Semolina cake

Semolina cake

The Islands of Greece
1 cake
Steven Joyce

This is a little like the famous eastern Mediterranean revani cake but is also similar to amygdolopita, a Greek almond cake. It is quite a thin cake, so don’t be alarmed it it doesn’t rise much. It makes a lighter sweet treat as it is, but if you want something deeper, make two cakes, and sandwich them together with jam or lemon butter icing. (For a recipe for revani, see my previous book, Istanbul: Recipes from the heart of Turkey)



Quantity Ingredient
butter, for the tin
plain flour, to dust
3 eggs, separated
50g caster sugar
1/2 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest
1/2 orange, finely grated zest
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon brandy
20g ground almonds
40g fine semolina
icing sugar, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
100g caster sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 unwaxed lemon, thinly pared zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Butter a 20 cm spring-form cake tin, then dust with a little flour.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Beat the yolks and sugar together until creamy and add the citrus zests. Mix the baking powder with the brandy (or water) and stir to dissolve. Add to the egg yolk mixture, then add the almonds and semolina. Beat well.
  4. Fold in the egg whites with a metal spoon, stopping as soon as everything is mixed together, to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. To make the syrup bring 125 ml of water, the sugar and lemon juice to the boil and boil for 10 minutes, reducing by about a quarter.
  7. When the cake has cooked it will have risen slightly and be golden-brown all over. Prick the cake all over with a cocktail stick or toothpick, then evenly pour over the syrup (you may not need all of it, so pour gradually). Cover and set aside. Leave overnight for the syrup to soak into the cake.
  8. When ready to serve, grate over a little lemon zest and dust with icing sugar.
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