Karithopita (Walnut Syrup Cake)

You may have noticed the dearth of cakes on this site.  The truth is, I am not much of a cake cook.  And, I figure, honing my skills is not worth the calories. 

But this is a cake anyone can make.  It is made in the food processor so it takes minutes to put together.  You pour syrup all over the cooked cake so it doesn’t even matter if you  overcook the cake (my specialty).  To serve, you sprinkle icing sugar over the cake so if it cracks, no-one will notice.  How good is that?

The recipe comes from Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart by George Calombaris.

Ingredients – Cake:

  • 300g plain flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp  ground cinnamon
  • 150g diced butter
  • 350 mls full-cream milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g walnuts.

Ingredients – Syrup:

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1½ cups water
  • 250g honey
  • juice of one lemon


  1. Well grease a 20cm x 20cm square cake tin.  Line the bottom with baking paper and then grease the paper, set aside.
  2. Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan until they begin to colour. 
  3.  Roll them in a clean tea towel to release as much skin as possible.
  4.  Whizz them for a couple of seconds in a food processor, set aside.


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Put the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds.
  3. Add the butter and process until well combined.
  4. Add the milk and eggs and process until smooth.
  5. Add the walnuts and pulse for a couple of seconds until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into your greased cake tin.
  7. Bake in preheated oven until a skewer comes out clean.  The recipe suggests 30 minutes but I have made this recipe twice and both times I needed to bake it much, much more than 30 minutes.  The last time, it took 80 minutes until the skewer came out clean. 
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
  9. Score the top of the cake with a diamond pattern.


  1. Put all the syrup ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Boil for a minute or two.
  2. Pour the hot syrup over the cake.
  3. Allow the syrup to soak into the cake completely.
  4. To serve, sprinkle with icing sugar and add a generous dollop of cream.

10 thoughts on “Karithopita (Walnut Syrup Cake)

  1. Not exactly a diabetic’s cake, is it? Oh well – the quest for a great low (forget ‘no’ – been there; no interest in going back!) dessert continues. My two current favs are cheesecake and rice pudding, both have surprisingly low amounts of sugar.

    That said, it’s a damn luscious looking hunk of goodness – and I’m eating it with my eyes as we speak.

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