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Catholic Recipe: Kourambiedhes Wedding Cakes


  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks butter or margarine
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence (extract)
  • 1/2 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk or brandy
  • 3/4 cup roasted almonds, coarsely ground
  • orange blossom water (if available)
  • icing (confectioners) sugar
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Origin: Greece

The first thing most couples do after the ceremony is to share a meal and have a wedding feast with their guests and friends. In America the couple feed each other with the first piece of wedding cake to express their oneness. In France the couple drink from a two-handled gold or silver coupe de marriage. This is often a gift engraved with their initials and the wedding date. In Orthodox church ceremonies the couple drink three times from a cup of wine, symbolizing their willingness to share the same experiences. The ancient Greeks shared a quince together to show that they were prepared to share all things both sweet and bitter. Greek brides sometimes carry a lump of sugar in their gloves to add sweetness to married life!

Wedding cakes, as we know them today, were introduced from France in the seventeenth century. Traditionally there were two cakes - the bride's cake, a light one decorated with spun sugar ornaments; and the groom's cake, which was a rich fruit one. Today there is usually just one cake, although this may consist of several tiers. In America, the bride's cake is favored and is often a light lemon or chocolate-flavored cake decorated with white icing. In England it is more common to have a rich fruit cake, decorated with white icing.


1. Cream the butter and sugar together.

2. Add the vanilla, ground almonds, egg and milk and mix well.

3. Add the flour gradually and knead for a few minutes. Cover and let it stand for a while.

4. Put small mounds on a greased baking tray and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until light brown.

5. Cool on a cooling tray.

6. When cool sprinkle with orange blossom water and dust with icing sugar.

Recipe Source: Feasting for Festivals by Jan Wilson, Lion Publishing Corporation, Batavia, Illinois, 1990
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