Bougatsa

This simple Greek Bougatsa recipe is so easy to make with store-bought filo dough! Crispy filo layers, a creamy custard filling, a generous dusting of icing sugar and cinnamon make this a delicious breakfast or dessert.

There is something about crispy layers of filo and a delectable custard filling that is instantly comforting to me. Growing up, bougatsa was a treat I looked forward to, especially when we were out on the Danforth (Greektown here in Toronto).

And truly, a visit to Greece isn’t complete without eating at least one (more like 10) servings of bougatsa!

So since I had some leftover filo sheets after making Spanakopita, I just had to use the rest to make this wonderfully warm and perfectly sweet breakfast treat! This is my favourite way to use up leftover filo from an already opened box since this recipe only uses up about 7 sheets. I mean, can you honestly think of a better way to use it? I can’t!

If you haven’t tried bougatsa before, then you are missing out. Crispy, crunchy filo layers surround the most luscious, slightly sweet custard. It is simple but it is perfect. It is also super easy to make! No need to fuss over making it look pretty. It’s rustic and simple, just the way I like it!

Traditionally, bougatsa is served as a sweet breakfast treat but it also makes a great snack or dessert too. I mean, lets be honest, any excuse to eat it is a good one!

Bougatsa slice showing crispy filo and creamy custard layers on a pink plate.

Ingredients in Bougatsa

  • Eggs

  • Butter

  • Sugar

  • Milk

  • Semolina

  • Vanilla extract

  • Filo

  • icing sugar for dusting

  • cinnamon for dusting

How to make Bougatsa

The full details are in the recipe below but essentially, this recipe comes down to these easy steps:

  1. Whisk the eggs. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and set them aside.

  2. Prepare the custard. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1/4 cup butter and sugar. Whisk until the butter is melted and then add the milk, semolina, and vanilla extract. Lower temperature to medium-low and continue to whisk until the milk heats up but is not boiling. Slowly add the eggs, whisking continuously the whole time. Continue to whisk until the custard thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

  3. Layer the filo sheets. Generously grease an 8×8 baking pan with melted butter and lay out a filo sheet in it, allowing the excess filo to hang over the sides of the pan. Brush the filo sheet with butter and add another filo sheet over top, once again allowing the excess filo to hang over the edges of the pan. Repeat until you have used 5 filo sheets.

  4. Add the custard and more filo. Pour the custard into the baking dish and gently fold over the overhanging filo edges to envelope the custard. Brush the filo again with butter and add another filo sheet over top, scrunching the filo so that it fits nicely into the square pan. Brush again with butter and add one more filo sheet, scrunching it again and brushing it generously with butter.

  5. Bake, dust and serve! Bake the bougatsa for about 40 minutes or until it has turned a nice golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then dust generously with icing sugar and cinnamon. Slice and serve!
Steps for making bougatsa
Baking pan with baked bougatsa topped with icing sugar and cinnamon on a marble countertop.

How to store leftover bougatsa

Leftover bougatsa should be stored in the fridge. Once cooled, place the bougatsa slices in a covered container and refrigerate.

How to reheat bougatsa

Since, bougatsa is best when eaten warm, you will want to warm up leftover bougatsa for the best results. To warm up bougatsa, place slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and warm in the oven at 350F until it is warmed all the way through.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Kali orexi!

-Cathy

Sliced bougatsa in a baking dish showing custard and filo layers.

You may also like:

Ruffled Milk Pie (Greek Patsavouropita)
Spanakopitakia (Spinach and Feta Filo Triangles)
Tiropita with Puff Pastry

If you try and enjoy this recipe, I would love to hear about it! Leave a rating and/or comment below to let me know what you think!

Bougatsa slice showing crispy filo and creamy custard layers on a pink plate.

Bougatsa

Catherine
This simple Greek Bougatsa recipe is so easy to make with store-bought filo dough! Crispy filo layers, a creamy custard filling, a generous dusting of icing sugar and cinnamon make this a delicious breakfast or dessert.
4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Servings 9
Calories 262 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup semolina fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 sheets filo about 1/3 package
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • cinnamon for dusting

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and set them aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1/4 cup butter and sugar. Whisk until the butter is melted and then add the milk, semolina, and vanilla extract. Lower temperature to medium-low and continue to whisk until the milk heats up but is not boiling. Slowly add the eggs, whisking continuously the whole time. Continue to whisk until the custard thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Generously grease an 8×8 baking pan with melted butter and lay out a filo sheet in it, allowing the excess filo to hang over the sides of the pan. Brush the filo sheet with butter and add another filo sheet over top, once again allowing the excess filo to hang over the edges of the pan. Repeat until you have used 5 filo sheets.
  • Pour the custard into the baking dish and gently fold over the overhanging filo edges to envelope the custard. Brush the filo again with butter and add another filo sheet over top, scrunching the filo so that it fits nicely into the square pan. Brush again with butter and add one more filo sheet, scrunching it again and brushing it generously with butter.
  • Bake the bougatsa for about 40 minutes or until it has turned a nice golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then dust generously with icing sugar and cinnamon. Slice and serve!

Note: Metric ingredient measurements are provided as a courtesy using a third-party calculator and are rounded to the nearest unit. The recipes provided on this site have not been tested with metric measurements and their accuracy cannot be verified.

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 5gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 241mgPotassium: 101mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 602IUCalcium: 66mgIron: 1mg

The nutritional information provided is based on third-party calculations and is an estimate only. Accurate nutritional facts will vary based on the particular brands used, portion sizes, measurement accuracy and more.

Keyword custard, filo, greek food, sweet breakfast
Tried this recipe?Leave a star rating and comment below to let us know how it was!

10 Comments

  1. Marc Botts

    This is the same as galaktobouriko without the syrup, right?

  2. Claudia

    Does this freeze well ? Could I potentially use the left over filó sheets for a second one ?

    • Herbs and Flour

      Hi Claudia, you can definitely freeze bougatsa. It’s best to freeze it unbaked and then bake it when you are ready to serve for the best results. Just be sure to wrap it up well before freezing to prevent freezer burn. You can also use those leftover filo sheets for another bougatsa! If your filo package doesn’t have enough sheets for a second bougatsa, you can make smaller bougatsa parcels instead. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This was so good! Made with almond milk which took longer, but such great results. Thanks for posting this!

  4. Suzanne

    This looks so good! What a great combination of flavors!

  5. 4 stars
    Made this recipe yesterday and I found it to be almost like the one we had in Athens. Only thing I found was it wasn’t as sweet as the one from Greece, but we added a little honey on the squares and it was great. Heating it up the next day in a 230 degree oven wrapped in foil made it seem just like it came out of the oven. Crispy as it was baked.

  6. Mandy Simmons

    I made this today and it didn’t turn out too well. My custard looked great before baking and afterwards it looked like scrambled eggs. What could have gone wrong?

    • Catherine

      Hi Mandy! Custards curdle or separate when they become overheated. You want to make sure to cook it over a low heat on the stove, avoiding bringing it to a boil or overheating it for too long.

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