Karydopita (Καρυδόπιτα)

Into my third week of a knee injury and not being able to really cook or photo or…well, lots I can’t do, so I’m continuing on my blogging journey with the help of fellow food bloggers who have offered to help until I’m up and at’em…well, at least up!

I participated in a cooking event a couple of months ago and my job was to make this cake. It seemed simple and was…but tasted simply divine.

So, I’ve asked my friend, Peter Kalofagas to share his recipe. Peter is of Greek descent although Canadian born and lives in Toronto. His authentic (and many from his own family) recipes are to die for. Visit Peter’s website or follow him on Twitter for more great recipes (and some good old boy Greek fun on the side).

Peter suggests serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…oh my! Peter’s story follows:

Feeling a little nostalgic, I asked my mom to share her Karydopita recipe with me. Karydopita is a Greek walnut cake but the amazing thing about this dessert is that there’s no flour in it!

I’m not a big fan of super-syrupy Greek desserts but this is one cake that requires a simple syrup to complete the moist yet gritty texture one gets in each bite.

Karydopita can be surely be found at a Greek bakery and you might have even been lucky enough to try a piece over at your Greek friend’s house.

In keeping with my goal to show you more of my sweet side, I’m sharing this wonderful family recipe.

There are three components to this cake: wet ingredients, dry ingredients and the syrup. The syrup measurements ask for 2 cups of water and sugar. If you’re going to serve this to a large group of guests and you know it’ll be eaten that day, stick with 2 cups. If however, this cake is just for the family and it might be laying around for the week, pump up the syrup amounts to 3 & 3 cups. The cake will absorb the syrup and stay moist for the week.

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A classic Greek dessert that is easy to make and so very good.
Serves: 8-10 servings
Dry Ingredients:
  • 10 Tbsp. of ground rusk (Zwieback toasts are fine)
  • 10 Tbsp. fine Semolina flour
  • 10 Tbsp. of pounded walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
Wet Ingredients:
  • 10 eggs
  • 10 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 shot of Cognac
  • ground clove to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Butter a 9? X 14? baking pan
  3. Using your food processor, keep on pulsing your walnuts until you get a medium ground mixture of walnuts that are fine and some noticeable pieces of walnuts.
  4. Add to a large bowl along with the remaining dry ingredients. Mix and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, add your sugar and eggs and beat with a hand mixer until you achieve a consistency of almost stiff peaks.
  6. Fold the dry ingredients in small batches (DO NOT add all the dry at once). As the wet absorbs the dry, add more until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  7. Carefully pour the cake batter into the baking pan and place in your preheated oven (middle rack) for 30-35 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, make your syrup by adding the water, sugar, cinnamon stick, whole cloves and bring to a boil. Now simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the Cognac and and some ground clove if desired (according to taste).
  9. To complete your Karydopita correctly, the cake must absorb the syrup. There are two ways to do this: add cool syrup to just out of the oven cake or add hot syrup to room temperature cake. My mother prefers to add cooled syrup to a just out of the oven cake. The choice is yours. Time the two components. Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves and pour the syrup one ladle at a time time until all the syrup has been absorbed by the cake.
  10. Cut your Karydopita into diamond shaped pieces and serve at room temperature. Store in a sealed container for up to one week.


  1. says

    How great is that! I love to learn something new, or a new take on a classic, and I had never heard of that cake. It looks so divine! Thank you, and Peter for sharing your heirloom recipes!

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