Walnut Cake - Karidopita

Greek cuisine
Steve Outram / Getty Images
    60 min
Ratings (15)

Karidopita (kah-ree-THOH-pee-tah) is a moist and flavorful walnut cake that is flavored with cinnamon and bathed in sweet syrup. It’s a great cake to make ahead because it will keep well covered and at room temperature.

This recipe was given to me by Kyria Eleni, a family friend that now calls the lovely island of Rhodes her home.

What You'll Need

  • For the cake:
  • 7 eggs
  • 1-cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp. brandy or cognac
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely ground (plus more for topping if desired)
  • For the syrup:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 small piece cinnamon stick
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (strained)

How to Make It

  • Note: It may seem unusual to be using self-rising flour together with baking powder and soda, but I tried it and it worked well, producing a light and airy cake.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 12 rectangular baking pan or a similarly sized round pan. Kyria Eleni uses a round pan approximately 32 cm in diameter.

  • If you’d like, you can line the bottom of the pan with parchment to make it easier to remove the pieces.

  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat the eggs until they are a light yellow color, about 5 minutes. Add the oil, milk, and sugar and mix well. Add cognac, lemon zest, cinnamon and clove and mix until just incorporated.

  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and baking soda.

  • With the mixer on lowest speed, incorporate the flour into the batter. Stir in the ground walnuts and turn off the mixer once the ingredients are combined.

  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in to the center of the cake comes out dry.

  • While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. In a medium saucepan, add the sugar, water and cinnamon stick and bring to a low boil. Simmer uncovered for ten minutes until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat, remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the lemon juice.

  • Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. Remove the cake from the oven and carefully pour the cooled syrup over the warm cake.

  • This cake is traditionally topped with more chopped walnuts, but that is optional.