Karidopita: Greek Walnut Cake

Greek cuisine
Steve Outram/Getty Images
  • 60 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: Approximately 24 pieces
Ratings (22)

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 calls for self-rising flour together with baking powder and soda, which may seem odd, but it works very well, producing a light and airy cake.

What You'll Need

  • For the Cake:
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or cognac
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 1/2 cups​ self-rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon 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

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9x12 rectangular baking pan or a similarly sized round pan. (If you’d like, you can line the bottom of the pan with parchment to make it easier to remove the pieces.)
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat the eggs until they are a light yellow color, about 5 minutes. Add oil, milk, and sugar and mix well. Add brandy, lemon zest, cinnamon, and cloves and mix until just incorporated.
  1. In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and baking soda.
  2. With the mixer on lowest speed, incorporate the flour mixture into the batter. Stir in the ground walnuts and turn off the mixer once the ingredients are combined.
  3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry.
  4. 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.
  5. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat, remove the cinnamon stick, and stir in the lemon juice.
  6. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. Remove the cake from the oven and carefully pour the cooled syrup over the warm cake.
  7. This cake is traditionally topped with more chopped walnuts, but that is optional.