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Olive Oil Walnut Cake (Karydopita)

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Olive Oil Walnut Cake (Karydopita)

Olive Oil Walnut Cake (Karydopita)
The New Greek Cuisine
Provided by:
total prep
Recipe courtesy of Jim Botsacos, chef and partner of Molyvos restaurant and author of The New Greek Cuisine/Clarkson Potter, 2006.


  • 1/2 cup Frangelico liqueur (hazelnut liquor)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fine semolina flour
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup New Greek Cuisine Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Spiced Honey Syrup (recipe follows)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Orange Spoon Sweets (recipe follows)


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray the interior of six 1/2-cup soufflé dishes with non-stick vegetable spray. Place the dishes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Set aside.
  • Place the Frangelico in a small mixing bowl. Stir in the baking soda and set aside.
  • Combine the semolina, walnuts, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and set aside.
  • Stir the orange zest and juice into the Frangelico mixture. When well blended, pour the liquid into the well in the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in 2 tablespoons of New Greek Cuisine Extra Virgin Olive Oil and, and when blended, fold in the remaining 2 tablespoons. Ladle about 3/4 cup of the batter into each of the prepared soufflé dishes. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  • When slightly cool, using half of the Spiced Honey Syrup immediately drizzle an equal portion of syrup over each cake.
  • When ready to serve, drizzle with the remaining syrup and top with Orange Spoon Sweets and your favorite Greek yogurt.
  • Spiced Honey Syrup

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Zest of 1 orange in large strips
  • Zest of 1 lemon in large strips
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Place 1 quart water in a medium heavy saucepan. Stir in the sugar, honey, orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon stick, and lemon juice and bring to boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer, skimming occasionally to remove any foam that rises to the top, for about 30-35 minutes, or until the liquid has become a light syrup consistency. Do not reduce the liquid too much as it has to be thin enough to drizzle easily.
  • Remove from heat, when cool, strain through a fine sieve and set aside until ready to use. (The syrup can be made in advance of use and stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks).
  • Orange Spoon Sweets

  • 4 juice oranges, preferably organic, well scrubbed and dried
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Place the oranges in a medium saucepan of cold water over high heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Drain well. Repeat this blanching process 3 times. Drain well and cool.
  • When the oranges are cool enough to handle, cut them in half crosswise. Remove and discard the seeds. Place the orange halves, cut side down, on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut each half vertically into very thin slices.
  • Place the oranges slices in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and toss to coat evenly.
  • Place 1-1/2 cups water and the wine in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the orange slices and again bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, or until quite thick.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Serve immediately or transfer to a non-reactive container, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.