Pastitsi or pastisia (plural) are almond meringue biscuits specifically from Cyprus. These usually made for celebrations and special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and parties. These are usually exchanged as party favours or brought out on plates and placed at the centre of the table at gatherings as they’re seen to be an indulgent treat, which they definitely live up to.

They’re somewhat similar to a large macaron but they’re more substantial and they are flavoured with mastic and orange blossom water. They are widely available in the bakeries in Cyprus. But can be found rarely in some delicatessen bakeries in the UK. If you've had one it’s likely it will have been a special occasion and been given one. I personally made sure to source these from a speciality bakery in London and couriered to my wedding venue in Liverpool. Yes they’re that good! 

Unfortunately there are not many good recipes out there that accurately reproduce the flavours and the crunchy gooey texture like the ones you get in the bakeries, mainly because the bakeries use specific equipment and ingredients which are hard to get a hold of and keep their methods and recipes closely guarded.

I have tried to make them myself unsuccessfully many times, but luckily for you I managed to whittle it down and this recipe is pretty dam close. Not taking all the credit, I had had some help from a friend who is a Greek patisserie chef who makes these regularly and gave me a few very helpful pointers.

This recipe is gluten free and vegetarian. The biscuits are also low fat, but contain a fair bit of sugar, is high in fibre and contains lots protein and Vitamin E and antioxidants. To make this recipe gluten free I have used potato starch or instant mash. I can see you shaking your head :D. Rest assured it’s common place for bakers to use alternate flours and starches. The advantages of potato is that the starch holds on to the moisture without drying, it holds its own shape without unwanted glutinous binding agent which makes the dough round and hard to pipe. Alternatively standard mashed potato or additional cornstarch can be used.

In order to make these the only specific piece of equipment you need is a food processor to grind the blanched almonds into a fine powder. It’s best to used blanched almonds and precess them fresh however almond flour can also be used but you may find they absorb more liquid. The biscuit dough can be piped into swirls like the picture above with a piping bag and star shaped nozzle. Alternatively they can be spooned into rounds like below.

The ingredients for the recipe tend to be widely available apart from the mastic gum and orange blossom water, however you can usually find these in a good local delicatessen. If your struggling I have included a link in the text where you can buy the mastic gum and orange blossom water online.

~20 (6cm) cookies40 min’ 20 min’60 min’


  • 300g Blanched almonds or Almond Flour
  • 225g Icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Mastic gum (Ground)
  • 4 Large free range eggs (whites only)
  • 1/tsp Table salt
  • 1 tbsp Corn flour
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Orange blossom water
  • 150g Instant mash potato / potato flour (made up as packet instructions)


  • Whole blanched almonds
  • Silvered sugar pearls
  • Any other topping you like that can be baked with the cookies.


Place the blanched almonds in the food processor and blend into a rough powder.

Once blended, add in the icing sugar, mastic powder and cornflour and mix in the processor until evenly distributed.

Make up the instant mashed potato as the packet instruction. (You’ll need about 150g as prepared) and set aside to cool for later.

In a large bowl add the egg whites, salt, vanilla, almond extract and orange blossom water.

Using a hand or standing mixer, whisk the egg white mixture on high until it forms a glossy white finish which forms soft peaks.

Using a spatula fold in the almond flour mixture a little at a time until the dough is consistent. It will still be slightly loose.

Add the instant mash to the bowl and fold in. The mix should resemble a thick doughy cake mix and hold its shape. If it is still a little loose add a little more ground almonds.

Set mix aside to settle for 10 minutes until the moisture has been absorbed by the sugar and flour mix.

Once the mix has congealed add it to a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle (if using). You will need to line 2-3 baking trays with baking paper. *I usually add a smear or two below the paper to keep it in place whilst piping.

To pipe these out you want to form rounds of ~6cm with the nozzle spiralling round twice to give it a base and then adding height and pattern with the top swirl.

Once these are piped or spooned into rounds add the whole almonds or choice of topping / decoration and set the biscuits aside for 20 minutes for the surface to dry a little.

Whilst you wait preheat the oven to 160oC (fan oven).

Once the biscuits have set, place them in your pre-heated oven and bake for 20-22 minutes until golden on the outside with slightly crispy edges and gooey on the inside.

Take the biscuits off the tray and paper being careful as these will be somewhat soft on the inside, still, and place the biscuits on the side to cool.

Once cooled enjoy with a nice cup of tea or coffee or store in a sealed container for up to a week.

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