Dessert/ Greek Classics/ Holiday Recipes


Greek Custard and Phyllo Rolls

Galaktoboureko is a Classic Greek pie that is made with semolina custard and wrapped in flaky, buttery, crisp phyllo. These rolls are the individual version and might be better than the original dessert. They are baked to a golden perfection and then drenched in aromatic syrup.

How to work with Phyllo:

  • Thaw the phyllo in the refrigerator overnight in its packaging.
  • 1-2 hours before you will work with the phyllo allow it to sit at room temperature. Keep it packaged.
  • Remove the phyllo from its packaging and work with it on a clean, dry surface.
  • Keep a large dry kitchen towel along with a damp towel handy. When phyllo is exposed to air for extended amounts of time, it dries out and begins to crumble. Any phyllo that is not being handled cover it first with the dry towel then with the damp towel.

Make-Ahead Tips: These sweet custard phyllo rolls are the perfect dessert for entertaining because they can be made ahead and frozen (before they’re baked) for 2-3 weeks. Bake a few at a time or bake them all! They will bring smiles to your guests’ faces.

  • The syrup can be 2-3 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • Assemble the rolls, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and freeze them for an hour or until they are frozen and firm.
  • Wrap the tray tightly with plastic wrap so that the pastries do not absorb any freezer smells and store them in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
  • These can be baked frozen. Preheat the oven to 350 °F and bake them on the center rack until golden.
  • Pour the cooled syrup over them and serve.

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Print Recipe

Galaktoboureko Rolls: Greek Custard And Phyllo Rolls

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.75 out of 5)
By Dimitra Khan Serves: ​Makes 20-22 rolls:

Galaktoboureko is a Classic Greek pie that is made with a semolina custard and wrapped in flaky, buttery, crisp phyllo. These rolls are the individual version and might be better than the original dessert. They are baked to a golden perfection and then drenched in an aromatic syrup.


  • 1-pound phyllo pastry, thawed and at room temperature wrapped in plastic packaging
  • ½ pound unsalted butter, melted
  • Ground cinnamon for garnish
  • For the Custard:
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup semolina flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Zest of a small orange
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • For the Syrup:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup honey
  • Juice of orange



Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180°C.



Begin by making the syrup. Combine the sugar, water, and orange juice in a small saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the honey. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.



To make the custard filling:


Pour the milk into a small pot and heat until scalding hot.


Combine the eggs, yolk, sugar, salt, semolina, and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Whisk until thick and pale yellow. About 3 minutes.


Add orange zest and mix to incorporate.


Pour 1 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk well to incorporate.


Add the mixture to the pot with the milk in it and cook over medium-low heat while constantly stirring with a whisk until it thickens to the consistency of pudding. It should not become too thick. As it cools it will thicken.


Stir in the vanilla extract.



Notes on working with phyllo pastry:


Thaw out the phyllo pastry in the refrigerator at least 1 day before using it.


Allow the pastry to sit out (in its packaging) at room temperature at least 1 hour before using it.


Take the pastry out of plastic packaging at the time of use (not before) or it will dry out and crumble.


To keep the pastry from drying out while working with it, place a dry kitchen towel over it and then a slightly damp kitchen towel over that.




Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.


Take one sheet of phyllo, drizzle some melted butter over top. Fold it in half lengthwise. Place a small scoop (using a small ice cream scoop), about 1-1 and ½ tablespoons of custard at the bottom of the pastry, keeping it centered.


Fold over both sides (right and left long sides) of pastry over the cream.


Drizzle with some more melted butter.


Roll the pastry all the way up keeping it a bit loose to allow room for the custard to cook during baking. Place on the prepared baking tray.


Keep doing this until all of the phyllo and custard are finished.


Some custard may remain. Enjoy it sprinkled with some cinnamon. It’s delicious!


Brush the tops with the remaining melted butter.


Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden.


Pour half of the syrup over the custard rolls. Let sit for about 1 hour to absorb the syrup.


Dust with ground cinnamon and serve.


The remaining syrup can be served alongside the custard rolls.



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Galaktoboureko - Greek custard and phyllo rolls

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  • Reply
    Mary Hills
    November 2, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Hi Dimitra, you always make things look so easy. I have made a few of your recipes and they never disappoint. My daughter is getting married next year and I would love to make galaktoboureko for the cookie table. Is it possible to freeze these for a week or two? Thanks.

    • Reply
      November 3, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      Yes, this pastry freezes so well! You can bake it straight out of the freezer until golden 🙂 Make the syrup 2-3 days ahead of time as well 🙂 Easy peasy 🙂

  • Reply
    Eleni Lytras
    November 10, 2019 at 2:40 am

    I love them I made them before but with regular flour,I am always looking you up for different recipes, now I wish I could get the recipes for the pumpkin pie with phyllo,I type it in the search box on your recipes but it doesn’t seem to come up, Anyway I will make them with semolina flour this time

  • Reply
    January 12, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    If you are making these ahead of time – what is the best way to store the baked galaktoboureko and for how long can that be done?

    • Reply
      January 13, 2020 at 11:20 pm

      Baked galaktoboureko tastes best served the same day. It keeps fresh in the refrigerator, stored in an airtight container up to 5 days. You can assemble the rolls and bake the amount that you will serve and freeze the rest (unbaked) up to 1 month.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    I am going to try this recipe for a do next week. I will be freezing the unbaked rolls so want to know if they should be drizzled with melted butter before freezing or before baking? Thanks!

    • Reply
      February 23, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Hi NK! You’re gonna be so happy you made these 🙂 Go ahead and drizzle the butter before freezing so that way all you have to do when you’re ready to serve these is bake them and drizzle with the syrup. Enjoy!

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