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Karydopita (Walnut Cake)


Karydopita (pr. ka-ree-do-pita) is a Greek walnut cake made with lots of walnuts and bathed in a sweet syrup.   The word “karydi” (καρύδι) means walnut and “pita” (πίτα) means pie.

You do not have to think hard what to do when you have a lot of walnuts.  What better than a traditional Walnut Cake, which will bring back childhood memories, as this is one of the popular Greek desserts.

Instead of making the syrup from scratch, I used leftover syrup from Bergamot preserve, which added an amazing taste to this dessert.  Any leftover syrup from citrus fruit preserves will match and give its own particular taste and aroma to this delicious cake!

Karydopita (Walnut Cake)

Preparation time:  30 minutes

Baking time:  1 hour

Serves:  16


  • 250 grams butter
  • 1 cup brown cane sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 400 grams (about 3 cups) all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 180 grams (1 1/2 cup) coarsely crushed walnuts
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 50 ml Grand Marnier (or brandy)
  • 3/4 cup of milk

 Ingredients for syrup:

  • 1 ½ cups of citrus preserve syrup


  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 11/2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Lemon peel

Additional ingredients:

  • 70 grams walnuts
  • 25 grams butter
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 drop vanilla essence


  1. In a bowl mix the flour, the baking powder, the orange zest, the cinnamon and the ground cloves.
  2. Beat egg whites with 1 tbsp lemon juice, until stiff.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until the mixture turns white and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg yolks and gradually add the orange liqueur or brandy and mix for a few more minutes.
  5. Add the milk and mix.
  6. Gradually add the flour alternating with the egg whites folding gently with a spatula until incorporated.
  7. Finally add the crushed walnuts and mix.
  8. Pour the batter into a well greased and floured 25 cm baking tin.
  9. Bake the cake in a preheated oven to 180o for about one hour or until a knife or a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Prepare the syrup. In a saucepan place sugar, water and lemon peel and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
  11. Remove the cake from the oven and while warm, pour the cold syrup gradually, until it is absorbed.
  12. Mix the butter, icing sugar and vanilla and spread on top of the cake.
  13. Sprinkle with more walnuts on top.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

signature Ivy

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1 Response

  1. Peter M

    Thank you Ivy…Karydopita is one of my favourite greek desserts…not too sweet.