Karydopita – Greek Walnut and Syrup Cake Recipe

Karydopita – Greek Walnut and Syrup Cake Recipe

Karydopita – Greek Walnut and Syrup Cake Recipe

The @grecianpurveyor William, has generously shared his mum, Vasiliki’s Karydopita – Vasiliki’s Walnut Cake – a recipe that comes to you directly from Kalpaki, Ioannina, Epirus Greece.

This karydopita has a very generous amount of walnuts and cinnamon in it, giving it a satisfying nuttiness and spiciness.

Breadcrumbs are also used to add body to the cake. 

Karydopita needs to cool completely before the hot syrup is added. Then you add as much syrup as you like – less if you prefer the karydopita sweet and drier, more if you prefer it syrupy!

Thank you to Vasiliki and Georgia Dachri for making, documenting, photographing and sharing this much-loved family recipe of Karydopita! 

Photos by Georgia Dachri, recipe by Vasiliki Dachri

Karydopita from Ioannina - Greek Walnut and Syrup Cake Recipe


For the karydopita you will need…

• 400 g walnuts, finely chopped

• 30 g cinnamon

• 2 tbsp Ladi Biosas organic extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

• 8 70g eggs yolks and whites separated

• 400 g sugar

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 3 g baking powder

• 350 g fine breadcrumbs, added gradually (see instructions)

• 60 g semolina - use only if the karydopita batter is loose

For the syrup you will need…

• 400 g sugar

• 400 ml water

• 2 tbsp Stayia Farm – Organic Wild Forest Honey


Preparing the karydopita

o In a medium bowl, stir the walnuts and cinnamon together, before adding the EVOO and mixing through

o Whisk yolks with the sugar till pale and thick

o Whisk the egg whites separately till soft peaks form

o Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture in batches

o Gently fold in the walnut mixture, vanilla extract and baking powder

o Add the breadcrumbs and gently combine – add enough breadcrumbs to form a thick batter, that is on the looser side

o If you have added all of the breadcrumbs and the batter is still very loose, then add enough semolina to tighten it a bit

o Lightly baste a 30cm diameter pan with EVOO

o Pour the batter into the pan and gently shake it flat

o Bake at 180oC conventional for about 35-45 minutes, or until a test skewer comes out clean

o Allow the karydopita to cool completely

Preparing the syrup

o Add the sugar and water to a small pot and bring to the boil

o Take the pot off heat and stir in the honey

o Ladle hot syrup slowly and evenly over the cool karydopita – the amount of syrup you add will depend on personal preference

Serving the karydopita

o Serve the karydopita with spoon sweets, such as sour cherry, quince or wild fig

Kali Orexi!