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Traditional Cypriot Sweet Roll Recipe

Tahini Swirls Recipe, Cyprus Food

Tahini Rolls aka Tahini Borek are sweet Cypriot dessert or breakfast rolls. The rolls are made from a sweet yeast bread which is filled with a mixture of tahini (sesame seed spread) and sugar, and then baked. The end result is a fluffy, sweet, gooey, nutty bread. Tahini can be found at any specialty grocery store or arabic market and it's unique flavor gives the dessert a great twist. There are many variations on the recipe, one of which is the substitution of honey, pomegranate mollases, or carob mollases for the sugar. 

Serves: 5-7 people

Preperation Time: 40 min


Heat the milk. Once the milk has warmed (110°F/43°C) transfer it to a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk, cover the milk, and let it sit in a warm place until the yeast is activated. Once the yeast has frothed on the surface of the milk (approx. 10 min.) add the flour, sugar, spices, and salt to the bowl and mix. Once the dough has formed, lather your hands with olive oil and transfer the dough to a flat working surface and begin to knead. Knead until the bread is smooth and elastic (10 min). Sprinkle flour at the base of the mixing bowl and place the dough back into the bowl to rest. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and place in a warm place to rise for 1 - 1.5 hours. 


Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 400° and mix the tahini with the olive oil. Next, sprinkle flour upon your working surface so that when you roll out your dough it does not stick. Partition the dough into 6 small balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out each ball, one at a time, into long flat ovals about 1/4 cm thin (make sure that the dough does not stick to the working surface by sprinkling the surface with flour before working each ball and by rotating and flipping the dough after every roll  of the rolling pin). Once the oval is formed, smear a big spoonful of the tahini mixture onto the oval and then sprinkle a spoonful of sugar over the tahini mixture. Next, fold one of the edges of the dough over the tahini and then fold the other edge over the tahini so that the tahini rests snug beneath the folded covers. Pinch one of the ends of the dough together and then pull that dough in a circular movement so that it forms a bun (see video at the bottom of the page). Once the spiral is formed, tuck the end underneath the bun. Gently press the bun down with your hands to flatten it. Then use a rolling pin, gently roll over the entire bun. Next, cover the swirl with an additional spoonful of tahini and smooth it over using oil-covered hands. Lastly, sprinkle some sugar atop the tahini swirl. Lightly oil the baking tray and lay the swirls 10 cm apart. Bake until golden brown (approx 20-30 min. depending on the oven)



  • 2 cups White or Wheat Flour

  • 1 cup Milk

  • 1 Tbsp Sugar

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 1 package (.25 oz) Active Yeast

  • 1 tsp powdered Cinnamon

  • 1 tsp powdered Cardamon

  • 1 tsp powdered Cumin

  • 1 tsp powdered Clove

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • Additional oil for kneading

Tahini & Sugar Filling:

  • 1/2 cup of Tahini

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • ~ 1 cup of sugar


  • rolling pin

  • baking sheet

  • large mixing bowl

  • flat working surface


VIDEO of Tahini Swirl Formation

Tahini Swirl Recipe

Captured by The Recipe Hunters: Leila Elamine & Anthony Morano

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