Traditional Greek Yogurt Cake with Orange Syrup (Portokalopita)

Traditional Greek Yogurt Cake with Orange Syrup (Portokalopita)

Fluffy and colourful with the moist of scented syrup! A mouthwatering Greek yogurt cake with the aromas and blends of fresh oranges and cinnamon. Go over the top and serve with a full spoon of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup! Oh and you can always read this delicious recipe in Greek here Πορτοκαλόπιτα συνταγή με φύλλο κρούστας.


  • 200g yogurt (2% fat) (7 ounces)
  • 300 ml corn oil (1 and 1/4 of a cup)
  • 300 ml sugar (1 and 1/4 of a cup)
  • 300ml orange juice ( 1 and 1/4 of a cup)
  • 20g baking powder (4 tsps)
  • zest of 1 1/2 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 440-450g phyllo dough (15 ounces)

For the syrup

  • 400ml water (1 and 2/3 of a cup)
  • 400ml sugar (1 and 2/3 of a cup)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)


  1. Unwrap the phyllo dough from the plastic sleeve; place the sheets on a large surface and leave at room temperature for 20 minutes, in order to dry well. Alternatively, spread a few on a large baking tray and bake at 100C, until dry; repeat with the rest.
  2. To prepare this greek yogurt cake, start first by preparing the syrup. Pour into a pot the water, the sugar and the orange zest  (and a cinammon stick) and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup has thickened. Leave aside to cool.
  3. In the meantime prepare the mixture for the yogurt cake. Pour the corn oil into a large bowl, add the sugar and whisk. Add the yogurt, the orange juice, the orange zest and the vanilla extract and whisk well, until the ingredients combine and the mixture is smooth. Add the baking powder, and blend lightly.
  4. Tear the sheets of the phyllo dough into small pieces, using your hands and add into the mixture; whisk well
  5. Using a cooking brush, oil the bottom and the sides of a baking tray (approx.20x30cm / 8×12 inch) and pour in the mixtute. bake in preheated oven at 170-180C for 40-50 minutes until, nicely coloured and cooked through. Check if it is ready, by making a hole with a knife. If the knife comes out clean, then the cake is ready.
  6. To finish the yogurt cake, ladle slowly the cold syrup over the hot cake (allow each ladle of syrup to be absorbed, before ladling again).
  7. Allow time for the syrup to be absorbed and put in the refrigerator. Greek yogurt cake is ideally served cold, not hot, so that it does not crumble.

Recipe image gallery:


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  1. jenny allen says:

    what is phyllo dough or a substitute ???

  2. Also a recepy I want to try!
    Last weekend we allready made the fluffy burger buns and the mosaiko… They were great!
    Thanks for this lovely page :-*

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  4. I notice you use ml, grams and Celsius, so I am wondering about the size of the pan to use. Is that in inches? 20×30 inch pan?

    • Hi Roxanne, it was in centimetres, I’ve updated the recipe to clarify – approx.20x30cm / 8×12 inches. Thank you for your comment, great catch 🙂 🙂

      • Thanks Katerina, I made this (but used too large of a pan) They came out not as thick but just as good. Everyone loved it. I will make it again using the right size pan. Thank you!

      • Im so happy it turned out good for you 🙂 It really doesn’t matter if its a little thinner, its the soaking in syrup that does all the magic 🙂

  5. I made the Vasilopita and the Karithopita over the holidays. Excellent!!! I love your recipes, very easy and traditional Greek dishes.

  6. Can I use another kind of oil?

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  9. I made this today, tasted lovely but my middle sank. I only made a quarter of the recipe and adjusted the oven temperature as I have a fan assisted oven. Any ideas what may of happened to the middle ?
    Thanks Jan (From the UK but living in Greece)

  10. This recipe was a disaster. I think the ratio of liquid to dry ingredients is wrong and the final batter is too watery / thin. Hence it never cooks properly and you end up with a cake which is burnt on the outside but half cooked in the middle. Sorry but it turned out to be a disappointment because this is one of my favourite things and I am still searching for a recipe that actually works

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  14. Ulla Jessen, says:

    Can you tell me how long the cake will keep? How may days before a party can I make it?

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  16. Enjoyed this delicious cake in Crete and now I have the recipe ——-THANK YOU ! X


    Hi there….I am a little concerned as other Portokalopita recipes use 3-5 eggs and this one doesn’t. Have you left the eggs out in error? Please advise.

  18. can I use canola oil instead of corn oil?

  19. Don’t make this recipe because it is not complete, he deceive the people,this recipe belong to my friend he is elenolebanes chef zozeif azzam he discovered it ,it need egged


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