Portokalopita by The Greek Kitchen, Athens, Greece

Corbin and I learned to make this amazing cake in a cooking class in Athens. When the instructor brought out the phyllo dough, I assumed we would be making baklava. But, then she told us to shred it into little bits. I’m thinking this would be a good dessert to make when I need to get out some aggression! The recommended icing on the cake is actually a scoop of ice cream. I wanted to lick the plate clean. Corbin actually did! 


For cake: 

  • 250 grams phyllo sheets (8-10 sheets)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated white sugar
  • ¾ cup greek yogurt 
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • ⅔ cup sunflower oil or other neutral oil

For simple syrup:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • One cinnamon stick


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Grease a 9” round baking dish with a bit of oil
  3. Shred phyllo into small pieces (3 cm x 3cm) using a knife or your hands
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and frothy
  5. Add the orange zest, yogurt, vanilla and baking powder and beat until well combined.
  6. While beating, slowly add the oil
  7. Add shredded phyllo and combine with a spatula until everything is fully incorporated
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin 
  9. Bake for 45 mins or until the cake has risen and is golden brown in color

To Make The Syrup

  1. While the cake is baking, combine water and sugar in a saucepan. 
  2. Bring to the boil (it should take about 5 minutes over a medium heat). Sugar should be fully dissolved. 
  3. Remove from the heat, add the cinnamon stick, let it cool to room temperature, and remove the cinnamon stick.

To assemble:

  1. Using a cocktail stick, skewer, or chopstick, lightly pierce the hot cake in a few places. 
  2. Pour half of the syrup over the cake. Once the cake has absorbed all the syrup, add the remaining half. The cake should be still hot, while the syrup should be room temperature. 
  3. Once all the syrup has been soaked up by the cake, slice and serve with full-fat Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream.
Corbin demonstrating to the rest of the class that in addition to being a master at garnishes, he knows how to zest an orange

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