< 30 Minute



Holi Special – Baked Mawa Gujiya

Holi Special – Baked Mawa Gujiya

The festival of Holi is incomplete without some lip-smacking Gujiyas (Karanji). Am I right? And it becomes even more special if we can have some guilt-free Gujiyas. These Gujiyas are not deep-fried. These are baked which means no excess oil, just the excess of taste and flavors.

This Gujiya is made with homemade Instant Khoya which I made using milk powder. It is quite easy and quick to make and tastes exactly like the traditional khoya. That was surprising for me. You must try this delicious, flaky, and baked Indian sweet recipe on this Holi festival.

You must try our other Indian sweets’ recipes – Sooji Halwa, Rasmalai (made from Haldiram rasgullas), vegan kheer.

What is Gujiya?

Gujiya is an Indian sweet that is made especially during the festival of Holi. It is shaped in the form of a half-moon (just like empanadas) and stuffed with khoya (or mawa) mixture. There are a lot of different dry fruits and nuts are added to the filling mixture. After filling and shaping, these are deep-fried until lightly brown and cooked. Some people even dip the deep-fried Gujiyas in some sugar syrup. Even that tastes amazing.

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Components of Gujiya

  1. Khoya or Mawa Filling – Gujiya filling needs khoya or mawa along with some nuts and dry fruits, gond (edible gum) and poppy seeds. I could not find the khoya or mawa here in Munich that is why I decided to make makwa or khoya at home. I made it using milk powder and it was surprisingly very easy and quick. It tool me just a couple of minutes to make it. & I did not find any difference in the taste.
  2. Dough – Next preparation for Gujiya is the dough. It is made using all-purpose flour or maida. You can try with whole wheat flour too. I did not try with that since I made the baked version which is slightly dry. Whole wheat flour makes it more dry and hard. make sure you do not overmix or over knead the dough. We don’t want the gluten. It is the enemy.
  3. Sugar Syrup – This is optional. Some people like it and some don’t. We both like the one with sugar syrup more. For gujiya, you need 1-Thread sugar syrup. It is called Ek-taar ki chashni in Hindi. It is very simple to make and needs just four ingredients – sugar, water, cardamom, and lemon juice. Why lemon juice? Well, it prevents the crystalization of sugar syrup. Do not worry, it doesn’t make it lemony. To test if it is perfect, take out a drop of sugar syrup in a bowl, let it cool down. Then press it in between your index finger and thumb, release the pressure slightly and you will see one thread of sugar syrup. But it gets difficult to find out if you are a beginner. So, once the sugar dissolves, lower the flame and let it cook for 7 to 10 minutes. It will be just perfect.

How to knead the dough for Gujiya?

You need to remember one thing that you can not use the same dough for deep-fried gujiya for the baked version. Baking and deep frying are two different methods and result in different textures of we follow the exact same process. To get similar results, we need to tweak the recipe and the ingredients a little.

In the case of Gujiya, I used butter to knead the dough. Butter contains moisture and while baking, the moisture is released resulting in the flaky texture of the Gujiya. If you use oil instead of butter, the crust will be harder and not flaky at all. That is why, use cold butter and cut it using your fingers directly in the flour. Mix and combine all the butter in the flour until you get a wet sand-like texture. Press some flour in your fist and it will form a loose clump. That is what we need.


This is what you need to remember. Some gluten is okay, It gives structure to your recipe but too much of it can ruin the recipe.

Less Gluten = Flakier and more tender crust.

Over kneading and mixing results in gluten formation in the dough. So, mix until everything comes together and form a dough ball. It should not be very hard or soft.

Keep it covered at all times else it will become dry.

How to store the Gujiya?

Once baked and soaked in the sugar syrup, take them out and store them in an air-tight container. You can leave them on the countertop for at least 3 days and refrigerate for up to 7 days.

How to store the extra Gujiya filling?

If you have extra filling, store it in an airtight container and refrigerate. It easily lasts for 10 to 14 days. Or freeze for up to a month.

Benefits of Baking Gujiya

If you are someone like me who doesn’t like deep frying food unless it is very much necessary for the recipe like when I am making chhole poori or bhaturas. I just can’t make them without deep frying. So, I saved my deep-frying quota only for these couple of recipes. Otherwise, I always prefer baking. By the way, have you tried our non-fried & healthier Baked Pani Puri, Spring Rollsdum aloovada pavGobhi Manchurian & baked cheese balls? You must. I made them healthier with no compromise on the taste.

Here are the reasons I don’t deep fry (until necessary):

  1. Deep fried food feels heavy and oily after eating them. On the other hand, baked ones feels lighter.
  2. Baking instead of deep frying makes you feel that you are opting for healthier option.
  3. The biggest reason of all is that the oil becomes un-healthy after reaching the temperature of deep-frying. We are not supposed to use the oil again for cooking. But obviously, we cant’t even discard the oil.
  4. Baking is much more easier since you don’t need to spend a long time in deep frying each gujiya. You can simply place many gujiyas on the baking tray and bake.
  5. There is no problem of ruining the oil when at times the gujiya opens while deep frying.

Is this recipe Vegan?

No. This recipe is not vegan. But next time I will share the recipe for vegan Gujiyas.

Now grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make this deliciously sweet recipe at home. If you like the recipe and make it, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We just love to see your recreation of our recipes.

More Holi Recipes to Try

  1. Baked Pani Puri
  2. Rasmalai
  3. Besan Ladoo (video only)

Holi Special – Baked Mawa Gujiya

Non-Fried. Delicious. Tempting.

Holi is incomplete without some tempting Gujiyas. And what if you can make it without deep frying? Try this flaky, tempting, and delicious Gujiya recipe & enjoy guilt-free Holi.


10 min

Prep Time

1 hr

Cook Time

1 hr 10 min

Total Time




Instant Khoya

Gujiya Filling


Sugar Syrup



Instant Khoya
  1. Heat some ghee in a pan. Add milk and let it come to a boil 
  2. Once the milk starts to boil, add milk powder and stir continuously. Make sure there are no lumps. 
  3. In about 3 to 5 minutes, the milk powder will start to leave the edges and will come together. The milk will be absorbed. Remove from the flame and transfer in a bowl. Cool completely. 
  4. Cooking it for long will make the khoya hard.
Gujiya Filling
  1. Heat some ghee in a pan. Add gond (edible gum). Roast them till they puff up. Once they are done, transfer them to a bowl and cool completely. 
  2. In a bowl, crumble the prepared khoya. Add the rest of the ingredients - almonds, cashew, pistachios, raisins, poppy seeds, cardamom powder, desiccated coconut, powdered sugar, 
  3. Crush gond (edible gum) using a mortar pestle. Add it to the khoya. Mix and combine everything well. Keep it aside. 
  1. In a bowl, add all-purpose flour. Add cold butter and start breaking the butter using your fingers. Keep mixing it with the dry flour until all the butter is well combined with the flour. 
  2. It will feel like wet sand. It will form a loose clump of flour on pressing in the fist.
  3. Start adding cold water 1 to 2 Tbsp at a time and mix everything well. Do not overmix and knead a lot. It will form gluten and we don't need that. Mix until the dry flour is well combined and it forms a dough ball. 
  4. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes. 
Sugar Syrup
  1. In a pan, add sugar and water. Switch on the stove. Keep the flame or heat on high.
  2. Keep mixing until the sugar dissolves and it comes to a boil. Lower the flame.
  3. Add cardamom powder. Mix and let it cook for another 7 to 10 minutes till you get 1-thread sugar syrup (chashni). Switch off the stove. 
  4. To check if it is 1-thread, read the blog section on the sugar syrup.
  5. Add lemon juice. Mix. Keep it aside.
Rolling & Baking
  1. Preheat oven to 200 C, Top/Bottom.
  2. Lightly dust the surface with some flour. Roll the dough. Make sure that you roll it evenly, not too thick or thin. 
  3. Take a circular cutter or a bowl. Cut out circles from the rolled dough. Take out the extra dough that's left behind after cutting out the circles. Keep it covered at all times. 
  4. Put the circular dough cut-out in a gujiya maker or empanada maker. Lightly brush the edges with some water. Place the gujiya filling at the center (around 1 Tbsp) and fold over the gujiya maker or empanada maker. Press tightly. 
  5. Take it out and keep it covered under a damp cloth. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough. This dough will make around 10 gujiyas. 
  6. Once all the gujiyas are done, place them on a lined baking tray. They don't spread so there is no need to leave much space in between. Brush them with some milk and sugar solution. Bake at 200 C for 25 minutes or until they are slightly brown. 
  7. Once done, take them out and pour over the sugar syrup. Soak for a couple of hours or overnight. 
  8. Remove from the sugar syrup and garnish with some chopped pistachios, silver foil, and saffron. They are ready to dig in. Enjoy :)

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