Greek Easter Cakes

Easter Sunday – a day of importance and meaning for many people. To kids (of all ages) it means hunting for chocolate eggs, to parents it means hiding them and to most other people it means a day of reflection – about the amount of chocolate you are consuming and how you will definitely go to the gym next week. Probably. But you know Easter Sunday is not just about chocolate – there are all sorts of other ways to ingest sugar on this special day. Here’s one – Greek Easter Cakes.

I thought I would choose this as my first food blog of the year, a very restrained 3 months after the previous gluttonous run of kitchen correspondance. These yummy moist cakes are perfect with crème fraiche and can be served warm or chilled. They contain no chocolate so from that point of view they are probably really good for you.


For the cakes
125g butter
100g caster sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
4tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
125g semolina
2tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds

For the syrup
10 cardamom pods
1 orange
300g caster sugar
200ml water
juice of half a lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1tsp cloves
2tbsp orange flower water

This is what the contents of your grocery bag look like…

What's in the grocery bag?
What\’s in the grocery bag?

…and this is what they look like after my kitchen assistant Sven has prepared everything…

Gratuitous use of crockery to display ingredients
Gratuitous use of crockery to display ingredients

Ask Sven (or your equivalent) to heat the oven to 200 degrees (190 for fan)


1) Blend the butter & sugar. I used my old trusty Kenwood mixer but apparently you can buy bowls and spoons that take this sort of routine kitchen activity into the 21st century.

Mix the butter & sugar
Mix the butter & sugar

2) Add the lemon juice, lemon rind, eggs, semolina, baking powder and ground almonds and mix until you stop. If using a bladed mixer stir the rind in by hand afterwards instead so as not to diminish the strands of lemony loveliness.

Add more stuff
Add more stuff

3) Grease a bun tin (you could use bun cases) and add the mixture to the moulds. Try and get a level finish. Slide the tin into the oven and leave for 15 or so minutes.

Let's bake!
Let\’s bake!

4) Remove the tin from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before transferring to a flat surface.

No Greek tragedy - they've turned out fine.
No Greek tragedy – they\’ve turned out fine.

5) You can be making the syrup while the buns are in the oven, so as to speak. Heat the sugar in water slowly until it has dissolved. Add the lemon juice and let it all boil for a few minutes until it thickens into something syrupy. Add all the other ingredients and leave on a low heat for 5 minutes except for the orange flower water – add this after the 5 minutes.

Nectar of syrupy health
Nectar of syrupy health

6) Let the mixture cool slightly. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick and then spoon the syrup over the buns.

Just like aunt Demetria used to make
Just like aunt Demetria used to make

Taste immediately to make sure the quality is of sufficiently high standard. Taste again to make sure. Congratulate yourself for having consumed something containing no chocolate whatsoever.

While you are at it spare a thought for those less fortunate than us, forced to work on this day of rest. Consider the put-upon supermarket staff obliged to spend Sunday evening away from their chocolate (and families) slashing the prices of eggs you were fleeced for only yesterday. They will be working late tonight restocking the shelves with barbecue products that will be advertised ad-nauseum as centre-pieces for the halcyon Indian summer we are not going to have.

Oh, Sven – just wash up & tidy before you leave. Thanks.