Traditional Maltese Recipe: Kwareżimal – a traditional Maltese Easter sweet (with reduced sugar)

Lenten Almond Cake: Kwarezimal

Aqra din ir-riċetta bil-Malti: Kwareżimal - ħelu tradizzjonali Malti (b'inqas zokkor) għal żmien l-Għid 

The word 'kwareżimal' is derived from the latin word quaresima referring to the 40 days of Lent, and the ingredients of this sweet reflect the simplicity of food during this period. In fact, during this time, traditionally there is no use of eggs and fats.

This recipe is based on the book by Helen and Anne Caruana Galizia L-Ikel u t-Tisjir ta' Malta (The food and cookery of Malta) and to me this book is a genuine reference for typical Maltese cookery. I find this kwareżimal more attractive and I like the practical bite sized portions. Furthermore there is reduced sugar and honey is used as an alternative source of sweetness.


  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 200 g plain flour, sifted
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water (ilma żahar)
  • Grated zest of one lemon, one orange and one mandarin
  • 4 tbsp thyme honey
  • Crushed pistachios and almonds and grated orange zest to decorate.


  1. Combine all the ingredients and add just enough water to make a tough dough.
  2. Knead lightly into an bite-sized oval shape.
  3. Place on a baking dish and bake at 180°C for 10 minutes.
  4. While they are still warm, coat with thyme honey and sprinkle crushed pistachios and almonds and grated zest.

Do you like this recipe? Leave your comments below and please rate and share to help us bring you more of the recipes you like.