naturally vegan!
Many Greeks fast throughout the year around religious holidays; a tradition that has been around for a couple thousand years. During their fast, they abstain from eating animal products (meat, fish, dairy, eggs) making these cookies the perfect sweet treat during nistia (lent).
Olive Oil and Orange cookies make a great on-the-go breakfast, a perfect snack to dip in a cup of coffee, or enjoy them after dinner with a hot cup of tea!
Greek Olive Oil and Cinnamon Cookie Ingredients
- Olive Oil: Use a light olive oil for these cookies. I do not recommend using the very expensive extra virgin olive oil that you would use for dipping bread into for this cookie recipe. Light olive oil has a much milder taste that won’t overpower all of the other flavors in these cookies.
- Orange Juice: I have made these vegan orange cookies with freshly squeezed and store bought orange juice and both versions were equally delicious. Use whichever you have on hand!
- Sugar: Use your favorite granulated or organic cane sugar! This is the one that I use in all of my baking. Please note that these cookies are not meant to be overly sweet. If you prefer sweeter cookies, increase the sugar by ½ cup.
- Brandy: Any brand of brandy works in this recipe. I like to use a high-quality brandy that is not too pricey.
- All-purpose flour: I always use unbleached all-purpose flour in my baking. You can use all-purpose gluten free flour if you need to with great results as well!
- Cinnamon: Make sure that your cinnamon is fresh for the optimal flavor
- Sesame Seeds: Unroasted sesame seeds are the best for this Greek Sesame Cookie recipe.
How to Make Greek Olive Oil Cinnamon Cookies
Even though these vegan olive oil cookies are so easy to make, I’ll walk you through all of the steps to make sure you end up with the perfect cookies!
- Preheat your oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You want to make sure that your oven has enough time to reach the correct temperature before putting your cookies into the oven to bake.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients and sugar. Whisk the olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, brandy, vanilla extract, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix dry ingredients together. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- Combine all the ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix. Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, use your hands to knead the dough for a couple of minutes.
- Shape cookies and cover in sesame seeds. Roll out pieces of dough and shape them into rings. I like to weigh out each cookie to 1.5-oz portions before shaping it. Place sesame seeds in a shallow bowl and place each cookie into the sesame seeds. Lightly press the sesame seeds into the unbaked cookies.
- Bake. Bake the cookies for 30-35 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven when they are golden brown. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Vegan Greek Olive Oil Cookie FAQs
What is the difference between light olive oil and extra virgin olive oil?
The term “light” in light olive oil refers to the milder taste and lighter color of the oil, not the amount of calories. Light olive oil is best for baking and cooking at high temperatures. Extra virgin olive oil is greener in color, more fragrant, and has a more intense flavor. Use extra virgin olive oil for dipping bread, salad dressings, or for drizzling over food.
How do I store Greek Sesame Cookies?
To store Greek Olive Oil and Sesame Cookies, keep them covered in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze these vegan cookies for up to 3 months.
If stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, Greek Olive Oil and Orange Cookies can last up to 1 month.
More Recipes You’ll Love!
- Kourabiedes – Greek Christmas Cookies
- Koulourakia – Greek butter cookies
- Melomakarona – Greek honey spice cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Blackberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies
If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag #bakedambrosia on Instagram and Facebook so that I can see your creations and feature them on Instagram! To stay up to date with the latest recipes, follow Baked Ambrosia on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. ♡
Vegan Greek Olive Oil and Orange Cookies
- 1 cup light olive oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- zest from 1 orange
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup sugar* (see notes)
- 6-7 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, brandy, vanilla extract, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Use your hands to knead the dough for a couple of minutes.
- Roll out pieces of dough and shape into rings. (I like to weight each portion out to 1.5 oz pieces.) Place the sesame seeds in a shallow bowl or plate and coat each cookie in sesame seeds. Lightly press the seeds into the cookies then place the cookies onto the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool on baking pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Did I read right? 362 calories and 61g of sugar for 1 cookie?
Hi Stephanie! There was a an error in the nutrition information. Thank you for letting me know! It is now updated to the correct amounts
Can I substitute vegetable oil instead of olive oil?
Hi Sophia. Yes, you can use vegetable oil instead of olive oil, but the taste will be a little bit more bland. The olive oil adds great flavor to these cookies.
I made these cookies with my mum and we found the dough to be too dry and crumbly.
We did the exact measurements and everything. We were wondering why this is? I added water and I even added some almond milk to fix this but then it became too runny, so I added more flour and still the consistency was crumbly with the dough. Any suggestions would be much appreciated as we would like to make them again but better next time around.
Hi Lizzie! Did you weigh out the flour, or did you use a measuring cup? I recommend weighing out the flour for more accuracy. Next time, you can begin adding the dry ingredients gradually until you reach a moldable dough. Also note that you will have to knead the dough for a few minutes for gluten development.
Loved them I did omit the brandy and added some oats instead…. this is breakfast for the week thank you for an amazing recipe cant wait to try other recipes you have posted
Love the addition of oats in this recipe!! I will have to try it out next time I make a batch!
Hi Angelina, I would like to make them but I don’t have the brandy at home. Can I omit it or substitute it with something else?
Hi Marzia! You can substitute the brandy for any other darker liquor like cognac, or you can simply replace it with more orange juice.
I just made these and they’re definitely the best vegan cookies I have ever tasted! Thanks for the great recipe!
Thank you, Julia! These cookies are one my favorites!
I agree! Superb vegan cookies
Love the flavor of these cookies but the dough was very crumbly even after kneading and adding more olive oil which made shaping a huge challenge. Will have to try again.
Thank you, Maro! Did you weigh out all of the ingredients for a more accurate measurement? If you are just using cup measurements, I suggest adding the last cup of flour slowly until the dough forms (you might not have to use all of the flour).
Hi I made these today and the dough didn’t get nice and brown like the ones in your picture. I used regular white ( bleached) flour… should I have used a different type?
Hi Cathy, I always baked with all-purpose unbleached flour. Where the cookies baked all the way through? If they were and the color still wasn’t as dark as pictured, it could have to do with the cinnamon. Some cinnamon varieties are lighter in color than others.
Hello! I will be making these cookies tomorrow for a bake sale. How big are the cookies in the picture above? I want my cookies to look very similar to them. Thank you! Kay
Hi! These cookies are about 2 inches in diameter. I like to weigh the dough into 1.5 oz portions before shaping the cookie to make sure that I have uniform cookies. Enjoy!!
Hello again! These cookies sold out at the bake sale in less than 5 minutes! They enjoyed them so much that a few asked me to make the cookies for them for, Christmas! I tweaked the recipe a little the third time I made them and added Tsipouro (didn’t have brandy) added lemon zest and also nutmeg…no words can explain how delicious these cookies are! Thanks again for your wonderful recipe! Merry Christmas!!
Funny thing… this is almost the exact recipe that I use for my lenten paximadia. Instead forming them into cookies, I make a baton that I score and bake. Then I remove, cut through, and rebake at 250 for nice little orange-cinnamon paximadia. The ingredient I haven’t used is brandy. I’m going to try these as cookies, though, because I love the recipe. Thanks for sharing
This recipe is perfect! I have been making a lot of different vegan cookies, but they always end up tasting similar but these ones have this rich and unique flavor! Love it!
Thank you, Lina! I’m so happy you enjoyed these vegan cookies!
I tried this recipe and it didn’t turn out very well for me. The dough was very runny, I couldn’t shape them into cookies, so I just dolloped the dough onto the baking sheet with spoons and sprinkled them with the sesame seeds. I thought they tasted good after baking, but could use more flavor. My family felt they were not nearly sweet enough. Perhaps another cup of sugar, maybe brown sugar?
Hi Pamela, sorry that these didn’t turn out well for you! A few tips on forming the dough; mix well until the gluten forms and the dough holds its shape. The dough will be oily, but if you find that it is still too sticky to form cookies, add more flour a tablespoon at a time. These cookies are not meant to be very sweet, but you can increase the sugar by 1/2 cup if you prefer a sweeter cookie.