Thursday, October 20, 2011

KARITHOPIDA - Walnut & Syrup Greek Cake

As promised, I return to the blogging world with one of my beautiful mum's famous Greek cake recipes. You can also view other recipes, here.

Karithopida - an old recipe that dates back hundreds of years, (with the exception of it's evolution using varying ingredients depending on availability), was first enjoyed by the high society women of Athens. Sitting around coffee lounges whilst their men went off to probably sharpen their spears or "bond" with other men. The women indulged in friendship and gossip, drinking their tea or coffee, and surrounded by architecture and culture.

It's basically the one cake that I truly enjoy in the company of my mum and aunt. My aunty is THE QUEEN of making this cake. She knows it's my favourite and whips in up as soon as I enter her humble abode. We've had a few good laughs whilst eating this cake and the greatest part is the actual health benefits of the KING OF NUTS - The walnut.

It's benefits include the ample presence of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients and it is one of the leading foods that promotes good heart and circulatory systems. Walnuts help reduce metabolic problems such as unwanted fats especially in the tummy region, treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and also has anti-cancer benefits. Some studies also suggest that walnuts can improve memory and other brain functions. It is high in Omega-3 fatty acids as well as Vitamin E - worried about cellulite? Eat walnuts!

It looks like a brain!

100g walnuts very roughly chopped
400g grated walnuts
400g all purpose flour
400g sugar
125g butter
8 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)

320g sugar
400ml water
a splash of lemon juice (optional)

Beat the butter, sugar, cinnamon the yolks of the eggs in a mixer for 10 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Clean the mixer bowl and beat the whites of the eggs in the mixer until it becomes a meringue.
Add half of the meringue to the yolk mixture.
Mix the baking powder with the 400g grated walnuts, gradually adding the flour.
Add this mixture to the egg yolk mixture along with the remaining meringue, stirring gently.
Transfer the whole mixture to a 30cm oven dish, 6cm deep, which has been well buttered.
Spread the 100g roughly chopped walnuts on top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, put the sugar and water in a pan and boil for 15 minutes. Some recipes also add a splash of lemon juice (optional)
Remove the cake and cut into pieces and spread the syrup over the top, followed by the cognac or brandy.

Important! The cake must be completely cool before the syrup is added, otherwise it will be very soggy. Whipped cream, icecream or fresh fruit can also be served on the side. Enjoy!

Simple yet delish!

Image credit here.


  1. When done right, this cake is paradise! Thanks for the recipe - I may have to whip it up in the next few weeks. Love it with a good coffee!

  2. This looks delicious!! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Whoa that looks so delicious!Might have to add that to my 'recipes to try' list (I will get through them one day!)Love the story behind it too :)

  4. oh! I had this cake, I think, at a Greek festival near my house last summer. Now I will have to try making it! Thank you! :)

  5. Oh yum! I'm putting this on the list to cook, when I'm craving something sweet...mmmm!

  6. YUM... love those but never knew what they were called :) You've inspired me to try making them :)) Welcome back xoxo

  7. Oh wow, that looks and sounds delicious! One day, when I'm feeling brave, I will have give it a go.



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