May 2, 2013






If you are not Greek and you have no idea what Bougatsa is, you can read a description here. For this post, I write ‘Bougatsa’ with inverted commas because this is not ACTUALLY ‘Bougatsa’ but my family still calls it ‘Bougatsa’!

This recipe comes from my Aunt, T. Regular readers will know her as the brains (and hands-on labourer) behind many of the PHOODIE birthday parties you’ve seen on the blog over the years. This post shows you how T has always made ‘Bougatsa’ and whilst she is not the only human in the world to make it this way, it’s a really uncommon way to do it among the Greeks I know. Most Greeks use Semolina in their Bougatsa’s custard and most of them have MUCH more custard and much less pastry. They also tend to place pastry on the bottom and top of the dish and fill the centre with custard.

This is a REALLLLLLLY simply but stunningly effective dessert to make!

Do it y’all!

Also, PLEASE keep your beautiful emails, tweets and FB messages with your photos coming! I absolutely love hearing from you guys and I adore seeing your versions of PHOODIE’S dishes! :)


(To make a 35cm diameter ‘Bougatsa’)

1 x 375g packet filo pastry  (I never count but I think it’s about 18 or so sheets?! In any case, however many sheets there are in one 375g packet is the EXACT number you need for a 35cm diameter dish!)


250g unsalted butter

5 eggs

2 and 3/4 cups full cream milk

3/4 cup caster sugar

4 drops vanilla essence

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup icing sugar – for dusting

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon – for dusting


1) Preheat your oven to 180 deg. cel.

2) Melt the butter and brush the base and sides of the 35cm diameter round baking dish.

3) Take your first sheet of filo and fold it from one short end to the other in a concertina like way! This is kind of hard to explain in words so refer to pics below! ‘Thank GOD for those pics!’ you say! :)

4) Once you reach the other end and you have the piece of filo all concertina-folded, roll it into a scroll and place it in the centre of the dish.

5) Concertina-fold all remaining sheets of filo, one at a time, and after each one continue to wrap it around your initial central scroll until the entire base of the dish is filled – does that make sense!? See the picturessss!

6) Paint butter GENEROUSLY over the entire lot of pastry, ensuring that it drips down into each and every crack and crevice!

7) Chuck it in the oven for aboutttttt 30 minutes, until it is golden brown.

8) Whilst this is cooking away, place the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon together in a bowl and whisk with a fork. Once combined, sieve to remove any lumps. (Easiest custard in the land!)

9) Spoon custard mixture over entire dish THE MINUTE it comes out of the hot oven then whack it straight back in for a further half hour to cook. Keep a close watch on it as the pastry can easily burn towards the end!

10) When done, remove from oven and dust generously with icing sugar and cinnamon and serve hot!











































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1 flirby { 05.07.13 at 6:49 am }

oh my! this looks devine … going to have to give this one a go.

2 phoodie { 05.07.13 at 7:12 am }

It is so yummy and SO simple! :)

3 Amy { 06.03.13 at 11:50 am }

Hi, this looks soooo good. I am going to make it for dessert tomorrow night; my little boy’s teachers are coming over for dinner. I am sure this is best straight out of the oven but that won’t be practical for me this time. How do you think it will be if I make it before dinner? Is it really something that needs to be served as soon as it is done? How about if I served it room temperature a couple of hours after it bakes? Thanks so much – I love your writing and your photos. I wish we were neighbors so I could invite you over for coffee but I live in the US!

4 phoodie { 06.03.13 at 12:10 pm }

Ooooh where in the US!? I want to live there too! I used to when I was studying and I loved it! :) Ok so, this is DEFINITELY much much better when served straight from the oven, you have 2 options! 1) Do the pastry part i.e. ruffle it and bake it (then leave it covered with a tea towel or fly screen cover on the bench) and also make the custard and just store the custard in the fridge. Then while the guests are having dinner excuse yourself for 3 or 4 mins to pour the custard over and do the 2nd bake. Time this so that it comes out of the oven just before you want to serve it. Option 2) Make the entire thing and then 10 minutes before you are going to serve it slap it back in the oven to heat up and crisp up. I recommend doing option one. Let me know how you go and thanks for the lovely comment!

5 Victoria { 07.07.14 at 11:33 pm }

Hi Phoodie! Another fabulous recipe! Just wondering, is the filo pastry gluten free? I need to make a dessert for this weekend, and my grandmother-in-law is coeliac. This looks so very delicious!

6 phoodie { 07.08.14 at 7:29 am }

Hey! Great question and the honest answer is I don’t know!!! I wonder if you could get some that was?! If you can’t find it – my chocolate tarts with coconut “pastry” shells are gluten free and are DELICIOUS! My recipe shows them as small tarts but you can apply the same principle and make one large one!

7 Victoria { 07.08.14 at 10:06 pm }

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Have just printed off that recipe. How long do you think it’ll need in the oven if I make a large tart?

8 phoodie { 07.14.14 at 3:37 am }

Just saw this message today! Sorry if I have missed the boat but as per recipe, its 30 mins in oven (approx) before custard goes on and then another 30 after…. but look at my pics and try to match what you see… everyones oven is different so it may take longer or shorter for yours to turn golden! :)

9 Lauren { 08.12.14 at 12:41 am }

Can this be prepared ahead of time? Can it be frozen ?

10 phoodie { 08.12.14 at 2:24 am }

I wouldn’t freeze it… but yes you can prepare the pastry and butter ahead of time and cover in cling wrap in the fridge a few hours before you put it in the oven!

11 Esther { 03.17.15 at 2:45 pm }

Hi. Your bougatsa is beautiful! I really want to make it but I don’t have a 35cm round baking dish. I have a 28cm and a 40cm. Will either one do?

12 phoodie { 03.17.15 at 11:55 pm }

Thank you!!! Thats a good question – yes I am sure they will do – in theory I think if you can increase or reduce all ingredients slightly thats the best way… but also … if you do the small one you could prob still use same amount custard but if you do bigger one you might need some more custard to avoid it being dry – let me know how you go! Phoodie

13 Kate { 05.16.15 at 6:47 am }

Just made this and am eating my first piece right now. It turned out perfect (just like the picture) and is absolutely delicious. Wish i knew how to post a pic. This is a ridiculously simple and reliable recipe. High five to you Phoodie. Its going to be a regular in my household. ok now Im going back for a second slice.

14 phoodie { 05.17.15 at 1:09 am }

THANK YOU THANK YOU! SO pleased to hear!!! Are you on FB, Insta or Twitter?! SO Easy to post a picture to me there!

15 Liz { 05.12.17 at 7:12 pm }

Hi Phoodie!
Your recipe looks amazing and I am so excited to try bougatsa made this way, all bunched up in a circle! :D
I have one question though: where did you find your 35cm round baking pan?? I am having an incredibly hard time finding one, even when I search for the equivalent size in inches (13-14 inches = 35cm). I’m searching stores and online, but even Amazon and eBay aren’t coming through for me on this one. The biggest I can seem to find is 10 inches.
Any recommendations? Or alternative baking soshes I could use?
Also, do you recommend a glass or metal baking pan for bougatsa?
Thank you so much for your help! Love from Canada!

16 phoodie { 05.17.17 at 10:28 am }

Canada! Oh that’s so awesome! Hello Liz! Gee…. I am afraid I don’t know what to tell you… My dish belongs to my Mum who has them in every size! She has had it for ages! That said, if I had to go looking for one I would head to cake supplies wholesaler places…. or sometimes Asian grocers have this kind of thing!??! In any case, you can just reduce the quantities slightly and make it in a smaller dish if thats what you have?!!? I typically use Metal but there is no reason that glass shouldn’t work well too! Phoodie

17 Liz { 05.19.17 at 2:54 am }

Thanks so much for your reply, Phoodie!
I may just have to use a smaller pan. Still excited to try the recipe though :) Thanks again, eh? <3

18 Sia { 09.29.17 at 9:19 am }

Hi, just wondering if you can use fine semolina instead of flour??

19 Sia { 09.29.17 at 9:48 am }

I meant in the custard mix :/

20 phoodie { 10.11.17 at 9:58 am }

Hmmm am not sure have never tried!!

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